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Identity and Access Management (IAM): Enabling Smarter Verification, Driving Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS)

IAM is a framework for business processes that facilitates the management of electronic or digital identities

Enterprises today are more agile than before about incorporating Identity and Access Management (IAM) capabilities in their IT infrastructure. With rising incidents of data breaches, companies are evaluating ways to protect valuable internal data, by leveraging technologies and incorporating IAM to assess insider risk and evolving threats.

Further, with ever-increasing user base and innumerable number of applications shifting to the cloud, IAM is rapidly evolving into a true business enabler for CIOs and security professionals alike. In fact, according to recent forecasts, the consumer IAM market size is set to grow from USD 16.00 billion in 2018 to USD 37.79 billion by 2023, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 18.8% during the forecast period.

Kaushik Srinivasan

Companies Embracing Digital Transformation Need to Understand What is the True Essence of IAM?

IAM is a framework for business processes that facilitates the management of electronic or digital identities. It helps manage user access from anywhere, at anytime, while protecting sensitive company information. Earlier, compliance was IAM’s top priority, but in its current phase, the technology has evolved to become an integral part of the Internet of Things (IoT). IAM vendors today are equipped with behavioural e analytics to protect customers’ authentication credentials from fraud and identity theft. In the digital age, agile IAM technologies are disrupting IT departments worldwide.

Reaping the Technological Benefits of IAM

In fiercely customer-oriented enterprises, IAM is no longer just a security add-on, but a critical tool to drive business growth. Implementing IAM best practices can offer a host of competitive advantages to enterprises.

For one, IAM solutions have enabled the shift from on-premise to cloud computing platforms by allowing businesses to give outside users controlled access to sensitive data stored in internal systems. Since companies cannot work in isolation, they need to strengthen their network of customers, partners, suppliers, and, of course, employees, by providing easy access to such intellectual property. It will lead to better ROI, increased employee productivity and satisfied customers. IT CXO’s today must ensure that this data is accessible only to authorised users and will be protected against privacy abuses.

The newly evolved IAM model also aims to ease users’ struggle with authentication processes such as password reset. Large enterprises, especially in the fintech industry, are replacing passwords with other forms of authentication, which takes into account the geolocation of the device in addition other biometric modalities that include facial recognition and the user’s fingerprint. In today’s technology environment, suspicious online user behaviour can be swiftly acted upon due to IAM-led solutions embedded with analytic capabilities. These solutions enable smarter verification of a user’s identity and bring tamper-proof accountability to user actions. Thus, an effective IAM programme can also mitigate cybercrime and corporate espionage.

Another area where IAM has made a difference is customer experience. By combining the power of mobility with latest identity management techniques, IAM is strengthening security and improving user experience. Yes, you heard right. When was the last time you heard those two things together? Security and user experience are generally considered diametrically opposing forces.

Stronger security generally translates into a more cumbersome user experience. But by combining mobility and identity management, IAM is enabling IT to seamlessly evaluate credentials and context. That means stronger security because of smarter access decisions. It also means a better user experience because access becomes more flexible and seamless, allowing users to get to the right resources from anywhere and at anytime.

On the Path to Transformation

Among other solutions, the Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS) model has aided in accelerating the key benefits accruing from IAM deployments. It serves as a viable alternative to on-premise IAM and extends support for both cloud applications and legacy systems.

As IAM evolves, IoT has permeated the complex area of security. Experts believe the future of IAM lies in combining behavioural & prescriptive analytics with machine learning to detect the behavioural patterns of users. It implies that IAM vendors will integrate more data sources to detect anomalous behaviour and, thus, curtail data breaches. Such ground-breaking capabilities form the vision of enterprises that aim to deliver beyond customer expectations.

By Kaushik Srinivasan, Senior Vice President Strategy – Products & Research, eMudhra

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