Identity Management Day and the Importance of Strong Identity Security

Ravi Erukulla

Ravi Erukulla

VP of Analyst Relations & Customer Advocacy

Identity Management Day, held on the second Tuesday of April, is a day of awareness to educate business leaders, IT decision makers, and the general public about the importance of identity security. It is sponsored by Identity Defined Security Alliance in partnership with the National Cybersecurity Alliance. It is an honor for Saviynt to be co-chairing Identity Management Day for the third year in a row.

At Saviynt, we have always been excited by the opportunities in Identity Security and have worked towards advancing them. Identity has come a long way – from a compliance-oriented discipline to a business enabler, from an IT practice to board-level initiative. We have always been at the forefront of innovation helping organizations safeguard their cyber resources effectively through a strong, automated and viable IAM practice.

EVOLUTION OF IDENTITY AND ACCESS MANAGEMENT

In the past, Identity and Access Management (IAM) concerned only identities that represented humans and in particular employees, but more recently it has grown to encompass vast types of identities – both human and non-human and expanded beyond employees to include customers, vendors, suppliers, contractors, etc. The processes through which a digital identity is defined and managed to provide access to digital resources is very different now. As the technology landscape and human behavior evolved, IAM has evolved in response to new technologies and the vulnerabilities they introduce. In a back and forth pattern, IAM responds to changes in the threat landscape and the threat landscape responds to changes in IAM, and the cycle goes on.

In recent years, the scope of identity security has expanded even further. It is no longer a novel thing when you say identity security is the new perimeter for cyber defense. With the advancements in cloud, AI and automation, identity has become the common denominator for effectively securing organizational resources. We believe that identity will become even more pivotal and good identity management practices will become even more paramount for organizations as time goes on. After all, cyber attacks are getting more and more sophisticated every day. Identity Management Day plays a crucial role in raising awareness about the importance of identity security.

SIGNIFICANCE OF STRONG IDENTITY SECURITY

The critical nature of IAM makes it an essential component of cybersecurity. Good security hygiene includes a sound IAM strategy where all identities are managed with consistent policies and tools that provide security leaders with an understanding of who has access to its resources (especially the critical ones).

But keeping a high level of security – including good security hygiene – becomes more challenging with each passing day. The modern work-from-anywhere workforce demands access on any device and for any services. This requires digital identities to be securely established and verified, enabling secure digital communications to support e-commerce and other critical digital services. Not only are services located anywhere in the world, but there are also varying levels of trust and security required to assure that transactions are legitimate and sensitive data is safeguarded.

Things certainly have changed from the pre-internet days when all assets were controlled within private data centers and access was restricted to company-controlled devices and networks. The new era exposes users and organizations to new risks due to the expansion of digital services, increasing the threat and attack surface.

Coupled with this increased risk is the acceleration of regulations meant to hold organizations accountable for protecting customer data and giving consumers the ability to better control what data can be shared. Furthermore, the original technologies that provided identity and access management are built on legacy platforms and are unable to support these new requirements, forcing organizations to consider modern platforms and services that support these new use cases.

WHERE IDENTITY MANAGEMENT DAY COMES IN

The good news is that there are things we can do to minimize cyber threats. But the bad news is that most of us aren’t actually doing them. Raising awareness and reminding users and organizations to be vigilant is key. 

Identity Management Day is a day dedicated to informing people and organizations about the dangers of casually or improperly managing and securing digital identities. We do this by raising awareness, sharing best practices, and inspiring individuals and organizations to act. 

Identity Management Day provides an opportunity for all of us to evaluate our role in protecting our digital ecosystem. Whether acting as consumers or employees or partners, our online behaviors matter. Reusing a password or clicking on a suspicious link can wreak havoc in our individual lives, but it can also be an opportunity for a cyber attacker to get a foothold inside a corporate network. 

In addition, Identity Management Day is a day of celebrating Identity Security practitioners who often don’t get the credit they deserve unless something goes wrong. This is my personal favorite.

As part of my role at Saviynt, I have been privileged to chair Identity Management Day in 2022, 2023 and again in 2024. I have seen first-hand the great information that flowed through various sessions, the engagement from the participants and the champions that supported Identity Security best practices during IMD 2022 and 2023. I’d like to personally encourage you to join us on the journey to better identity management! 

Explore more at https://identitymanagementday.org/. And register for the Identity Management Day virtual conference on Apr 9, 2024 – a day of awareness, learning and celebration

I look forward to seeing you at IMD 2024. Register here.

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