IAM (Identity & Access Management) today is at the core of enterprise IT infrastructures when it comes to protecting digital corporate assets. IAM, as the name states, is about managing identities and their access. This involves managing user accounts and their entitlements across the variety of systems and applications in use in organizations.
Over the past several years, organizations have been facing multiple changes affecting their security posture. The perimeter which separated the internal network from the outer world does not have the same relevance it had before, with mobile users accessing internal systems, with integrating business partners and customers into business processes, and with the shift to cloud applications. On the other hand, the value and relevance of digital corporate assets and intellectual properties have increased. With the shift to connected things and to smart manufacturing, digital assets are becoming “crown jewels” even for more traditional businesses such as mechanical engineering.
Protecting digital assets, the systems, and applications in an IT environment of growing complexity and of a hybrid nature while facing ever-increasing attacks forces organizations to take action. Protecting against internal and external attackers requires a well-thought-out understanding of risks and countermeasures.
IAM is a core component in every security architecture. IAM “done right” ensures that identities, their credentials and authenticators, and their access entitlements are well-managed. IAM thus reduces the attack surface by helping organizations moving towards the “least privilege” principle. IAM provides the tools to automate processes around managing users and access entitlements, but also for regularly reviewing these and identifying, e.g., excessive entitlements.
On the other hand, IAM also plays a vital role for business enablement, when it comes to the needs of employees, contractors, business partners, and customers to access certain applications, systems, and data. IAM is the tool for implementing the workflows and automated processes for onboarding users and granting them access. Again, if done right, IAM can help organizations by optimizing the onboarding and change processes, ensuring that entitlements are revoked and that accounts are deleted or deactivated once they are no longer required.
Under the umbrella of IAM, we can differentiate between the “core IAM” or – as it is called frequently today – IGA (Identity Governance and Administration), and the broader definition of IAM which includes additional capabilities such as Privileged Access Management, Web Access Management, Identity Federation, and more. IGA, in fact, is an umbrella term for two of the core elements of IAM, which are Identity Provisioning and Access Governance. Identity Provisioning supports automating processes for creating and managing user accounts and their high-level entitlements across the variety of systems and applications in use, while Access Governance adds the governance layer for analyzing entitlements, regular reviews and recertification, and also efficient access request workflows. However, other capabilities such as Access Management are of equal relevance.
Over the past few years, we have seen a shift from traditional IAM deployments that run on premises towards IDaaS. IDaaS is one of the fastest growing market segments of IAM characterized by cloud-based delivery of traditional IAM services. The market, driven largely by web-centric use-cases in its early days, now offers full-fledged delivery of IAM capabilities irrespective of application delivery models. The IDaaS market has registered significant growth over the last few years primarily driven by the need of organizations to achieve better time-to-value metrics over on-premises IAM deployments. IDaaS solutions offer cloud-ready integrations to extend an organization’s IAM controls to meet the security requirements of their growing SaaS portfolio.
The IDaaS market has evolved over the past few years and is still growing, both in size and in the number of vendors. However, under the umbrella term of IDaaS, we find a variety of offerings. IDaaS in general provides Identity & Access Management and Access Governance capabilities as services, ranging from Single Sign-On to full Identity Provisioning and Access Governance for both on-premise and cloud solutions. These solutions can also vary in their support for different kinds of users - such as employees, business partners, and customers; their support for mobile users; and their integration capabilities back to on-premise environments.
In this executive view, we discuss how Simeio’s Identity Orchetrator can help create a unified IAM infrastructure by connecting and directing other IAM solutions across all areas, from Identity Lifecycle Management to Access Management and PAM (Privileged Access Management), with a range of capabilities provided as part of the Simeio solution itself.