Current and Future State of Identity Access Management (IAM)

Current and Future State of Identity Access Management (IAM)- It is a well-known truth that providing exceptional customer service leads to increased revenue growth for a business. A company needs, however, invest in new technology, processes, and systems in order to provide such an experience. To maintain, serve, and acquire new customers in today’s world, innovative technology must be implemented. One of the most important technologies today is Identity and Access Management (IAM). Despite its beginnings as a technology acquisition platform, it has evolved into a critical tool for organisations to communicate with and understand their customers.

Why your Business Needs IAM

Manage Customer Preferences, Identities, and Profiles

In all interactions with a company, customers value relevant, consistent, and personalised experiences. Only by reliably registering, identifying, and authenticating clients can a company achieve this. The organisation should also keep track of the client’s choices, interactions, and behaviour. All of this is only possible if a central platform for managing consumer identities is implemented. A website that informs customers about permissible payment methods, membership expiration, and email lists, among other things, is one example.

Offer Secure, Adaptive Access to Protected Information

The majority of firms now offer digitised products and services. As a result, they generate more data on a daily basis. Most businesses also collaborate with a variety of third parties, including contractors, suppliers, and outsourcers.

To do this, an organisation must ensure that only the appropriate and authorised data owners have access to the data, as well as that no unauthorised access or data usage occurs. Regardless of the hosting model or location, this is true. Furthermore, the organisation must ensure that authorization processes take into account the context. As a result, IAM must connect business partners, customer information, and personnel. They can do so by putting in place and managing IAM technologies.

Enhance Customer Relationships Through Leveraging Identity Data

Identity patterns and extensive information about how end-users interact with a website, business apps, mobile applications, and call centres are provided by IAM implementations. Security personnel also evaluate the data and use the results to develop defensive measures and investigate security incidents.

More significantly, examining the data gives businesses insight into how customers navigate a website and encounter issues with login, self-services like password reset, and registration. The data can also be used to modify a company’s website to give visitors more personalised experiences and speed up important operations like registration.

Maintain Privacy Preferences

Customers are growing increasingly worried and sensitive about how organisations gather personal information, why it is collected, and how it is stored. This is due to the implementation of a number of laws that provide data owners more control over how firms can use their data.

An enterprise must manage user IDs so that users may log in to their accounts and change their privacy preferences in order to maintain compliance.

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Furthermore, organisations must ensure that data is safeguarded while at rest, in use, or in transit when storing, duplicating, or transferring information. They must also respect a client’s privacy wishes, yet they can derive value from the data collected without ignoring its potential.

Support Zero-Trust Processes

Zero-trust models are rapidly becoming the de facto and required standard for information security concepts. These approaches are widely used in various sectors of business, such as network security, application security, data security, and cloud security.

Adherence to zero-trust models is aided by implementing IAM systems. They employ least privilege restrictions to guarantee that users only have access to the information they need to complete their tasks. IAM also makes it simple for businesses to transition to new identity-based perimeters. IAM also prevents users from being given too much power. It allows for pre-integration with other components and domains in the IT infrastructure of a company.

Security professionals anticipate that IAM will become more important in both corporate and personal life as cultural and technology landscapes change. Despite our inability to reliably foresee new evolutions beyond the near future, new technologies will arise, the majority of which will necessitate more secure IAM techniques. This is especially true given that 90 percent of successful assaults are caused by employees’ incapacity to manage and protect their access credentials, such as passwords.

Current IAM solutions may not be able to fulfil future demands, especially as devices and systems become more interconnected and automated.

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Smart Device and Robotics Identification

IAM techniques will, according to future predictions, move beyond present authentication criteria such as pets, humans, and fingerprints to encompass smart device and robotics identification. Businesses and individuals will achieve this by integrating systems with automated tasks and data sharing capabilities, allowing for a more collaborative and user-friendly IAM environment.

In addition, the number of networked and distributed technologies will grow, allowing for accurate, continuous, and smooth resource access. As a result, enhanced IAM techniques based on artificial intelligence, sophisticated biometrics, machine learning, and any other disruptive technologies will need to be developed and implemented.

As a result, organisations will no longer rely on conventional IAM techniques for accessing secured resources and physical facilities, such as passwords. Instead, they’ll replace them with smart systems that are programmed to constantly learn unique personal characteristics and traits in order to improve access control.

IAM as a Utility

IAM is seen as the hub of current and future digital developments by industry experts. As a result, corporations will use it as the focal point for securing IT infrastructures in all organisations, including governmental agencies and higher education institutions. IAM also applies to any and all critical apps or systems used by a company.

As a result, organisations will begin to use IAM as a utility identity in the near future. To do so, IT businesses will need to develop procedures for data gathering, processing, organisation, and dissemination that are consistent and dependable.

Enterprise data is currently stored in different silos. As a result, businesses are using data sharing and modification orchestration as the foundation for addressing traditional IAM issues, such as account provisioning. Event triggers such as changes to authoritative data sources such as HR systems, for example, may result in the automatic creation of user accounts, as well as IAM aspects. Assigning access privileges and establishing user attributes used to determine access levels are two examples.

