Identity and Access Management (IAM) is an important part of an organization’s cybersecurity program. It streamlines individuals’ access to data, including subsets by requiring identity authorization. IAM is an important part of how organizations manage access to information and prevent security breaches.
Currently, organizations that handle privileged and non-privileged data are not required to have an identity and access management certification. However, there are reasons why a business might want to be certified.
In this guide, you’ll learn about the various types of IAM certification and why it can be a benefit for your business. You’ll learn how it can help build trust with clients and give you an advantage over competitors that aren’t IAM certified. This can increase your bottom line. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about IAM certification.
Why Businesses Should Be IAM Certified
Cybersecurity threats are an everyday occurrence, especially for businesses that manage, store, and share information. Consumers are becoming more aware of the vulnerabilities associated with having their data stored in a system or in-the-cloud. Buyers expect businesses to take the necessary precautions to keep their information safe from hackers.
Reassuring customers that their private data is safe, is no longer enough to make them feel that their information is secure. Consumers expect to see proof of an organization’s security measures. IAM certification can help improve trust between consumers and the business. The certificate shows that the organization is concerned about protecting consumers’ private information and has the protocols in place to limit individuals’ access to it.
In a competitive market, identity and access management certification can give a business an advantage over its competitors. The next step is to select the certification level that best applies to the business. There are several levels to choose from and before you can select the right one, you need to understand what skill set the level focuses on.
Identity and Access Certification Levels
There are eight identity and access certification programs, and each one applies to a specific business or individual. Some organizations might find that all certification levels apply to them, while only one or two might be applicable to others. These levels can also apply to private individuals or companies that focus on cybersecurity.
CIAM (Certified Identity and Access Manager)
This is the most important certification and applies to all organizations that manage data. This certification shows that organizations have created and implemented security protocols that require user authorization in order to access data.
The main objective of CIAM certification is to show that organizations are able to verify the user’s identity and access to information. Along with closing any gap in compliance that pertains to personal information, CIAM certification also includes areas where security protocols were improved.
CAMS (Certified Access Management Specialist)
CAMS mainly applies to businesses or individuals that manage access to information systems. Being CAMS certified means that the organization is capable of creating and implementing the security procedures that pertain to granting and removing user access. CAMS organizations/individuals are also responsible for submitting access reviews and any penalty reconciliations if incurred.
CIGE (Certified Identity Governance Expert)
Businesses that understand the need for security protocols and are constantly evolving can qualify for CIGE certification. To meet CIGE standards, the cybersecurity framework must not only be understood but also improved by bringing new ideas to the table.
Leaders in the industry can propose new security standards and policies that govern access to private information when they qualify for the CIGE program.
CIMP (Certified Identity Management Professional)
The CIMP program is designed for companies and individuals that are directly involved with cybersecurity. Having CIMP certification shows that the company is able to manage projects that are designed to protect consumer information. It also indicates that the individual can create and implement the identification protocols and has the skills to expand the program as needed.
CIMP certified professionals often work closely with CIAM and CIST (Certified Identity and Security Technologist) individuals to design and implement an organization’s security goals.
CIST (Certified Identity and Security Technologist)
Individuals that are CIST certified have the skills needed to develop, assess, implement, and manage identity and security systems. These professionals are familiar with the technology related to their industry and understand which technology best meets their company’s cybersecurity needs.
CIST professionals are also the technical experts that develop new identity and access management protocols and improve existing ones.
CIPA (Certified Protection Advisor)
A CIPA advises organizations on their identity theft risk management. The program educates, guides, and supports companies and consumers in preventing, detecting, and resolving incidents of identity theft. The guidelines professionals learn during the certification program are designed to help them manage any identity theft risks.
CIPA professionals are often advisors that provide their services to any business that is worried their cybersecurity protocols might be vulnerable to hackers.
CRFS (Certified Red Flag Specialist)
This training and certification program was designed to help organizations prevent fraud and implement the requirements outlined in the United States Red Flag Rule. Named after the rule, a certified red flag specialist is able to implement the protocols to detect identity theft and prevent credit card fraud.
