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Simeio
December 21st, 2021

IAM has already established its role among security and risk professionals in most security programs. Interestingly, IAM also plays a significant role in the overall business process, customer experience and customer relationships. And those two form a critical part of the digital transformation program because of their vital role in understanding gaps that digital transformation can fill.  

If your organization has a process that has not considered the role of IAM, chances are the gaps and glitches will lead to a breach. The Identity Defined Security Alliance (IDSA) and Dimensional Research found that 56% of Sales Managers report they had staff who stole information when they left. A typical gap in the process, where revoking access can take days – 50% of those surveyed in the IDSA report said it usually takes three days or longer to revoke access for a worker who leaves. Similarly, from a customer perspective, if an organization is not able to verify, enroll, and identify them, it’s next to impossible to provide them with a personalized, relevant and consistent experience across multiple channels. 

What makes identity and access management an integral part of the overall business process?  

IAM Roadmap and Planning Essential to Assess Gaps 

Planning an IAM roadmap helps reveal gaps in the implementation plan, so they are addressed before they become a problem. From data quality issues, process changes or technology gaps, IAM touches all these elements that are an integral part of the business process of any organization.  

The 3 Identity Pillars Play a Pivotal Role in Business Process 

IGA, PAM and Access Management are the three pillars of identity and access management. Their role is vital in determining the security posture of an organization. But if one looks at the goal of these IAM pillars, they form the foundation of critical business process management as well. IGA is a set of security solutions as well as a policy framework that helps organizations mitigate risks related to identity efficiently. Any organization that implements IGA in its security program is validating there is governance around its identity and access policies, thus establishing a solid business process. With PAM and Access Management, the business process finds ways to ensure access is rightfully assigned – also a key component of the business process. 

Secured Onboarding Integral Governance and Risk Management (Vital to Business Process) 

Whether it’s applications or users (internal and external), secure onboarding that is seamless and easy for users is foundational for business processes. Onboarding and integrating applications can be messy, complex, and it often glitches. An effective IAM program uses next-generation application onboarding to speed up the process and ensure accuracy. Thus, it ensures business operations are smooth and interruption-free. Similarly, user onboarding – whether workforce, customers or vendors/partners – is secure with accurate provisioning and provides an exceptional experience for users. These could improve business processes and elevate operational excellence for enterprises. 

Zero Trust Model Foundational for IAM and Management Systems 

Organizations are going digital – be it for operational agility or enhanced user experience. The Zero Trust Model has been considered the foundational principle of verifying access with the thought process that no application or devices should be trusted – basically what the goal of IAM is. This has considerable relevance to building a robust business process as well. 

Alexei Balaganski, Lead Analyst & Chief Technology Officer, of KuppingerCole states, “Zero Trust is not a product or even a technology – as a concept, it requires a major shift in many aspects of IT and even core business processes of an organization.” A 2020 CSO Security Priorities Study found that 28% of the respondents were initiating zero trust, although there needs to be a higher adoption of the principle to ensure a robust IAM program and an organizational process. 

Integrating Non-Human Identities into the Business Process 

When the process of identity management originated, non–human identities were not part of the plan. Digital innovation broke the norms of identities and introduced non-human identities, making it far more complex for management systems and business processes to adhere to process standards and governance. Identity Defined Security Alliance in its study found 83% of companies witnessed an increase in the number of identities accessing system resources last year – and most of these new identities are assumed to be non-human. IAM today has enhanced its ability to manage non-human identities as efficiently as it has been managing human identities, thus supporting the implementation of governance and process standards. 

The risk of failing in governance and process standards is higher when risk and compliance fail to be taken into consideration in their entirety. A robust IAM program goes to the bottom of governance and risk analysis with the goal of being compliant with standards. As Sean Ryan and Alla Valente mention in their Forrester blog GRC and IAM – Better Together, “Governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) and identity and access management (IAM) are two separate disciplines with different reporting structures and distinct goals. And yet, like many of our favorite things (milk and cookies, peanut butter and chocolate, or Netflix and our sofa), when they work together, the benefits are greater than the sum of their parts.”