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IAM Challenges for Modern Enterprises

Having a robust identity and access management (IAM) strategy helps businesses improve their information security posture and increase employee productivity. At the enterprise level, the growing complexity of IT environments and the progressively distributed nature of the modern workforce pose significant IAM challenges that many solutions can’t meet. This article focuses on three major IAM challenges faced by modern enterprises.

#1. Streamlining the IAM Lifecycle

As businesses grow, they scale up their existing authentication schemes, including single sign-on (SSO) and multi-factor authentication (MFA). The IAM lifecycle encompasses every aspect of managing user identities from governing necessary access to systems/data to de-provisioning digital identities when they’re no longer needed.  


There comes a point at which streamlining the IAM lifecycle through automated governance and authentication becomes mandatory if enterprises want to maintain that fine balance between facilitating increased productivity and securing their sensitive data. Manually provisioning and de-provisioning user access to corporate resources at scale lacks both security and efficiency. 


The challenge is that most IAM solutions lack the flexibility to deliver what enterprises really need to streamline the IAM lifecycle.  This lack of flexibility ultimately increases the cost of deployment as companies seek out other solutions to plug gaps in their IAM implementation. For example, companies often need an IDaaS solution in addition to an existing on-premises solution to support a hybrid infrastructure, which further increases licensing costs.


Adequately streamlining and adding automation to the IAM lifecycle means turning to solutions that use a microservices-based architecture. Microservices for specific use cases help achieve seamless updates, fast deployment, and flexibility. Furthermore, governance can be implemented as microservices with automated provisioning rules. A microservices approach lets you turn governance on or off depending on the circumstance because not every IAM use case needs the same level of governance.   

#2. Many Solutions Don’t Adequately Scale

Following on from the previous challenge is the difficulty in finding solutions that scale up to the required levels that large enterprises need. IAM solutions often promise a lot and seem to fulfill those promises in small-scale trials. 


Businesses then invest in the full solution only to find that it fails when attempting to scale up to the necessary number of users, which often exceeds 100,000 users for large enterprises. In a market forecast to be worth $24.76 billion by 2026, there are many companies offering a lot but not delivering. 


The physical perimeter of corporate networks continues to expand through cloud computing and the shift to remote work. There is a need for adaptive solutions that can be quickly deployed as services and individually scaled to meet this infrastructural complexity.  Once again, a microservices approach helps companies scale without having to reinvent legacy IAM processes. 


#3. De-Provisioning User Access

Many large enterprises lack the visibility they need to identify and remove orphaned accounts. These orphaned accounts exist because companies fail to de-provision user accounts at the end of their lifecycles. The failure to de-provision can arise due to heavy workloads stretching resources during times of significant business change. The sheer size of the corporate network can hide these accounts from sight. 


Failing to de-provision user access carries a huge cyber threat. Orphaned accounts remain on the network and they have valid credentials, which is particularly concerning when those credentials provide privileged access to sensitive data. Statistics show that 55 percent of companies fail to revoke user access after an employee leaves. 


The information security threats can emerge from both disgruntled former employees knowing they can still access old accounts and malicious parties who search for orphaned accounts and use them to gain access to sensitive resources. The problems with de-provisioning are compounded during periods of rapid workforce reorganization and reduction, such as the global Covid pandemic. 


At the heart of this challenge is a need for an IAM solution that provides automated visibility into unused account access and remediation to reduce information security risks. Behavioral analytics and machine learning should be key components of such a solution. 


Closing Thoughts


Tuebora helps enterprises meet the challenges of implementing a modern IAM solution that has sufficient automation, visibility, and flexibility to cope with a highly mobile workforce and a complex network of applications. We’ll help you seamlessly control access and rights for every user on your network. Contact us today to learn more. 

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