What is Identity & Access Management for the SME?

Ross MacKenzie
Categories:
Tags: Identity & Access Management
OFC18_laptop_Teams_002-min

An identity and access management (IAM) system enables businesses to ensure that the right people have appropriate access to relevant resources, as and when they need – identifying, authenticating and authorising not only the users, but the devices used.

And setting up IAM is as crucial for the SME as for the larger enterprise, critical to ensuring business security and safeguarding the business against cyberattack, with access rules enforced across the business.

Users may be employees, customers, partners – anyone that the business wants to authorise for access, with the IAM objective to set up one digital identity per user. There’s greater control for IT administrators with central management, and cost is reduced, while productivity is improved:

  • user access has been simplified
  • users need to remember fewer usernames and passwords (and which in turn provides better security for the business)
  • the same system can authenticate users wherever they are – in the office, on the road, working from home, with clients – etc.

The four main elements of an identity and access management system are:

1. A personal data directory used to define a user

2. Software used to add, modify, or delete user data

3. A system to govern user access and enforce policies and access rights

4. A reporting and auditing system.

Wayne Hollomby, Cobweb Solutions Architect says, “SME budgets and resources may be different to that of the enterprise’s, but with today’s technology, IAM is firmly within scope for the SME.

“Because, consisting of a framework of policies and technologies, IAM Is not expensive – solutions are available for cost-conscious SMEs. It can also be deployed reasonably swiftly, and doesn’t have to incorporate every IAM solution feature – the business can pick and choose those that are most useful to the business individually.”

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