Identity and Access Management (IAM) solutions have seen a rise in their implementation over the years. Now you have more diverse IAM providers and cloud-based cybersecurity services which makes IAM deployment easier than ever. The ability to protect networks from unauthorized access and verify users effectively has also contributed to the growth of this security solution.
Although IAM deployment is much easier and accessible to companies when compared to the past, there are still obvious challenges. Every team can experience these issues but it tends to be more apparent when proper planning lacks. On that note, you shouldn’t worry as we have a list of 6 common IAM deployment challenges along with proven solutions.
What is IAM?
Employees need resources to be able to do their job, and they need proper access permissions to actually utilize these resources. If you do not manage these permissions effectively and then authenticate end users, you might end up with internal security risks associated with over-privileged employee access.
This issue is basically why IAM solutions are a thing; they make sure end users only have access to what they absolutely need and nothing more. They also enforce efficient verification tools along the way so people accessing resources can prove they are authorized to do that.
One of the additional benefits that come with IAM is the ability to enforce this identification and verification to apps, hardware, IoT devices, and other software. This allows you to automatically manage access to every possible aspect of your network. Since IAM solutions also monitor access activities continuously, you will have an improved insight on what’s actually happening on the private network and then implement needed precautions.
6 IAM Deployment Challenges and Solutions
There are a lot of pitfalls you might find yourself in if IAM deployment is not done properly, but we will keep the list with the 6 most common ones. A good thing to keep in mind here is that all these challenges can be avoided and IAM deployment does not have to be a headache.
1-) Compliance Visibility
Creating compliance reports, especially on cloud-based services is crucial. You will need the ability to respond to the auditors with detailed reports regarding which user has access to what, and in what application. Remember that an average company uses a number of SaaS applications in a single day, and keeping track of access levels on each app is not always possible, but definitely required.
In order to overcome this issue, you need to evaluate your provider and other third-party vendors very carefully. The IAM solution you are using should be able to provide access control throughout applications and offer compliance reports and network activity.
2-) Lack of Authentication
One of the first reasons to employ an IAM solution is to ensure authenticated and authorized access to company resources. Access permissions might be distributed perfectly, but if the authentication is lacking, chances are you will face internal security threats.
Depending on weak passwords as an authentication method is one of the pitfalls of the IAM deployment process. We are in a digital world where MFA (Multi-factor authentication) is almost a standard, and passwords are becoming obsolete as a primary authentication method. Utilizing MFA as an added layer of protection is definitely one of the IAM best practices.
3-) Lack of user-friendliness
When deploying an IAM solution, it’s important to keep in mind that actual end users will be going through the IAM process daily when trying to access the resources they need to do their jobs. As a general challenge, user-friendliness might be disregarded in a cybersecurity solution when teams are only focused on the security aspect of things.
In order to make sure that the IAM solution is usable by the end users and is designed in a way that won’t decrease productivity, you need to get feedback from them. End-user input as an aspect of the deployment process is crucial so security solutions do not impact productivity among employees.
4-) Outdated and inadequate integration
Cloud-based applications and tools are being used every day by online businesses, and each of these tools requires a sign-in; so the number of authentication and authorization adds up quickly. Integrating these tools into your IAM solution is a must, but it is also challenging.
Each third-party vendor will have a different way of integrating their services, and you will eventually start using more SaaS apps over time. Your IAM solution needs to be capable of integrating with these services to ensure complete and edge-to-edge authentication. As a cloud-based provider, your IAM vendor should be able to keep these integrations up-to-date and effective at all times.
5-) Manual Provisioning and Deprovisioning
IAM solutions should be implemented to facilitate access management and automate repetitive, robotic tasks. If you need to manually provision and de-provision an employee, this will be a cumbersome task for team leaders and IT personnel over time as you grow.
Cloud-based IAM solutions need to have the capability of automating provisioning, especially when there is a new SaaS application used by a department or a team. If provisioning can be automated depending on the role or the security groups, you will cut down the need to manually do this for every person on a squad. This will also benefit you vastly in de-provisioning when there is an employee termination.
6-) Lack of user data
Data is at the center of every good IAM solution. You need to know your end users, the applications they need access to, and the access permissions they require to effectively do their job. You need to start gathering this information before implementing the IAM solution to make it function the best it can.
Make sure to invest in evaluating and analyzing data properly, and get to know the end users and the needed security groups. If you have this information in the correct place, detecting identities and managing access will be a breeze instead of a headache.
IAM deployment might be challenging, and it usually is. Lack of proper planning and disregarding crucial points will make it harder to maintain your IAM solution in the future, so the best thing to do is to employ the best practices beforehand and find solutions before the deployment.