Advanced technologies are being used extensively by businesses and individuals in the present times. BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), cloud computing and social media are some of the services that are being used for commercial benefits. All these new technical applications have warranted the proper management of data access and keeping the critical information safe by preventing the leakage of important information and theft.
Organizations have become extremely vulnerable to hackers and perpetrators of cyber crimes who make all efforts to gain access to a company’s confidential information. Identity Governance is the key tool that is immensely beneficial in reducing such threats on data access and keeping the business safe from deceitful employees or customers. It offers solutions to maintain control on the IT systems. Identity Governance includes the steps to be followed in case of compromise of controls. Whether it may be theft of financial resources or leakage of information, Identity Governance nullifies such risks in the most effective manner.
The world is getting smaller day by day. As a result, communication gap is filling rapidly. Even companies have to interact with a number of customers as well as employees. It is important for company to get the data from the individuals associated with the company in order to identify partners, suppliers and customers. The devices used by these people and variety of sources alike social media helps to get data. It is really daunting to identify the people who are located beyond the information and data. Let’s say for an example – if a television channel knows the location of the fans of a particular show, they can effectively reach out to the target audience. Once the sellers on an ecommerce site have the details of the customer’s email address or Facebook profile, they can easily ask for reviews from the customer who completed a purchase recently. By doing so, they can quickly resolve any problem arisen with the product. Through this, sellers can carry out better marketing in the time to come.
If a company has remote employees, they have to provide access to such individuals so they can complete their jobs satisfactorily. However, regardless of the location of the employee, it is imperative to mitigate the threat on information and make a provision for compliance. It is absolutely necessary to check such access so that the business stays safe.
Following the laws and regulations become unavoidable for the organizations. Audits play an important role in confirming the proper access of data. In case the Identity Governance is not appropriate, audits become very taxing and involve an exorbitant expense.
Audits become time consuming because each and every access right and activity has to be assessed. A huge amount of money is required when you want to take an extra step to convert the data obtained from the systems into a comprehensive format understandable to the auditors. Audits become very annoying when business managers have to approve the access responsibilities of the assistants working under them. Access to information has become very extensive as a result audit and compliance become more difficult and challenging.
Even more risks have emerged because every employee uses a variety of devices to access information. It is not practically possible to monitor the safety of each and every device. Above all, the users are not well versed with the threats posed by downloading different apps and using Wi-Fi network at public places.
Cyber attack is also becoming progressive. Malware and software programs can affect organization with viruses and bypass the security these days.
All these factors act as a hindrance to Identity Governance.
Benefits of Identity Governance:
Identity Governance has a number of advantages if applied tactfully. Let’s discuss them in detail.
- Reduction of unnecessary expenditure
As a result of automating processes, costs can be reduced effectively. Business requirements are catered to, effectively because of such streamlined solutions. There is deficient of incorrect usage of critical information. Competent Identity Governance makes sure that the technologies and processes are established exclusively on business needs so there are deficient of unnecessary expenses.
- Enhancement of team Spirit
Many people have an access to the system and in the complex structure of IT technology, it becomes imperative to execute the job and sync with each other. Identity Governance ensures that different people working in various departments work unanimously and have an excellent coordination amongst them.
- Efficiency of processes
Stakeholders have to operate collectively on various processes. These processes are extremely complex and therefore they need tools in order to guarantee their efficient working. Identity Governance comes in picture in offering a center for the accomplishment of the organization goal and integration of the numerous identity and access management methods. If there is no Identity Governance, it would lead to expensive and inefficient processes.
- Improvement of Security Intelligence and Risk Management
Security intelligence implies the timely detection of cyber attacks and prevention of data loss. Identity Governance gives scaffolding to the security intelligence. It provides data monitoring tools and helps to know about accessibility of every individual to the organization data. Besides, good Identity Governance also helps in dealing with the newer techniques put to use in cyber crimes.
When individuals associated with the company increase, risks also considerably rise. Identity Governance helps in delivering intelligence controls and compliance by implementation of risk controls. The already existing Identity Management technology can be enhanced by Identity Governance tool.
- Economical compliance
There was a time when organizations tried to establish Identity Governance according to theoretical principles that seem failure to get through compliance audits. When Identity Governance is done suitably, it can make auditing of the access rights and control of job ramification very easy and cost-efficient. Real risks are identified easily without any complicated operations, thereby reducing the cost considerably.
Risk of poor Identity Governance implementation
Identity Governance is like a double edged sword. If it is suitably applied, it can be extremely beneficial. On the other hand, but if it is stupidly applied, it can put the organization at risk. Given below are some of the risks of poor Identity Governance implementation.
- Orphan accounts
Inactive accounts whose users have retired or quit the job should not be kept active. It remains a gateway to malware generated by hackers or the account holder. This account does not monitored by anyone and so it becomes even easier to generate malicious information through it.
- Improper rights to access
Whenever an employee changes a position in the company, the privileges of the previous position should not be applicable anymore. The access rights of the employee should be updated according to the requisites of the job profile. This can be done by two ways.
- Access Certification: Access rights are suitable according to the users and applications.
- Provisioning: User accounts should be managed properly and the rights of users on target applications and information should be maintained well.
- Threats from Insiders
Insiders often cause data leakage and sometimes, employees deliberately do this for stealing information. It involves the internal identity gaps that act as a gate to such entry. Access should be given only to authorized users with proper record of information. If this is not followed or there is Separation of Duties (SoD) violation, critical data can be lost.
- Inappropriate methodology for identity access
There are instances where the users have been given too many privileges. Additional access often leads to compromise in security control procedures. As a result, the company becomes vulnerable to cyber threats. An Identity Governance program should have a centralized scaffold so that user information and details about the permissions granted to them can be easily recorded. Gaps can be effectively closed by these processes and security can be enhanced.
Identity Governance has become mandatory in today’s times. Auditing the employees, password protection of data, automation of processes and prevention of separation of duty’s violations can effectively improve the security of the organization, thereby ensuring no loss of critical data and no incidences of theft or fraud.
Image Credit: Security Intelligence