How to Reduce Cybersecurity Risks with IAM

Cybersecurity Risks

Managing employee access to company data and systems is essential to IT security. This requires a comprehensive identity governance program called Identity and Access Management (IAM).

An effective IAM solution is crucial for reducing Cybersecurity Risks. It helps prevent data breaches by automating the de-provisioning of application access privileges when employees leave an organization or their role changes.


Protecting that information from internal and external Cybersecurity Risks is crucial as businesses pour resources into collecting and processing data. This is where identity and access administration comes in, as it provides multi-level safeguarding for company data by regulating user access to prevent any security breaches or hacks. 

IAM solutions verify a digital identity and authorize that user with a set of permissions or privileges that allow them to access specific applications, systems, and files within an enterprise network. IAM solutions also can track and audit user activity so that users are not abusing their privileges or accessing sensitive data.

This process is identity governance. It helps to ensure compliance with government and industry regulations and data privacy laws like the General Data Protection Regulation and Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. IAM tools may also monitor users for unusual behavior pointing to an active cyberattack.

Many IAM solutions offer two-factor authentication, which requires a user to authenticate themselves with something they know (like their password), something they have (like a mobile device or security token), and something they are (like a facial scan or fingerprint). This type of additional layer of security can significantly reduce the risk of breaches or attacks from hackers that gain access to an enterprise system by guessing or exploiting a weak point in the security service, like a weak password or unprotected connection.


As new privacy and security regulations emerge, it’s critical to have a strong identity management (IAM) framework for Cybersecurity Risks. This helps organizations balance keeping sensitive information inaccessible to hackers while allowing employees, customers, and other stakeholders to access and use what they need easily.

IAM includes authentication and access control technologies, ensuring that people only get as much as their roles require. This can include granting a user view access to certain data but not the ability to add or modify that data. It can also restrict access to specific platforms or devices, like development or testing systems, instead of live ones.

When a person wants to access a digital resource, an IAM system checks the user’s credentials and privileges against those in the company directory. The IAM system will allow access requests if those are in order.

This is important because it helps prevent overprovisioning, seen in many breaches today, where users have more privileges than their job roles require. However, the true measure of IAM is how well it is integrated with privileged identity management (PIM), which allows a company to manage a user’s identity and privileges throughout their lifecycle. This provides a complete approach to privileged access management and helps organizations avoid common mistakes that lead to breaches.

Business Processes

Identity and access management (IAM) is a security discipline that helps ensure only the right people or machines access the right assets at the right time for the right reasons. This involves verifying a digital identity to identify a user, then granting access to applications based on the risks associated with their current device, network, or location. Privileged access management (PAM) provides additional layers of protection for high-value accounts, like admins who oversee databases and systems. These account credentials are highly valuable to cybercriminals, so PAM tools use credential vaults and just-in-time access protocols for added security.

IAM solutions also support business processes to reduce the Cybersecurity Risks of unauthorized access. Organizations can avoid costly errors by automating authentication processes and helping users complete tasks more quickly. In addition, IAM solutions can detect suspicious activity, including abnormal behavior and patterns that may indicate a breach or fraud attempt.

IAM supports the proliferation of BYOD, remote work, and multi-cloud environments by facilitating secure access to apps, servers, and systems. This is critical in the modern digital workplace because it allows employees to work on their preferred devices while maintaining security and compliance standards. This flexibility is vital for productivity, but it can increase the attack surface for an enterprise and present new security challenges.


Identity and access management (IAM) is a framework of policies and technologies that ensure the right people have access to technology resources. These include applications, devices, networks, and data. It includes processes and technologies for verifying a user’s identity, as well as for granting permissions based on an assessment of risk. IAM solutions may be cloud-based or on-premises and can be delivered as a service (IDaaS) or in a hybrid cloud environment.

The core of an IAM system is the digital identity, which identifies each user or device that seeks access to a network or application. This digital identity contains standard user account information—name, ID number, and login credentials—and the entity’s characteristics: its role, responsibilities, privileges, and permissions. IAM also includes processes for onboarding new entities, updating their accounts and privileges over time, and offboarding or de-provisioning those that no longer require access.

In addition to standard users, IAM includes privileged identities—admins that oversee databases, systems, and servers. These identities have higher privileges and should be isolated from the rest of a network because theft of these credentials could enable hackers to do more damage. To reduce Cybersecurity Risks, IAM programs use credential vaults and just-in-time access protocols to restrict privileges for these identities when needed.

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