As a result, such identity abstraction might be referred to as a service-oriented IAM architecture. Its current goal is to become a ubiquitous service that provides identification data to network, application, and people-based services. IAM’s future will be marked by contrasts, as it will be built on highly accessible and adaptable underpinnings to ensure data integration from a variety of sources. As a result, it will provide a secure IAM approach to a large number of users before granting access to protected resources.

Despite the obvious benefits, implementing IAM as a utility is difficult because many businesses have several processes and environments that must first be integrated and normalised. The absence of defined ways for combining the diverse capabilities of existing procedures and processes adds to the difficulties.

The majority of the time, application or system suppliers ignore recommendations for integrating standards like SCIM (System for Cross-domain Identity Management). Instead, they create proprietary interfaces, which prove to be inconvenient to integrate with other IAM deployments. Furthermore, some IAM manufacturers lack the connectors required for smooth connectivity with other IAM systems in their portfolio. In order to build a solid foundation in anticipation of future IAM requirements, organisations should fill these present gaps.

Moreover, practically all IAM adhere to the same philosophy: each deployment type is distinct and necessitates its own set of processes and regulations. As a result, there has been an increase in the number of expensive, brittle, difficult to upgrade, and highly customised deployments. Vendors have resorted to recycling multiple IAM setups as a result. Businesses replace older implementations with new ones once they have fully met the organization’s security requirements. If additional integration and growth prove to be too costly, IAM installations may be used in other situations.

However, rather than providing complete access control, recycled IAM implementations may be insufficient to secure a wide range of applications. They might not include automated provisioning/de-provisioning or suitable access governance control processes in their scope. Because of this, a corporation may wind up with specialised systems such as SAP, Oracle, and Active Directory as a result of constant recycling. As a result, current IAM deployments may be ineffective in assuring the security of any application or system in a particular environment, putting them at danger.

This does not rule out the possibility of achieving the IAM’s larger goals. To achieve the objectives, organisations must avoid the risks that come with custom one-off IAM deployments. Companies’ IAM requirements are comparable since only their capabilities correspond with specific patterns. To ensure that future IAM deployments apply to all connected apps and systems, all future IAM deployments must reference an IAM architectural template. The features that organisations should provide in future IAM deployments are described in the following qualities.

All application developers and end-users should be able to engage with an IAM platform once it has been implemented.

Processes and regulations that may uniquely identify different actors should be included in future IAM vendors. They should also specify an actor’s authorization levels, which are determined by criteria like obligations, entitlement, allocated rights, and roles.

Adaptable to change: An IAM platform must have the ability to define and manage the ongoing changes that affect linkages between enterprise resources and identities. Adaptability should be maintained throughout the IAM lifespan.

Manageable: A company’s IAM solution must have certain features in order to be easily managed, upgraded, and configured.

Measurable: An IAM deployment should include capabilities for inspections, audits, and improvement, as well as a greater understanding of all IAM actions.

Storage: Future IAM solutions must provide the capabilities needed to assure secure storage and maintenance of identity data and relationships. The solutions should make it simple for a corporation to get information.

Identity normalisation, federation, and virtualization are three of the most important aspects of identity management.

Identity standardisation, federation, and virtualization will all be part of future IAM solutions. Virtualization and federation are built on the idea that no single agency, organisation, government, or business can be the sole authoritative source for objects and their interactions.

Identity federation will be a core component of future identity management because it will reduce frictions, especially as the number of objects continues to grow exponentially. Organizations will be able to offer access to common resources or apps through federation without having to employ the same security, directory services, or authentication technologies. As a result, federation will be advantageous since enterprises will be able to maintain directory management while also expanding their reach beyond local authentication.

Identity federation also eliminates the requirement for proprietary solutions to be developed. Organizations will save money while designing and deploying IAM solutions as a result of this. All IAM installations have the same goal: to verify and identify users, improve security, and reduce the risks associated with using identity information for multiple authentications. Companies will also be able to increase their privacy compliance efforts by deploying federated IAM systems. This is due to the fact that they will give consolidated and effective user access to identity stores and information sharing. It will also make it easier for users to have a better experience because it will eliminate the need to create fresh accounts.

Despite the benefits that federated IAM systems provide, there is a risk of losing centralised control. The problem arises from the requirement to accept identity credentials from sources outside of an organisation. A corporation might accept authorisation risks if they are limited to low-value data. High-risk or high-value data, on the other hand, may necessitate direct authentication and administration. Accepting authentication from other sources is complicated by trust difficulties. Is the federated user who he claims to be as honest as he claims to be?

Blockchain-Based IAM

Other technologies are also having an impact on IAM’s future. Identity systems based on blockchain technology are among them. The major goal of the systems is to get explicit consent to share information with certain entities in order to offer access to requested services and resources.

The future of IAM deployments includes a self-sovereign, distributed identification model that empowers users while also reducing risk for the companies collecting the data. It’s similar to microservices, but it’s for identity management. It can be thought as as a self-governing entity that the owner can manipulate in a variety of ways.

