Identity and Access Management (IAM)
Identity and access management (IAM) is the security discipline that enables the right individuals to access the right resources at the right times for the right reasons. IAM addresses the mission-critical need to ensure appropriate access to resources across increasingly heterogeneous technology environments, and to meet increasingly rigorous compliance requirements. This security practice is a crucial undertaking for any enterprise. It is increasingly business-aligned, and it requires business skills, not just technical expertise. Enterprises that develop mature IAM capabilities can reduce their identity management costs and, more importantly, become significantly more agile in supporting new business initiatives.
With IAM technologies, IT managers can control user access to critical information within their organizations. Identity and access management products offer role-based access control, which lets system administrators regulate access to systems or networks based on the roles of individual users within the enterprise.
In this context, access is the ability of an individual user to perform a specific task, such as view, create or modify a file. Roles are defined according to job competency, authority and responsibility within the enterprise.
Automating IAM systems allows businesses to operate more efficiently by reducing the effort, time and money that would be required to manage access to their networks manually or via individual access controls that aren't connected to centralized management systems. Also a proper identity management leads to greater control of user access and hence reduces the risks of internal and external data breaches
lacking of effective identity and access management poses significant risks not only to compliance, but also an organization's overall security. These mismanagement issues increase the risk of greater damages from both external and internal threats.