What is Identity Governance and Administration?
Access management is a critical component of an organization’s cybersecurity strategy. Identity and access management (IAM) solutions ensure that only legitimate users have access to corporate resources, and even they can only access those resources needed to do their jobs. The most effective IAM programs are the ones that are structured and supported by the correct policies and procedures.
Identity governance and administration (IGA) defines the policies and procedures that support an access management program. It is composed of:
- Identity Governance: Policies and processes for role management, segregation of duties, access reviews, logging, analysis, and reporting
- Identity Administration: Credential and account administration, entitlement management, and user and device provisioning and deprovisioning
Why is IGA Important?
IAM is a crucial component of an organization’s security program. Preventing unauthorized access to corporate resources is essential to managing the risk of data breaches, malware infections, and other cyberattacks.
As corporate IT infrastructures grow more complex, identity management becomes more difficult. On-prem and cloud environments may have different IAM systems, and user roles and privileges must be updated as both their duties and the corporate IT infrastructure change.
IGA helps to formalize and scale the practice of identity management. Policies and processes define how identity should be managed, and IGA tools incorporate automation and other valuable features to make the process easier.
Key Components of IGA
IGA is composed of various components with numerous potential benefits, including the following:
- Policy-Based Framework: IGA structures IAM management around policies and rules. This creates a more structured, intentional approach to designing an IAM architecture.
- IAM Support: IGA helps organizations to formalize and manage their IAM programs. Centralized management with automated support simplifies the process of creating and managing the organization’s user identities.
- Automation Support: IGA systems include automated tools for identity management. This includes creating and amanging accounts, roles, and permissions for user identities.
- Account Visibility: IGA centralizes visibility and management of user identities and entitlements. This centralized visibility makes it easier to identify risks and make data-driven security decisions.
- Role Management and Segregation of Duties: Segregation of duties breaks critical processes into multiple pieces with different owners to reduce the risk of errors or fraud. IGA helps to ensure duty segregation to reduce an organization’s risk.
- Analytics, Logging, and Reporting: IGA systems generate logs on user behavior, security incidents, and resource utilization. This data can help organizations to measure the effectiveness of their security program and work towards continuous improvement.
- Compliance Support: Various regulations mandate that organizations control access to sensitive and protected data. IGA helps to control this access and demonstrate compliance with the security controls and administrative processes required by these regulations.
IGA provides a framework and tools for managing user identities and privileges within an organization. By standardizing identity management within an organization, IGA helps companies to prevent unauthorized access to resources, reducing the risk of cybersecurity incidents. Additionally, IGA can help with regulatory compliance and security by increasing an organization’s ability to monitor and manage access.