What are 5 things to remember when selecting an identity management (IAM) solution?
The editors at Solutions Review can’t answer specifically why you might want to seek out an identity management solution. However, we can make some conjectures. Unfortunately, we continue to live in the era of the data breach. Every day, another business falls prey to external threat actors leaking their data online or creating profit-deflating IT downtimes.
What’s more, the significant majority of these cyber-attacks begin with users’ identities, credentials, and logins. With these in hand, hackers can easily circumvent many perimeter security measures and wreak havoc almost unchecked. With privileged credentials, in particular, hackers can steal financial data or take down the entire infrastructure.
Alternatively, enterprises that ignore the necessity of authentication for their databases often find their data leaking into the wider world…and a wealth of embarrassments follow. Worse, legacy IAM tools can’t possibly keep up with the scaling IT environments of the modern age, including dealing with the cloud and mobile devices.
So enterprises need to prioritize selecting an identity management solution that can handle the challenges of modern environments. But how can you wrap your head around the massive identity security marketplace? How do you know which solution matches your needs as a business?
The Solutions Suggestion Engine helps your business through a proprietary algorithm to suggest IAM software via millions of permutations; it matches your business needs to the self-submitted profiles from vendors.
Yet that still leaves the question of how you know your business needs.
Here are 5 things to remember.
5 Things to Remember When Selecting An Identity Management Solution
1. Company Size and User Base
This one shouldn’t surprise anyone; differently sized businesses require different identity management capabilities and tools to match their IT environments. A global corporation with offices in different countries will need a much more heavy-duty, high-monitoring solution than a local retailer. In turn, a local retailer probably doesn’t need the same solution scope. Instead, it would need something lightweight that could scale with the business as it grows.
So you need to consider both your current size and your projections of what your business might look like in five to ten years. As part of this, you need to consider your user base for any potential identity management solution. This doesn’t just include employees and administrators though. You also need to consider non-human identities (such as applications) and third parties, both of which can create stepping stones for hackers.
2. Priority Capabilities
This is the big question, albeit not the only question when selecting an identity management solution. What do you need to prioritize? Of course, almost all vendors can offer you the basics like access management and authentication tools.
However, do you need privileged access management? What about identity governance? Should you focus on multifactor authentication or biometric authentication? Is Single Sign-On a necessity for your business, or is lifecycle management more important?
Just like how every business has its own independent strengths, so too does every solution provider. Some might emphasize or focus on some capabilities rather than others. You should determine what you need more in your IT environment so you know what solution will fit best.
Less obvious but equally critical to your selection process is considering your industry. Hackers evolve and modify their attacks to best infiltrate and damage the IT environment of different industries. Healthcare organizations will face different kinds of attacks focusing on different databases and workflows than a technology manufacturer, as just one example.
As such, some vendors specialize in protecting different industries, so you need to recognize this fact as you begin your selections.
4. Operating System
Obviously, Windows10 will see different cyber-attacks than Linux or iOS. Some decision-makers believe that using iOS renders them immune to cyber-attackers, but nothing in the operating system prevents a hacker from cracking a password and damaging your system.
So you need to consider what operating system you use. However, not every user will be using the same platform. With the necessity of work-from-home in times of trial and the proliferation of mobile devices, users might utilize different operating systems than the one you select. Be sure to consider that as well as you make your determination.
5. Will You Need Help?
By this question, we mean “will you need help with the deployment and implementation of your selected solution?”
After all, selecting an identity management solution is only the first step. The next is to make sure it gets deployed properly in your IT environment. This requires time, money, and human intelligence to do correctly, the latter of which is in short supply in cybersecurity.
Deploying an identity solution incorrectly is often as bad as not having one in the first place. So you need to consider whether you need a solution with an implementation partner or whether you need one who offered managed security services (MSS) as part of their offering.
Those are the 5 things to remember when selecting an identity management solution. You can get started on the process through our Solutions Suggestion Engine. With it, you can input your needs and find the top 3 vendors that match.
The time for better security is now.
Ben Canner is an enterprise technology writer and analyst covering Identity Management, SIEM, Endpoint Protection, and Cybersecurity writ large. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from Clark University in Worcester, MA. He previously worked as a corporate blogger and ghost writer. You can reach him via Twitter and LinkedIn.