Identity and Access Management: How to Get Started

Identity and Access Management: How to Get Started

Managing user access to enterprise data and systems is an important element of information security. With the addition of cloud and mobile services as well as the enforcement of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), controlling access while enhancing user experience becomes challenging. That is why organisations need to invest in more robust identity and access management (IAM) solutions. But before initiating a customer identity and access management programme, enterprises must understand what they must achieve and how to develop an IAM strategy that can drive success. Establishing a well-defined strategy will help you avoid catastrophic failures. Below are some steps to help you get started:

Involve Major Stakeholders

Start your IAM strategy development by identifying and engaging major stakeholders through a face-to-face workshop. This will let you discuss, agree, as well as capture business drivers, success criteria, and desired outcomes. Major stakeholders include the head of security architecture, CISO, HR, business unit head, IT operators, and Legal, and audit/compliance personnel. Their involvement will guarantee the documentation and agreement of all requirements. In this stage, think about the need for certain IAM requirements like remote access and two-factor authentication.

Evaluate your Business’ Current Position

Conduct a thorough gap analysis of the current position of your enterprise in relation to joiners, leavers, and movers and how this aligns to your IAM strategy. Understand the existing controls and evaluate their effectiveness especially in terms of assisting with the development of a wider IAM strategy.

Identify the Source of Data

When deploying IAM, you will have to determine who gets access to systems and data. For effective IAM, identify all data sources and assess them. Review the identity data these sources contain to ensure accuracy and update.

Ensure Policies, Processes, and Workflows are In Place

This will make sure IAM is implemented without causing frustrations among users. Current processes must be reviewed to ensure they reflect the incoming changes. With the deployment of a full IAM solution, business processes and workflows will affect a lot of your company’s existing controls.

Build the Road Map

This includes the delivery stages’ project plan. Also, in this step, it’s important to consider regular updates to the major stakeholders and executive team for visibility. By defining clear delivery stages, your company can break down the project into smaller phased deployment, minimising the risk of failure and issues. Also, road map building should include choosing a vendor, considering all outputs and requirements and ensuring their delivery.