Which is best for you?

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With so many devices and users accessing networks, applications, and data, Identity Access Management (IAM) has become a cornerstone of cybersecurity best practices. The short explanation is that you need to make sure everyone (and everything) is who they say they are. You should also ensure that they are authorized to have the access they request.

Several identity access management options exist today. You may come across Privileged Access Management (PAM), Identity as a Service (IDaaS), or Cloud Permission Management (CPM). Thus, choosing an identity management approach can be confusing. Which acronym suits you?

Identity management becomes more important

At the basic level, IAM uses a password and username to verify a user. Many more advanced identity management processes are now also on the market, such as multi-factor, biometric and risk-based authentication.

Today, Internet of Things (IoT) sensors are commonplace and more and more people are working remotely. So more and more devices are trying to access it, which makes IAM even more important. In the past, manufacturing plants probably only had employees accessing company systems from their computers at work. Now employees log in from their phones, tablets from the production floor, and laptops when working from home. Additionally, today’s manufacturing processes include many IoT devices that send real-time data to ensure the robots used for production are safe and efficient.

Each of these devices and access locations offers a chance for attackers to break into the network. Identity management is therefore essential. Forrester has found that 80% of all breaches are the result of compromised privileged credentials.

Based on the increased need for IAM, Garner predicts that by 2022, 90% of organizations will recognize that mitigating privileged access risk is critical to protecting their data.

Unsurprisingly, Privileged Access Management (PAM), which is an approach to identity management, has grown in response to need, with a market growth rate of 17% from 2019 to 2020.

What is Privileged Access Management (PAM)?

While people sometimes refer to PAM as just password management, the approach includes much more. PAM involves knowing who has access to each part of your network, then creating a process to prove trusted access, even more so for sensitive data and administrator accounts.

When organizations begin the PAM process, they often discover accounts they didn’t even know existed, each of which increases risk because you can’t protect what you don’t know. PAM also allows them to monitor every keystroke a user makes, allowing the administrator to detect risky behavior in real time and then terminate the account. If done in time, it can often prevent a breach or attack.

Other Identity Management Components

Part of the solution comes from Secure Shell (SSH) keys. By using SSH keys, which enable automated processes and single sign-on by system administrators, you can use role-based access control (RBAC) and permission sets to control who has access to which permission sets. keys, regardless of location or IP address. With RBAC, you can also create an approval workflow that allows for transparent access and time restrictions.

Identity as a Service (IDaaS)

While PAM focuses on the most privileged accounts and the most restrictive access as an overall approach, IDaaS is a way to implement part of PAM. IDaaS uses secure methods, such as multi-factor authentication and self-service user account management. Instead of building your own IAM solution as part of your internal or external application or network, you can use IDaaS, which is a third-party service that handles all aspects of identity management.

You can then include it in your product, dramatically shortening your time to market. Since IDaaS focuses only on IAM, solutions often use the latest methods. Experts monitor current threats to keep their customers safe. Already have an internal application that needs more secure IAM or are you working on an external product that needs IAM? IDaaS is probably the right solution.

Cloud Permission Management (CPM)

While IDaaS manages identities and authentication, Cloud Authorization Management (CPM) uses AI technology to make recommendations on changes based on the zero-trust approach. This technology is in its infancy, but CPM is essential because it puts AI into the hands of defenders – which is becoming essential as attackers use AI for violations.

Moving forward with identity management

As the number of devices and access points used by enterprises increases, IAM will become increasingly critical. By knowing the different types and components of IAM, you can create the strategy that best meets your needs.

To learn more about IAM and Privileged Access Management, visit IBM.com.

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