In enterprise IT, identity management refers to the process of using emerging technologies to manage information related to identity of users or employers, and control access to the company’s resources. Identity management is employed to enhance security and productivity while keeping a tab of costs that come with managing users and identities. The current business environment demands new approaches to security through trends such as social media, cloud and mobile. An open enterprise has replaced the network perimeter, and users, data, and applications exist almost anywhere. By letting businesses enable and protect the open enterprise, identity management solutions typically serve to securely deliver new online services quickly, protect key assets from external attacks and internal threats, minimize the expenses of security and compliance management, and enable secure collaboration among employees and clients.
The list of technologies that fall under the identity management category include identity repositories, reporting and monitoring apps, security-policy enforcement applications, provisioning software and password-management tools. In the recent times, these technologies are being grouped into software suites with a number of added capabilities, such as digital-certificates management, automated smart-card, enterprise-wide credential administration etc. Identity management broadly refers to the management of individual identities within a system, such as a network, an organization, or even a country. The main objective of identity management in a corporate setting is providing one identity per individual. However, once this digital identity is established, it has to be managed, updates, and administered through what can be called the access lifecycle.
Different Users and Different Types of Identity Data
Many kinds of users can access the systems within an organization. Users include employees, customers, vendors, partners, and contractors. Almost every system and application identifies its own users, how they sign in, and what privileges they are entitled with. Privileges in simple terms refer to what users can see and do. This information about users has to be managed right from the time an employee is hired, during their tenure in the company when their identity information or business roles change, and also when they leave. Each of the systems are diverse and come with its own security management user interface, change request processes and administration rules. This complexity also affects the IT operation in terms of how the same user must be managed on different parts of the infrastructure, by different staff members. The complex nature also impacts users, and they are forced to memorize multiple login details and sign on processes. There are also different types of users in an enterprise scenario – insiders including employees and contractors, and outsiders including vendors, partners, and customers. There may also be more outsiders than insiders. Here is where identity management solutions contribute to simplify administration., identity management solutions equip administers with the technologies and tools essential for changing a user’s role, tracking a user’s activity, and enforcing rules on a continuous basis. The solutions are designed to typically provide a means of administering access across a network and ensure that corporate policies and government regulations are complied with.
Author: Henry James