Effective management of digital identities and user accesses is crucial for the overall security of an organization. It helps to ensure that only authorized users have access to sensitive information and that access is granted on a need-to-know basis. This can greatly reduce the risk of data breaches, unauthorized access, and other cyber security incidents.
The importance of digital identity and access management is highlighted by the following cyber security statistics:
- According to a report by Verizon, 81% of data breaches involve weak or stolen credentials.
- The 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report by Verizon found that 63% of confirmed data breaches involved weak, default or stolen passwords.
- A report by Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that the annual cost of cybercrime will exceed $6 trillion by 2021.
- A study by IBM found that the average cost of a data breach is $3.86 million.
- In 2020, the FBI reported that Business Email Compromise (BEC) and Email Account Compromise (EAC) losses totaled over $1.7 billion, a 136% increase since 2018.
- A survey by Deloitte found that 81% of organizations have experienced a cyber security incident in the past 12 months, and 59% of these incidents involved unauthorized access to sensitive data.
Given these statistics, it is clear that effective management of digital identities and user accesses is essential for protecting an organization from cyber security incidents.
Effective Identity and Access management also helps organizations to comply with various regulatory compliance such as HIPAA, PCI-DSS, SOX, and other industry standards.
Also, in Cloud environments, IAM becomes even more important as it helps to ensure that only authorized users have access to Cloud resources and that access is granted on a need-to-know basis. With the increasing adoption of cloud technologies, cyber criminals are shifting their attention to the cloud and are exploiting security weaknesses in cloud infrastructure and user access management to steal sensitive data.
What is Identity and Access Management?
Identity and access management (IAM) in cybersecurity refers to the processes and technologies used to manage the identities of users and the access they have to various systems, networks, and applications. The goal of IAM is to ensure that only authorized users are able to access sensitive information and that access is granted on a need-to-know basis.
There are 4 key components of IAM (Identity and Access Management), including:
- Identity management: This involves the process of creating, maintaining, and managing the identities of users. This includes creating unique user accounts, setting up password policies, and enabling multi-factor authentication to ensure that only authorized users are able to access systems and applications.
- Access management: This involves the process of controlling access to systems and applications based on the user’s identity. This includes granting and revoking access to specific resources and ensuring that access is granted on a least privilege basis, meaning that users only have access to the resources they need to perform their job.
- Authentication: This is the process of verifying the identity of a user. This can be done through a variety of methods such as passwords, security tokens, or biometric authentication.
- Authorization: This is the process of determining whether a user is allowed to access a specific resource. This is typically done by comparing the user’s identity and access rights against a set of predefined rules or policies.
An example of IAM in practice would be a company that has a network of servers that store sensitive customer data. The company would use IAM to ensure that only authorized employees are able to access this data by implementing authentication and authorization measures. For example, employees would need to log in with a unique username and password and would only be granted access to the data they need to perform their job. Additionally, the company might implement multi-factor authentication to provide an added layer of security.
Another example would be a company that provides cloud-based services to its customers. The company would use IAM to ensure that only authorized customers are able to access their own data and services by implementing authentication and authorization measures.
In short, IAM is a set of processes and technologies that are used to manage the identities of users and the access they have to various systems, networks, and applications. It is an important aspect of cybersecurity as it ensures that only authorized users are able to access sensitive information and that access is granted on a need-to-know basis.