For most large companies, the importance of a mature identity and access management (IAM) approach is pretty clear. It is necessary to make sure that the right people have access to the right information and resources when they need it, while also making sure that the wrong people don’t get access to these resources. This might sound simple, but in reality, these processes are rather complicated. The identity and access management landscape is very diverse and sadly there is no big button to press which will solve all your IAM needs. Instead we believe in specific solutions to solve specific problems.
One of the problems that most, if not all, large companies encounter, is the difficulty in keeping an overview of all the IAM data. When a company has thousands of employees and all of these people need to be assigned a certain number of roles, it becomes tricky to remain in control of all that information. This problem is addressed by what is called “identity analytics (IdA)”. A term defined by Gartner as: “an emerging set of solutions combining big data and advanced analytics to increase identity-related risk awareness and enhance IAM processes such as access certification, access request and role management.”. Investing in Identity Analytics is paramount for proper identity and access management. You can’t get correct results with the wrong data. Sadly, this is still something that often gets overlooked when companies are searching for IAM solutions.
Just like Gartner’s definition already says, the most important reason why companies should invest in Identity Analytics is that it greatly helps with assessing risks. IdA enables you to never lose sight of who has access to what resources within your company. According to a report by cybersecurity insiders, one of the main risk factors for companies is that too many people have excessive access privileges. It goes without saying that things could go pretty bad when you no longer know who can access certain accounts or who can sign off on a contract that could potentially cost you a lot of money.
How do Identity Analytics help you to remain in control of all that data?
Combine relevant information
When companies want to keep an overview of their data to make smart IAM decisions, they often think about using standard analytics software or simple excel sheets. This results in heavy manual labor to maintain an updated database with all the right information. However, it doesn’t stop there. The data required for proper identity and access management can vary and it can originate from many different sources. Besides the standard information about users, roles and applications, it could for example also entail HR data or risk factors around certain applications. With all this different data, it becomes increasingly difficult to understand what it actually means. It is important that this information, originating from different files, is not just thrown together in an analytics program. Instead, the relevant files should be linked together. By doing so, IdA enables people to make correct decisions based on relevant in-depth information in a specific context.
Automatically keep track of your data while reducing manual labor
Another reason why you should invest in identity analytics is related to the aforementioned manual labor, which companies want to avoid as much as possible. The data, of your employees’ access to company resources, shifts all the time. For example, when a business has thousands of employees, there is probably a lot of horizontal movement. The work of employees within a company can change quite often. It is important to track all of these changes so people don’t keep access to resources they don’t need. Doing this through standard analytics tools or excel sheets is a very labor-intensive process. By the time the work is done, the information could already be outdated again. Identity analytics solutions allow this process to become automated. The right people will get notified when there are any alterations to the data, rather than having to look for changes themselves. This is a very important part of staying secure and in control.
Improve user experience when doing IAM controls
Checking certain information regarding the roles of employees can be a difficult and tiring process. There is often very technical or complicated knowledge required to process this data. Information such as: “User X has role 7983Xb” could induce quite a headache, when this might actually mean something simple like: “User X has access to application Y”. By combining the relevant data, users get a clearer picture of what it all means, which results in a much more effective IAM process. By using the correct tools, users can also look for very specific information, while being shielded from the massive data clutter they have to plow through when using regular analytics programs.
Automate important recurring audits
To maintain proper identity and access management, there are certain controls that businesses must carry out on a regular basis to remain compliant with regulation. For example, companies often have to check if their employees possess the right qualifications required for access to certain applications. This is to make sure that people don’t have access to too much data. These large scale controls cost a lot of time and resources. Through identity analytics, audits like this can be automated and a lot of headaches could be avoided.
It's clear that identity analytics give companies the necessary risk insights. This provides numerous advantages to reduce this risk while avoiding unnecessary manual labor prone to human errors. Are you wondering how Elimity can help you with this? Find out more information about our identity analytics solution here.