Cyber SecuritySecurity Culture

The Golden Triangle of IAM

There are three key dimensions that are extremely important for the success of any IAM solution. Any identity and access management solution must ideally be built on the three solid pillars of Simplicity, Completeness, and Inexpensiveness.

Simplicity is Sublime

In the world of technology, it goes without saying that simplicity is always preferred over feature-loaded yet complex systems. The simpler the system, the higher the rate of user adoption leading to better productivity. This is one reason for which uncomplicated IAM is superior.

Simplicity is essential not only in UI/UX but from the ground up in the way the system is built. Complex code is hard to integrate with other apps and systems. Since IAM solutions typically need to be integrated with various environments and enterprise apps, they should be built with simple code. Most products on the market today have complex code, particularly the ‘big guns’ from companies like Oracle and IBM. In fact, this style of architecture and framework is monolithic, which makes developing ad-hoc features and app integrations much harder or sometimes even impossible.

Lastly, IAM staff are hard to find and even harder to retain owing to a skill shortage. Small and medium businesses are hard-pressed to have competent staff on hand. So, solutions must be operable by lesser skilled IT admins and managers. The IAM solution must be simple enough that even the least savvy of professionals can handle it, make changes, and make small repairs with ease. Unfortunately, most products today lack simplicity and present challenges in installation and operation, ultimately leading to limited user adoption.

Completeness is Competence

In the world of IT, completeness of an offering is critical. IAM is a set of essential technologies. It consists of Access Management, which further consists of Single Sign-on and Password Management. IGA is another dimension which consists of Identity Governance and Administration. There is a common element that each of them deals with – identities. They interact with your Active Directory and HR database to secure and streamline identity related functions.

It is important that your IGA and Access Management products be available in a single product and with full capabilities. If you are getting SSO from one product and IGA from another, there is a risk of these systems not talking to each other the way they should. Typically, vendors offer one component, and have integrations with a partner product offering the missing ends. This is a problem for 2 reasons: the cost is much higher, and development and repairs in one product do not immediately translate into the other. This results in frequent system breakdowns and integration challenges.

You want an IAM solution which offers all IAM technologies in one package, built from a common source code. A solution that has sufficient depth to offer everything that most businesses need to secure themselves and improve productivity.

Inexpensiveness Is Important

Let’s face it. IAM belongs to the domain of cybersecurity, which is necessitated by something that is a plague. Cybercriminals are the very reason this domain exists, and it exists to do something basically right and good: protect. Why then, should it be a luxury market? Why should products cost an arm and a leg and be affordable only to those with luxury budgets?

It ought to be available to all as needed, at a very reasonable price. Rampant profiteering from solutions built to protect against criminals might be capitalistic, but it weakens the domain itself. When organizations have to pay too much or can’t afford good solutions, they become victims.

Your organization must find an economical solution that does not cost too much while offers an innovative and comprehensive set of features. A complete product which is expensive or complicated is a burden in more ways than one. It starves your business of budget for real business operations. Complicated products are also difficult to implement, handle, and integrate with other solutions. The user experience is dismal resulting in extremely low levels of user adoption and added costs to the organization.

On the other hand, an inexpensive or simple product which is not complete is also not worthwhile. You need cutting edge technology built on the latest frameworks that protects you in every possible way as your business could suffer significant losses in implementing remedial measures post a data breach.

Finding a fine balance between the 3 key dimensions of IAM is absolutely crucial in order to ensure that your organization is equipped with the right infrastructure for identity and access management.

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Binod Singh

Binod Singh has charted an illustrious 30-year career in the Information Security industry. As one of the pioneers of the ‘Identity and Access…Read More

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