CDP (Certified in Data Protection)
College students, graduates, and anyone else that wants to learn about information security should consider going through the CDP program. This applies to anyone that manages data that is considered private. It is a comprehensive security information program that covers global and U.S. cybersecurity requirements.
CDP professionals will have the tools needed to create and manage data and security protection programs. They will also be able to assess any security risks that might be present.
All eight of the identity and access certification programs are designed to give individuals and organizations the tools they need to meet current and future cybersecurity regulations. However, not everyone wants or needs to have all eight certifications. Some program certifications might not apply to an individual’s job or skill set.
If the IAM program focuses on tools that you do not need for your current position or to advance your career, there might not be any reason to get certified. There is a fee for the certification programs. It might be a waste of your time and money to be certified on an unnecessary level.
IAM Certification and Careers
You already understand what the different IAM certification programs entail, but what about the types of careers each one is designed for.
CAMS professionals are trained in access management. They have the skills to limit access to data across all networks.
CDP certifies that you are skilled in data protection.
CIPA professionals have the knowledge to identify and prevent identity theft.
CIGE indicates that you have the experience and skills needed to lead or manage security programs and protocols.
CIMP is a program designed for individuals that want to enhance their ability to implement security protocols or become proficient in this field.
CIAM certificates indicate your ability to manage cloud and network systems. It can help graduates obtain positions in their field and advance their careers.
CIST is broader than some of the other programs. IT technicians that are seeking advancement and others that handle data will benefit from CIST certification.
CRFS If fraud detection and prevention are part of your job, this certification can help you advance and validate your accomplishments in the field.
Once you’ve chosen the IAM certification program that applies to your job or meets the company’s needs, you’ll need to contact a certified auditor. RSI Security can administer and audit your IAM exam and issue certification if the test is passed.
IAM Certified Auditor
A certified auditor is the issuer of the IAM certificate. Once the program is completed an auditor will administer the final test – if the test is passed – a certificate will be issued. There are a few requirements to be an auditor.
The IAM certificate auditor must with
- A leader that is recognized for their accomplishments.
- Be credible and conduct business with integrity.
- Have a solid, trustworthy reputation.
An auditor can be an individual or a cybersecurity firm like RSI Security.
Even with the certificate, there are some limitations that companies and individuals should understand. Even though the test must be administered by a licensed auditor, it does not automatically mean that the individual – and subsequently the company – is able to adequately implement and maintain necessary cybersecurity protocols.
IAM Certificate Limitations
It’s important for companies to understand that certification does not mean that an individual has all the qualifications needed for the scope of the job. It only provides proof that the person understands and can implement the information learned in the IAM certification program.
Being certified does not provide information about education or their previous job experience. The employee or technician might not have a proven track record or the integrity needed to manage private/personal information.
Even though being certified doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the right person for the job or project, there are reasons why it is important. These reasons go beyond simply being able to show off your certification.
Benefits of Identity and Access Management Certification
An IAM certificate might not mean that it’s the right person for the job, but there are benefits to being certified in one or more programs that apply to your skills. Some examples are,
- Being certified can improve your chances of being promoted or hired in your field.
- Existing skill sets and knowledge can be expanded on to help improve company cybersecurity.
- Demonstrates your ability to identify and strategically plan a company’s cybersecurity protocols.
The primary benefit to an IAM certification is that it enhances your existing knowledge, while also validating your experience in the field. It can open new career opportunities and even increase your pay scale.
As mentioned earlier, each level is geared for a different field in cybersecurity. For example, a CIST certification shows that you have the tools needed to implement and prevent breaches on in-house and remote networks. While being CAMS certified recognizes your experience in your field. Overall, there are several benefits to having IAM certification but only if you choose the right level.
The identity and access management certification process is something anyone in the IT field should consider. It not only benefits the individual but also the company. A certificate from any of the eight levels indicates that the individual has the knowledge and skills needed to effectively perform their task.
Any business that handles data should have personnel with IAM certification. When the program is finished the individual needs to pass a test administered by a licensed auditor to be certified. When it’s time to hire an auditor, the experts at RSI Security are here to help.
The certifications listed are registered trademarks of the Identity Management Institute.