Why Identity & Access Management is a Key Part of Cybersecurity


In today’s digital landscape, cybersecurity stands as a paramount concern for both businesses and individuals. The ever-present threat of cyberattacks, including data breaches and malware incursions, can result in substantial financial losses. These attacks originate from diverse vectors, including the everyday cloud tools we rely on.

The average employee now engages with a staggering 36 cloud-based services on a daily basis. As a consequence, managing access to sensitive data and critical resources has taken on immense significance. This facet is indispensable in upholding robust security measures. A single compromised account within a business application can trigger severe repercussions.

Login credentials hold immense value for hackers, serving as a lucrative commodity. On the dark web, various online account details can be worth a small fortune. For instance, an email administrator’s login credentials can command prices ranging from $500 to a staggering $140,000.

It is imperative that you incorporate comprehensive access management into your overarching cybersecurity strategy. Failing to do so may result in dire financial consequences, not to mention the tarnishing of your reputation following a data breach.

In the forthcoming sections, we will delve into six compelling reasons why access management has become indispensable for maintaining top-tier data security. It plays a pivotal role in safeguarding valuable assets and preserving data integrity.


Why Identity & Access Management (IAM) Should Be a High Priority


Mitigating Insider Threats

Insider threats represent a significant concern, arising from both malicious intent and unintentional errors. These threats may originate from individuals within an organisation or their compromised accounts. Identity and Access Management (IAM) solutions empower businesses to implement precise access controls and permissions. This guarantees that employees only possess access to the specific data essential for their respective roles.

Through the reduction of excessive privileges, organisations can effectively mitigate insider threats. Furthermore, access management enhances the monitoring of user activities, enabling businesses to promptly identify and respond to any suspicious behaviour in real-time.

Strengthening Data Protection

Data breaches can inflict severe consequences on businesses, including:

  • Reputational Damage
  • Financial Losses
  • Regulatory Penalties
  • Potential Permanent Closure for Those Unable to Recover

Effective access management plays a pivotal role in fortifying data protection. This is achieved through the restriction of access to sensitive information and the enforcement of robust authentication measures.

Multi-factor authentication, encryption, and user authentication serve to limit access within a system. Access management solutions empower organisations to monitor and govern data transfers, thereby ensuring data remains secure throughout its entire lifecycle.

By implementing robust access controls, businesses can proactively mitigate risks, significantly reducing the likelihood of unauthorized data access and safeguarding their most valuable assets.

Enhancing Regulatory Compliance

For numerous organisations, prioritizing compliance with data privacy laws stands as a paramount concern. In this endeavour, Identity and Access Management (IAM) solutions emerge as indispensable allies, playing a pivotal role in ensuring regulatory adherence. These solutions furnish the essential controls and establish comprehensive audit trails.

IAM tools further empower companies to adopt and uphold industry best practices, including:

  • Role-Based Access Control (RBAC)
  • Least Privilege Principles
  • Contextual Multi-Factor Authentication

Through the strategic implementation of access management, businesses can effectively demonstrate their compliance with rigorous regulatory requirements. Additionally, IAM solutions facilitate routine access reviews, allowing organisations to maintain meticulous records of user access and permissions. This meticulous record-keeping proves invaluable during regulatory audits and assessments.

Streamlining User Provisioning and Deprovisioning

Managing user accounts and access privileges manually can be an arduous and error-prone process. Even a single mistyped entry can significantly increase the vulnerability of an account breach.

Access management solutions offer an automated approach to user provisioning and de-provisioning, guaranteeing that employees maintain appropriate access rights throughout their employment journey.

Upon an employee’s induction into an organisation, access management streamlines the onboarding procedure by rapidly configuring the requisite user accounts and permissions aligned with their designated role.

Conversely, when an employee departs from the organisation, IAM tools ensure swift de-provisioning of accounts and the revocation of access rights. This proactive approach reduces the risks associated with dormant or unauthorized accounts, as exemplified by the notable data breach at Colonial Pipeline a few years ago, which stemmed from an improperly de-provisioned, unused business VPN account.

The optimization of user provisioning and de-provisioning not only bolsters security measures but also enhances operational efficiency.

Enabling Secure Remote Access

Over the past decade, two significant shifts have dramatically transformed the traditional office environment: the ascent of remote work and the growing reliance on cloud services. This evolution underscores the critical importance of secure remote access for organisations.

Identity and Access Management (IAM) solutions play a pivotal role in furnishing secure authentication and authorization mechanisms for remote users. These solutions empower individuals to securely access corporate resources and data, whether they are working from home, on the go, or accessing data via mobile devices. Access management guarantees that this access occurs without compromising security.

Notable features encompassed within IAM include:

  • Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)
  • Single Sign-On (SSO)
  • Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

These features collectively bolster the security of remote access while upholding the integrity and confidentiality of corporate data.

Improving Productivity

Unlocking productivity with Identity and Access Management (IAM) systems is a game-changer. Picture the valuable time your HR or IT team dedicates to user account provisioning – the laborious task of creating login credentials and navigating the maze of access permissions in various tools.

IAM systems streamline this entire workflow, offering automated solutions. Leveraging role-based access protocols, IAM swiftly assigns appropriate access levels. Plus, when an employee departs, the system promptly revokes access. This translates to substantial time and effort savings for your administrative team.

Get Help Putting a Strong IAM Solution in Place

Commstec have over 20 years of hands-on experience implementing IAM solutions across both Private and Public sector organisations. We helped secure some of the most critical departments across the UK for remote access during COVID, ensuring users were authenticated using multifactor authentication methods, devices were compliant before being granted access to the network, and that permissions to resources were strictly controlled.

Access management has evolved into a critical component of cybersecurity. It helps mitigate insider threats, strengthen data protection, enhance regulatory compliance, and more. We can help you put in place an IAM system that works for you.

Give us a call today to schedule a chat about strengthening your access security.