Identity Management Assessment, also known as IMA, encompasses the programs that assist your organization in protecting data security and privacy. Keeping that privacy secure is important to ensure that important and protected files and data are not compromised or hacked.
IMA utilizes single sign-on solutions that incorporate multi-factor authentications to secure private data. From here, users’ access rights are assigned to assets with Identity Management (IDM) solutions. This is put into place with the intent to monitor user access to make sure that the network and database never become compromised, a devastating setback for an organization to experience.
This guide will fill you in on everything you need to know about Identity Management Compliance from the experts at RSI Security. Read on for more info.
IAM Identity-Based Policies
Identity Access Management (IAM), sometimes referred to as resource-based policies, are put into place to manage user access permissions to resources. Some programs will offer permissions which include full access and read-only access.
When a user is attempting to log into their company or organization’s network or database, their permissions will be authenticated based on user credentials. Identity-based policies will allow more constraints to be placed on access such as location, application types, company association and the device they are using to attempt to log in.
Utilizing Identity-Based Policies allows you to protect your network environment for Identity Management Compliance.
IAM’s Goal and Purpose
The objective for IAM is to make sure that if users have an identity, they have access to resources for their company. These resources can be applications, networks, and databases. An IAM will provide any users not only with the necessary access but it will make sure that unauthorized users are not able to get into data, applications, and systems they are not supposed to have access to.
An IAM encompasses the proper levels of protection and access for protected data, information, systems and location, how a company’s users are authenticated and the roles they play, which systems are protected, and adding and removing these users and roles.
IAM is usually executed using consolidated technology that will work with or replace or existing access and/or sign-in system. It will utilize a handful of designated users, roles, and set permission ranks to provide access rights to employees. These rights will be based on the user’s job and their need to be able to utilize data.
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Three Systems for IAM
There are many different ways your organization can tackle simplifying password organization and other aspects of IAM. A few collective kinds of systems that are put into place to comply with an IAM program include:
- Single Sign-On (SSO): To access all of the systems, information, software, programs, and data an employee or user needs without having to log into each of those areas individually, their identity will be verified just once.
- Multi-Factor Authentication: This system uses two different ways to authenticate a user, such as a password or an answer to a security question, and a fingerprint.
- Privileged Access Management: This system usually will incorporate job roles and the company’s database to launch and grant access to the users.
Allowing and Blocking
IAM is able to either allow or block any user’s access to data and systems. Here’s how:
- Restrict access to certain areas or types of data: Specified users will be able to access only defined and predetermined parts of databases, systems, and information.
- Only permit view access: Specified users will solely be able to view data. These users will not be able to update, add to, or change it. This is similar to a read-only file.
- Only provide access to specified platforms: Certain employees will be provided access to operational systems, but will not be able to log into development or testing areas.
- Only provide access to change, delete, or create data, not to transfer it to others: Specified users will not have the ability provided to them to send or receive data outside the system. No data will be reaching third parties this way.
With these flexible options, IAM policies become easy and simple to implement. It will also be a breeze to enforce which individual roles users will take on and which users will be able to have access to data and systems. This flexibility makes implementing an IAM very customizable to properly suit your organization’s needs and wants.
Your organization must ensure that data privacy is in place as well as having appropriate and secure data access management.
Your IAM plans must incorporate User Identity Definitions, User Authentication Methods, User Access to Resource Locations and User Access Reviews.
To be in compliance, you must enforce your IAM policy controls (authentication and authorization) to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications, and/or Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)/Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) environments (click here to seek help from RSI Security )
Department managers and IT administrators are responsible for overseeing all requests.
Identity Management Compliance for most, if not all businesses and organizations require documentation for audit. This means that if your organization happens to be audited, having a strong and solid IAM program in place can demonstrate that order is in place to help to mitigate any risk of misuse or theft of sensitive data.
Some instances and regulations your organization may encounter or already follows in which IAM is necessary and can yield proper compliance are as follows.
- Sox is a regulation that is important for financial, insurance and banking institutions.
- Section 404 mandates that passable internal controls are activated, verified and then documented for putting together financial reports and protecting the integrity of the information involved in these reports
- Having IAM in place will enforce segregation of duties (SoD), oversee the management of user authentication and rights, revoke access when users are terminated and provide automated reports on audits.
Gramm-Leach Bliley Act (GBLA)
- This Federal law mandates that any financial institution keeps non-public information on customers private and that they are able to protect any threat to it.
- This includes the Financial Privacy Rule which oversees the collection and disclosure of financial information as well at the Safeguards Rule which governs that financial institutions put security programs in place to protect this information.
