Identity Access Management Explained: IAM 101

7 Min Read

The IT world is witnessing a consistent increase in the frequency of cyberattacks and hacks. This keeps the IT departments of companies under constant pressure to strive for the best possible security solutions. Many digital attacks occur when a hacker steals login information from an employee.

Businesses no longer trust traditional error-prone systems. Instead, a much more technologically advanced solution, IAM (Identity Access Management), is opted for. Click here to learn how to integrate this management system into your firm.

What is Identity Access Management?

Identity Access Management is a framework that helps allocate access and privileges to authorized personnel according to their status as defined by the leader. This system specifies the tools and resources under an employee’s authority. The system is set up to manage the user applications without practically logging into them. Identity management ensures that the right person can use the required resources and restrains users from accessing data and/or applications that are not required from them.

Management of user identity and authority within an organization using certain policies, products, and processes constitute the Identity Access Management environment. Identity and Access Management has three branches: Workforce IAM, Customer IAM, and B2B Identity and Access Management. Using defined policies, this framework specifies:

  • How a user is identified and authorized.
  • What and how are user roles assigned.
  • Who can access sensitive data and information?
  • To what extent a user can access confidential data?
  • Addition or removal of roles and individuals.

How Does Identity Access Management Work?

The IAM workflow starts with creating user profiles and assigning the access they are entitled to. Cloud Identity and Access Management are safer, quicker, and easier than traditional identity validation procedures. There are two main functions that an Identity and Access Management framework performs:

  1. Verification / Authentication: The claims made by software, user, or hardware are verified in this step. The IAM verifies the provided credentials against the stored database. If the credentials are authentic, the user is granted entry.
  2. Sanction / Authorization: The least access that can work for users to carry out their assignments is granted by the IAM system. The framework does so by assigning certain roles with adequate access; for instance, in a data governance system of a company, the roles assigned are the Sponsors and the Data Stewards. The Sponsor has the maximum access as he can make the required approval and removal of data policies. The data stewards are responsible for the on-the-ground implementation of the policies approved.

How to Choose an Identity Access Management Tool?

An organization uses an Identity and Access Management tool to help improve the service standard they are providing. Therefore, it would be necessary that the IAM tool is capable of handling:

  1. Verified user access to the system: No account should be able to enter the system without passing an authentication. Failure to prove the identity must prompt the system immediately and stop the process. There should be no chance for a potential threat to enter the system.
  2. Authority level of a verified user: Correct allocation of privileges and roles is the basic task that an IAM tool should be able to perform without due diligence. The tool must only allocate the required level of access; if it exceeds or undermines required rights, clashes of user roles can occur.
  3. Monitoring of the use of granted access: The IAM tool should be able to track and monitor the assigned role for any problems or misuse of allocated rights. Any malicious activity on the network must be reported and tackled quickly; inbound cyberattacks can’t be tolerated.

A perfect IAM tool should have the following attributes:

  • Cross-network authentication and cross-application authentication must be enabled.
  • Organizational tools should be easily administered and implemented.
  • Handling multiple accounts without affecting the performance and speed of the service
  • HIPAA and GDPR regulations must be complied with.
  • The tool must reduce IT costs.

What are the Benefits of Identity Access Management?

The Identity Access Management framework has the following advantages with it:

  • Enhanced Security: Problematic passwords, inbound threats, and anomalies are limited and eliminated by using an Identity and Access Management tool. The IAM follows a Zero Trust policy and implements multi-factor authentication protocols.
  • Better Information Transmission: With IAM, there is no fear of information getting lost or not getting to the desired audience. IAM provides a simple platform shared by everyone in the organization. The shared platform can be used to share data files and connect with colleagues.
  • Adaptable Use: The complexity of steps and procedures required for signup and user management is made easier by the IAM system for organization owners. IAM also makes it easier to manage, provide, and revoke access.
  • Increased Productivity: IAM automates the process of identity and access management. Therefore in such scenarios where an employee is being terminated, or a new hire enters the organization, the automated system saves the time that was to be spent in such events. Hence allowing more time to focus on the work/service of the company.
  • Truncated IT Costs: Implementing cloud-based Identity and access management systems can save on-site infrastructure costs.


The Identity and Access Management system authenticates and authorizes a user into an organization, this system fortifies the security protocols of an organization. IAM offers a service that allows a business to manage its users and resources efficiently and easily. Businesses should opt for an IAM tool after thorough consideration.

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