Identity Management: The First Step in Protecting from the Inside Out

Friday, June 07, 2013

Michael Fornal

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Lately I have been starting down the path of Identity Management which is new for me in my security career and I wanted to share some things about Identity Management (IDM) in case there were those of you who might be thinking about what are the benefits of implementing an Identity Management (IDM) program within their company.

The long definition of Identity Management (IDM) is the management of individual identifiers, their authentication, authorization, and privileges within or across system and enterprise boundaries. In short it’s the ability to provide provisioning and governance of users within your environment (Wikipedia).

Identity Management applications are slowly gaining speed in the security realm as an important tool in managing provisions of an applications or to aid in gaining a handle on compliance and identity governance.  Having an IDM program can help in cleaning up vacant accounts in an application or in a company’s Active Directory that may have elevated privileges that could be used as an attack point on your network. It also allows for a company to provision access to certain applications based on a user’s role within a company. For most companies especially those in the financial and healthcare industry having the transparency of knowing how has access to what information is crucial and a must if they are to stay in compliance with federal laws.

As companies grow and more applications are added to their environment it becomes an almost impossible task of knowing who has access to what and who isn’t using what accounts.The main benefit of implementing an Identity Management (IDM) program within your company is having that additional bit of security from the inside out that allows you to really see who has access to what and to be able to manage it in an effective and cost efficient way thus reducing your attack surface from within your company’s network.

As always thanks for reading and feel free to let me know your thoughts,

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