Identity and Access Management for Digital Transformation

Whether you’re looking to increase customer engagement through new digital channels or streamline your business operations, you increasingly find yourself looking to create a digital transformation strategy. Meanwhile, you need to protect data privacy and security to protect your reputation and financial stability. Identity and Access Management (IAM) solutions help establish and enforce “least privilege necessary” access to and within IT infrastructures to ensure that the right people have the right access to the right resources for the right reason at the right time. 

What is digital transformation?

Digital transformation means incorporating new technologies for managing or modifying current practices for business processes, culture, and customer experiences in response to employees’ or consumers’ demands. 

These new technologies transform the way you do business. Remote employees using collaboration tools transform the workforce.  Internet of Things (IoT) devices change the way you collect information from across the organization. At the same time, customers want to connect with your business using mobile applications.

Whether you decide to embrace digital transformation to increase revenue or decrease operational costs, your entire business model will begin to shift. 

What is a digital transformation strategy?

A digital transformation strategy brings together business management and IT leaders, such as the CIO, to create a vision for a successful digital strategy enabling innovation to change the customer experience and embrace new business models to enable employees with new digital technologies. 

The digital transformation strategy should incorporate: 

  • Digitally Savvy Management: Business leadership needs to understand how technologies enable the organization and what resources are most important to increasing revenue.
  • Risk Analysis: Business and IT leadership need to create a risk management plan for mitigating potential financial, operational, and reputational risks.
  • Flexibility: The decision-makers need to be willing to change the way they do business because new technologies will require learning new skills and embracing new workflows. 
  • Key Performance Indicators: The strategy should incorporate a way to measure new technology impact on business outcomes. 

Problematically, many organizations struggle to establish cyber-secure digital transformation strategies because each new technology creates a new risk and managing the risks becomes overwhelming. 

Why organizations need Identity and Access Management (IAM) to enable digital transformation

Technology exists for one reason: to simplify activities. Creating an identity-focused digital transformation strategy means purposefully choosing technologies that enable users – whether internal or external, human or non-person – to streamline actions, duties, or processes. 

If you create a strategy intending to enable users, you need to focus on 

  • What identities need access to the technology 
  • How they ideally use the technology 
  • What resources within the technology they need
  • How to control their access to prevent unauthorized access

Your strategies closely align with the purpose of an IAM program. Your IAM and Identity Governance and Administration (IGA) programs define the who, what, where, when, how, and why of technology access. By basing your enterprise digital transformation strategy on your identity management program, you create a foundation for managing the data privacy and security risks arising from new technologies.  

How to use an IAM program to create a digital transformation strategy

Aligning your digital transformation strategy to your IAM program streamlines many of the difficulties associated with both activities. Building your strategy on the foundation of your identity management program enables you to define objectives more clearly and create the appropriate technology portfolio for your organization. 

Define the stakeholders

Identifying stakeholders allows you to create a set of common goals. While senior leadership and IT leadership must be included, you also may want to consider incorporating department managers or even long-term employees. Understanding needs across the enterprise and identifying user-generated roadblocks allows you to align your technology choices with how users utilize the technology. 

Employees who do not understand how to use a new business technology may accidentally access more information than they need without the appropriate access controls. By integrating your IAM program and digital transformation strategy, you can create a better foundation for data privacy and security. 

Define stakeholder needs

Once you choose to adopt new technology, you need to determine stakeholder needs as part of the transformation. Large enterprise Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) deployments often incorporate multiple Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications. Stakeholders’ technology needs directly align with your IAM program because your access assignments and limitations arise from how people use applications and information.

Assess Risk

After defining stakeholders and their needs, you need to assess the risks posed by users and technologies. Every new technological investment creates new data privacy and security risks. For example, a misconfigured cloud-based server can leave data available to the public. Simultaneously, excess privileged access to the cloud ecosystem might be the reason that a user was able to misconfigure the server in the first place. 

Define Controls

Defining controls as part of your integrated IAM program and digital transformation strategy means you need solutions that help you mitigate identified risks. As part of your digital transformation strategy, you need to understand how well you can control access to the resource. Some resources may allow you to control access on a read/write basis while others may only allow broader access control, such as to the application but not within it. Both the resource’s capabilities and your ability to control user access should be considered when making the final decision. For example, if the technology does not allow you to create fine-grained access entitlements, you may not be able to mitigate excess access risk. 

Continuously Monitor

Digital transformation strategies and IAM programs are dynamic, meaning that you need to continuously monitor both to mitigate ongoing risks. You need to monitor your technologies’ capabilities to ensure that they continue to meet your users’ needs. Meanwhile, you need to monitor your users’ access to ensure that they maintain the “least privilege necessary” access. As you scale your digital footprint, users request additional access, either to new applications or to additional resources within applications. To maintain compliance with your established controls, you need to continuously monitor these requests to prevent compliance violations such as segregation of duties.

Why Saviynt? Intelligent Analytics for Smarter Security

Saviynt is a company designed for digital transformation. Our cloud-native platform offers flexible deployments, including on-premises and cloud-based, to meet your organization’s digital transformation strategy. 

Our Gartner-recognized IGA platform offers a Control Exchange with over 200 regulatory, industry standard, and service provider controls available out of the box, and we offer connectors with the most-used cloud services providers and applications. This frictionless onboarding enables you to create an authoritative, standardized source of identity with fine-grained entitlements across the entire ecosystem. 

Our identity definitions allow you to control both human and non-human identities. With Saviynt, you can continuously monitor robotic process automation (RPA), IoT devices, workloads, service accounts, and other digital identities. 

Meanwhile, our peer- and usage-based analytics streamline the request/review/certify process. Our intelligent analytics detect potential access needs for your users while also alerting you to potential compliance violations, such as Segregation of Duties (SOD). 

Our Access Risk and Governance tool enable you to control access within applications to a detailed read/write level so that you can prevent data privacy and security incidents arising from privilege misuse. 

Finally, our revolutionary Cloud PAM solution converges IGA with cloud privileged access management to provide just-in-time provisioning of fine-grained entitlements that protect the enterprise from privilege abuse, ultimately protecting from cyber-attacks.

For more information or to schedule a demo, contact us today.

Karen Walsh

About author

Organic content marketing manager with 12 years experience in education and compliance. Using this experience, she focuses on bridging the gap between CISOs and the CSuite by educating through content to enable organizations to strengthen their cybersecurity posture.

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