- The Pretexting provision, which prohibits accessing any private information under false pretenses, is also in association with this.
- Having IAM in place will boost compliance.
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
- HIPAA meets national standards for how electronic healthcare transactions should be run, requires any entity having to do with healthcare or health information to provide safe and secure electronic rights to private health data, and dictates compliance with strict privacy guidelines and regulations.
- The HIPAA omnibus rule offers plans for business contacts of “covered” entities.
- IAM is essential for implementing HIPAA’s compliance.
- The use of federated identities, least privileges, single sign-on (SSO), multi-factor authentication, regular credential rotation, and role-based policies for account provisioning and de-provisioning are all implemented with IAM.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA)
- FERPA applies to any elementary, secondary, or post-secondary institutions or schools that are federally funded. FERPA sees to it that these organizations utilize “reasonable methods” to both recognize and validate the identity of students, parents, administration, and other parties associated with the educational institution before access to personally identifiable information (PII) is given out.
- IAM assists FERPA to maintain compliance by selecting authentication levels in accordance to the risk presented to any data, developing a method to manage secret authenticating information (passwords) and seeing this through from creation to disposal, managing user identities and account recertification and enforcing policies to eliminate any misuse such as the encryption of saved and stored passwords.
North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC)
- NERC Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) provides technical regulations for all cybersecurity, including responsibility throughout the monitoring and reporting of electronic access to any critical arrangement, authentication, delegation, access control, and separation of duties. It is also required that all electronic access be monitored, frequently audited, and archived.
- IAM can help meet these requirements by putting in place and enforcing a ‘least-privileges’ model, which can help to ensure that any unintentional or purposeful damage to systems as well as critical data breaches do not occur.
Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)
- PCI DSS is a large security standard used by all organizations and companies that oversee and manage major credit card firms. IAM provides data management for these corporations.
- IAM assists these companies to limit the number of employees that are able to access credit card data and grants those users limited privileges to get the job done.
- IAM also can be used to ensure that every designated user has a unique user ID, routinely revokes access to terminated employees and removes inactive user accounts within a designated time period.
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
GDPR ensures that organizations consolidate their data protection regulations. Non-compliance penalties can be huge and avoiding those is key. An IAM solution can be helpful to organizations in avoiding any penalties by handling and ensuring consent is given by individuals to have their information and data recorded and traced, responding and acting in accordance to individuals’ rights to have their data deleted and notifying people in the event of a personal data breach.
IAM Compliance Can Be a Struggle
As you can tell, many organizations have many provisions and regulations that they are responsible for maintaining and overseeing. This means that it is imperative to maintain the visibility of user access. With each new security solution or technology your organization takes on, your IT administrator or manager is tasked with certifying more users and regulating their controls. This eats up time and incurs operating costs and is near impossible to have full control.
Sometimes, managers and IT employees get a rush of employees that need to be entered and granted specific access and restrictions. During these times, they may be granted access right away without doing it the correct way. This is called “rubber-stamping” and it violates internal and SOD policies.
When an organizations’ employees access your company’s working platforms and resources by utilizing their own personal devices such as smartphones, laptops, home desktops, or tablets, you can lose control and monitoring capabilities over where and how data and protected information is accessed. There is no way to enforce proper Identity Management Compliance when this occurs.
Organizations with office-based, hybrid, or some type of cloud-based set-ups will find it difficult to set up and maintain an IAM because they do not have the proper capabilities for overseeing virtual servers, recently granted or provided access points for personally identifiable information (PII), and basic access controls.
To further your knowledge on Identity and Access Management, or for more tips and facts, some of which was discussed here, we referenced TechTarget, a great source for outlining the benefits and functions of IAM.
Getting Started with IAM
It should be clear that an IAM is essential to provide your company security in many platforms, including access controls, authentication methods, and access permissions. IAM implementation and execution will make sure that calamities and losses such as data breaches do not occur and it can see to it that only valid, authenticated users have the proper type of company access to data and systems.
Not only do IAM’s save time that an IT tech would spend authenticating users and access, but it sets forth tools to give an organization a competitive edge in the business world. With an IAM, you can give anyone such as partners, customers and contractors access to the company’s network and you do not need to worry about compromising your network’s security. With this ability comes more efficient collaboration, productivity, and efficiency. There certainly is not a downside to implementing Identity and Access Management within your organization.
Initiating, managing and keeping up with your organization’s Identity Management Compliance is near impossible internally. That is why RSI Security should be your solution to be in compliance and to assist with multi-factor authentication, IMA, and implementation and integration.