Key Features to Look for in Identity Governance Solutions

Key Features to Look for in Identity Governance Solutions

Identity governance and administration (IGA) is integral to a strong identity security strategy. It helps businesses manage identity access privileges across various systems and devices.

It enables organizations to automate account and entitlement provisioning, certify ongoing access and enforce segregation of duties policies. It also logs, analyzes, and reports login activities, access privileges and permission revocations.

Explore the key features to look for in identity governance solutions, specifically tailored to meet the unique demands of public sector sales, ensuring robust security and compliance in government operations.

Authentication

Authentication verifies that someone or something is who or what it claims to be. Authentication can take many forms, including ID cards, security tokens, passwords, fingerprints, retinal scans, voice recognition and unique bio-electric signals.

Identity governance solutions should include strong authentication capabilities to prevent users from gaining unauthorized access. These capabilities can help ensure that employees only have the right level of access to critical systems and data. They can also monitor user activity and flag any anomalies indicating a security breach.

The best identity governance solutions will provide a range of authentication options that are convenient and secure for employees to use, whether they are working from home or the office. These options can include out-of-band authentication channels like SMS/text messaging, telephone DTMF, voice and facial recognition, and mobile apps. They should also offer a variety of passcodes, PINs and challenge and response questions and answers. This helps make it easier for employees to work from anywhere and boost productivity. It also makes it more difficult for attackers to gain unauthorized access.

Access Control

At home, we all try to balance productivity – getting access to services and content we need – and security – restricting younger family members’ ability to watch PG-13 videos or download unauthorized games. But doing that at work is far more complicated. That’s why ensuring a governance framework that can screen and grant access to the right people is important and helps companies meet industry regulations like GDPR or HIPAA.

Identity governance solutions allow administrators to correlate access privileges across multiple record systems and then manage those in a centralized administration console. They can apply rules and policies to automatically or manually approve or deny access. They can also reduce risk by enabling a role-based approach that uses pre-defined job roles to control access to systems and information.

It’s important to note that not all governance solutions are created equal. Some require one-to-one configuration effort, meaning every instance of a particular data field (such as PII) must be configured with a separate access control rule. Others support a one-to-many approach, which is a much more efficient configuration method.

Reporting

An effective IGA solution should be able to log and track login activities, access requests and password management. This is important for detecting security breaches and meeting compliance mandates. IGA solutions should also provide reports summarizing all users’ login activity, access privileges and permissions.

As employee associations within the organization change – for example, because they transfer to new departments or leave the company – their associated access privileges must be updated. IGA tools make this easy, preventing overprovisioning and allowing for continuous auditing.

IGA solutions enforce the principle of least privilege to ensure that only people who need to have access have it. This mitigates the risk of unauthorized insider attacks, where threat actors obtain user credentials that they can use to penetrate the inner perimeter. This is particularly important as companies move towards remote and hybrid work, where employees may need to access data from multiple devices. IGA tools automatically update privileges based on changing roles and terminate unused accounts as quickly as possible to prevent access privilege creep.

Analytics

Modern identity governance requires a high level of risk awareness. This is because a team can only take care of some of the identity data equally, clean up every attribute value, review each role assignment several times a year, and re-certify them. It’s also not feasible for them to address every serious issue and postpone or ignore trivial ones.

A good IGA solution has an analytics function that offers a bird’s-eye view of multiple platforms and can detect abnormal activity, thereby reducing the likelihood of breaches. The software can even recognize login and user activity patterns, allowing teams to be quickly alerted of unusual behavior.

IGA tools provide a technical solution for correlating and monitoring the disparate identity and permissions data across connected systems, automating access requests and approval, certification, provisioning, segregation of duties, and compliance reporting. They use connectors to enable a seamless flow of data from source and directories to target systems where IGA can read, store, and write information about users, their permissions, and the apps they can access.

Integration

Identity governance solutions are designed to collect, consolidate and manage identity information from multiple repositories and systems of record in the IT environment. Often, employees need access to different applications and data to do their jobs. However, too much access — known as overprovisioning — can pose a security risk. Only the data and application an employee needs must be provided. This helps reduce the risk of unauthorized access and protects sensitive information from hackers.

The evolving compliance and internal security requirements pressure organizations to limit user access. To do so, companies must ensure that employees don’t get conflicting or overlapping access rights and quickly identify instances when a user’s access privileges change.

Strong identity governance tools automate processes and provide centralized visibility to users, applications, data, and devices. They also reduce operational costs, lower threats, and boost compliance. Additionally, they make it easy for users to self-resolve identity issues such as password resets and service requests. They do this by enabling them to use their identity credentials, reducing the need for IT or help desk staff.

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