Identity and access management is one of the most significant elements of the identity industry. Identity is regarded as what a person or thing is. An identity is a manifestation of a basic entity; it bears resemblance to something related to the role of an entity. Identity is a set of attributes and defined values by which an entity becomes identifiable. These attributes are sufficient to distinguish an entity from others. An attribute represents a feature or characteristic of a person or object that can be identified, either quantitatively or qualitatively, by a person or machine.
It is usually assumed that an entity has only a single identity; in reality, however, an entity may have multiple identities. This is because people have many social, economic, and political functions. For instance, a person can be a citizen, an employee, and a student at the same time. Thus, individuals are identified via diverse roles and identities in different environments.
The Definition of Identity and Access Management
Identity and access management (IAM) represents a framework of business processes, policies, and technologies that facilitate the management of digital or electronic identities. Using IAM and digital identity, IT managers can control users’ access to vital organizational resources and information. The IAM provides access to the right people, with the right access, to the right resources, and for the right reason; it also maintains an archive of access-based information.
IAM is used to define the roles and privileges of access of network users and the conditions related to granting or rejecting user access requests (customers, employees, contractors) to the organization’s resources. The most important goal of the organization’s IAM is to create a single digital identity for each person in the organization. Once a person’s digital identity has been established, the processes of maintenance, modification, and monitoring should begin throughout the user access life cycle.
Identity and access management systems are a requirement of security frameworks for fast and continuous authentication, and control of users’ access to resources and services. In general, digital identities and IAM systems are components of a single factor in the identity industry.
The Importance of Identity and Access Management
Good identity and access management can be a key factor for a business to successfully prosper in the age of digital advancement. The IAM identifies the tasks’ critical needs to ensure proper access to resources in heterogeneous technological environments and makes compliance requirements to be met. As a security measure, IAM is a vital responsibility in today’s organizations. This is increasingly in line with business goals and requires business skills in addition to technical expertise.
The two main tenets of the importance of IAM are as follows:
- Ensuring Security: In the age of the Internet and open networks that allow access to resources from outside the organization, IAM is the first layer and stage of security. In fact, security is established by identifying and authenticating human and non-human entities. It can be said that “identity is the heart of security”.
- Providing services: To provide electronic services, the first step will be user authentication and identification. Many services will not be available unless authentication is done. As a popular saying goes, “identity is the gateway to electronic services”.