Blockchain will be a critical component of future identity schemes. It will also play a crucial role in the development and support of self-sovereign identity-based IAM systems. Blockchain is made up of distributed ledgers that can improve the discoverability of an individual’s identity and provide safe links to the data needed to conduct a transaction. Future IAM deployments will be supported by blockchain technology via anchored identifiers linked to identifying multiple hubs encoded with semantic data.

Authentication without a password

Security staff can now shift away from password-based only authentication with the adoption of authentication services such as Windows Hello and Trusona, as well as the proliferation of connected tokens and smartphone-based authentications.

Biometrics (fingerprints, voice, and face), push notifications that users can access through mobile devices, risk-based authentication, behavioural biometrics, and risk-based authentication, as well as FIDO WebAuthN, are all options that will influence future IAM operations. Passwordless authentication of this type will allow businesses to focus their efforts on improving device registration and initial onboarding processes.

Multimodal and Multitarget IAM Services to Support All Workloads

Despite the fact that cloud use is expanding year after year, some businesses continue to rely on on-premise apps, processes, user directories, and legacy systems. Traditional systems are unlikely to disappear in the near years, prompting the creation of hybrid IAM installations or designs. Both on-premise and cloud workloads will be supported. Legacy and on-premise applications like ERP and HRIS will benefit from such architectures because they will support IAM security. However, this will necessitate the use of connectors and SSO integration (single-sign-on).

Furthermore, some firms are hesitant to keep personally identifiable information (PII) and user information in cloud storage services. By integrating SaaS and on-premise apps and providing IAM deployments in a variety of configurations, hybrid IAM deployments will support hybrid environments and applications. Managed services, cloud IDaaS, and on-premise products are examples.

Behavioral Biometrics to Perform Identity Verification

To maintain a continual process of user authentication, companies will enhance their usage of biometrics in performing identification verification. Passwords and other identification or authentication credentials are no longer required to be harvested from system endpoints by cyber adversaries. They can simply gain access to all passwords saved in an Active Directory or password vault. As a result, making a single authentication decision based just on passwords is no longer sufficient, especially when a company adopts a single-sign-on strategy.

As a result, companies must incorporate multifactor or behavioural device profiling. While customers respond to filling out forms when enrolling, for example, firms can use behavioural biometrics to assess a user’s behaviour as a means of identity verification. As a result, future IAM will include enhanced authorization and authentication processes, shifting from a one-time choice to a continuous process of monitoring and developing user profiles and behaviours.

Future IAM Architecture Requirements for Operational Efficiency and Security

Data Encapsulation and Protecting its Identity

To protect the availability or integrity of data, organisations must keep track of its identification. The metadata used to characterise the data itself, such as the owner who generated it, individuals who can access it, and users with allowed permissions to delete it, is referred to as data identity. Data identity is embedded within the data asset by systems, making it a critical component of achieving a safe and zero-trust environment.

Furthermore, the data identity might reveal information about the data’s consumption trends. As a result, cyber attackers can use metadata to learn more about a specific user’s behaviour, regardless of whether systems encrypt it or not.

To combat this, it’s critical to manage and link data identities to employee access authorization, so successfully preventing data theft and decreasing threat surfaces. Throughout the lifecycle of an identity, IAM solutions must be able to assign access privileges to users.

Leverage Machine Learning Capabilities

Machine learning (ML) capabilities should be used in future IAM solutions to intercept aberrant patterns and access requests. Businesses can identify and enforce certain user access entitlements in current IMG (identity management and governance) solutions that leverage user data stored in a directory. Organizations, on the other hand, cannot employ such tactics to identify hazards that arise when user access rights surge more than usual. Machine learning can provide analytic capabilities to IMG tools, allowing them to provide a greater understanding of user requests, entitlements, and obtained rights.

Feed Identity and Cyber Threat Intelligence in IAM Platforms

In most cases, the current approaches for securing against cyber threats in siloed environments are insufficient and only provide partial protection. IAM vendors, on the other hand, must create solutions that can give optimal protection. Development of IAM solutions capable of analysing and integrating various types of identity data, such as device fingerprints, IP addresses, password and username combinations, and hacker-targeted sites, are among the measures.

Tweak Authorization to be Based on Activity and Context

Although access certification procedures reduce separation of tasks violations and improve an organization’s security posture, most employees see it as a hindrance to their productivity.

IAM suppliers must develop externalised authorization deployments capable of dynamically tweaking authorization decisions in running apps to reduce the impact on IMG operations. This is accomplished by basing IAM on context during device access and activities such as resource user access in the application, such as geolocation or device fingerprint. Other techniques provide point values to resource access, determining whether a user’s running tally matches the resources accessed.

Jennifer Thomas
Jennifer Thomas is the Co-founder and Chief Business Development Officer at Cybers Guards. Prior to that, She was responsible for leading its Cyber Security Practice and Cyber Security Operations Center, which provided managed security services.