Best Practices for Implementing an Identity and Access Management Strategy

Updated on June 7, 2023

The secret to protecting a company’s most vital information may lie in a sound identity and access management system. Additionally, it may increase security, allow for greater staff flexibility, and enhance user experience.

Apply best practices, including identity-level security, multi-factor authentication, and zero-trust implementation.

Define Your Objectives

Identifying your goals is the first step in implementing an identity and access management strategy. IAM ensures that only approved users have access to corporate resources and data. This includes employees, contractors, and even customers. However, it also extends to non-human entities like bots that execute process automation software applications.

Start by listing all the IT resources and assets that need to be protected and all the users that require access to those systems when creating your IAM strategy. This will assist you in creating a clear picture of your present security environment and any potential future changes to the structure or expansion of your organization that may influence your IAM requirements.

Effective identity and access management tools should include a combination of processes and technologies supporting the entire identity lifecycle, from authentication methods to authorization. The objective is to ensure that the appropriate individuals have access to the required resources while lowering the risk of fraud and enhancing operational effectiveness.

Finally, an effective IAM solution should streamline and automate user provisioning and account setup. This will reduce the risk of errors while allowing administrators to view and change evolving access privileges instantly. This is the ideal way to enable your digital workforce to work effectively while reducing operating costs and maintaining cybersecurity standards. RediMinds can help you implement an IAM strategy that meets your company’s unique business requirements.

Conduct an Inventory of IT Assets and Resources

A comprehensive IT asset inventory is essential to a sound IAM program. It helps prevent internal data breaches and gives you the information you need to update your cybersecurity posture. It also ensures that only authorized individuals may access the IT environment of your business. It can also aid in avoiding costly penalties for data breaches and unlawful access.

An IT asset inventory lists all IT hardware, software, systems, devices, and data supporting your company’s IT infrastructure. It includes everything connected to your company’s network, including the industrial Internet of Things and cloud environments. It also includes the software that runs those IT systems, such as servers and databases.

To create an IT asset inventory, you can use some different methods. One of the most common is manually collecting information from each device and then typing it into a spreadsheet. However, this is time-consuming and can be inaccurate. Another option is to use an IT asset management software solution that automatically collects information from all devices and provides consolidated visibility for your IT team.

The finest IT asset management programs will also help you build an audit log that records any modifications made to your IT infrastructure and gives a detailed account of the information that each user has viewed. 

Implement Zero Trust Principles

Follow identity and access management (IAM) best practices to protect your business from cybercrime. This includes implementing Zero Trust principles. This security model assumes that threats exist outside the network and within the firewall, and it only trusts people once they are verified. This approach can help reduce a breach’s impact by limiting the “blast radius” of potential damage from a malicious actor.

The Zero Trust approach also requires limiting the amount of information a user can access. The least privilege access concept assures that a malicious actor cannot take advantage of a compromised device or user by gaining access to more data than is necessary for a job. Network segmentation can segregate critical resources to do this, and continuous monitoring can be used to spot unusual activity.

Implement Multi-Factor Authentication

The first step in a successful identity and access management strategy is implementing multi-factor authentication (MFA). This adds additional layers of security that can help protect data from cyber threats. MFA requires users to provide multiple security verification forms before accessing IT systems, software apps, or IT resources. Examples include a user ID and password, a security code sent to a phone or other device, or a biometrics method such as fingerprint scanning.

Another key IAM best practice is to implement a system allowing users only to use the IT resources they have been authorized. This helps to ensure that hackers can’t access sensitive data without getting past basic credentials like a username and password or an automated teller machine bank card and PIN. This can be accomplished by implementing a zero-trust architecture that limits what information is accessible and from which devices or ports.

Implement Single Sign-On

A successful identity and access management strategy is crucial to any company’s cybersecurity. It ensures that only authorized users have the proper access to technology resources, preventing data breaches and the hefty fines that often accompany them. However, it can be challenging to implement an IAM system that is both scalable and easy to use. Larger enterprises with numerous systems, devices, and applications will find this especially true.

One way to make the process easier is by implementing single sign-on (SSO). SSO is a method of authentication that allows a user to sign into multiple systems using a single set of login credentials. This can help reduce user frustration, improve productivity, and strengthen security by eliminating the need to remember multiple usernames and passwords.

Another way to streamline the process is by implementing Privileged Access Management (PAM). 

It’s also important to consider how an IAM solution will integrate with existing technology. For example, if your organization uses SAML profiles for its external IdP, you’ll want to ensure that the SSO solution you choose will work with these profiles. The best way to do this is to test the system in a controlled environment and gather feedback from IT staff and end-users. You can make any necessary changes to your IAM solution based on your testing results.

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.