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Modern IGA: The New Essential for Mid-Sized Organizations

Author: Greg Liewer

Date: 05/25/2023

SMBs need a cloud-based IGA that delivers enterprise-level features with a lower total cost of ownership.

During my career, I’ve worked with, and in, organizations boasting thousands of employees—and those with as few as 30. Regardless of size, I’ve found that every company faces common challenges in manpower, processes, and financing. The biggest difference? Larger organizations have more resources at their disposal to meet those challenges.

In recent years, smaller and mid-sized organizations are fending off threats as often as their enterprise counterparts. In fact, almost half of all cyberattacks last year impacted companies with fewer than 1,000 employees. These underdogs also face the same regulatory compliance pressures that the Goliaths do, and the same exponential growth of machine identities (in some cases, rapidly outpacing human ones).

As this pressure grows, smaller security teams lack Identity Governance and Administration (IGA) programs to manage it and are left to split the responsibility among several different teams. Or, if they do have a program, it’s severely limited by manual processes and spreadsheets.

The fact is, a modern IGA program is no longer “nice to have.” It’s an essential part of doing business. How do organizations with fewer resources meet the challenge?

Whether you’re looking at implementing your first IGA program, or you’ve decided to upgrade an existing program—we can help. In this series, we’ll look at common barriers to modernization, help you identify gaps in your existing programs (compared to the outcomes you expect), and hone in on the key features a modern IGA system must have to keep complexity and costs down.

Mid-Sized Businesses, Enterprise-Sized Challenges

As we speak with smaller organizations trying to manage and maintain an effective IAM program, a common set of challenges comes up in conversation. Perhaps these sound familiar.

Manual processes. Whether your company is preparing to downsize by 30%—or grow by 300%–-manual processes, broken tools, and spreadsheets can’t successfully navigate these huge transitions. You need a solution that can accommodate joiners, movers, and leavers (JMLs) at scale while automatically detecting orphaned accounts that might retain access to payroll systems and Concur.

Reviewing user access. If you’re a financial services company, government and industry regulators demand stringent access control systems—and will enforce steep penalties if you fail to provide them. And of course, it only takes one breach or bad audit to permanently damage your reputation.

Managing third-party human and machine identities. Let’s say you’re a manufacturing company with a large team of warehouse employees who only log into one or two

applications. But you also rely on hundreds of knowledge workers, distributors, and suppliers who need access to sensitive systems to do their jobs. These third-party relationships require companies to not only enforce their internal policies and procedures, but to also ensure that every vendor in their complex supply chain is compliant. This necessitates careful, time-consuming contract management and access monitoring.



Maintaining compliance. Perhaps your company has suffered a breach due to compromised credentials or unauthorized access. Or, maybe you’re lucky enough to have caught Separation of Duty (SoD) violations in a compliance audit.

Either way, with so many employees, third-party vendors, and customers accessing your systems, it’s challenging to maintain effective access controls and to verify that only the right individuals have the right kind of access for the right amount of time. This complexity only increases when employees leave the company or change roles, and sensitive access is not revoked or reevaluated.

Lack of integration between systems. Does your IGA solution manage user access and permissions with your on-prem applications—but not for applications hosted in the cloud? Or do you rely on applications developed in-house or by third-party vendors? If so, you may have already run into roadblocks that require significant customizations before access controls can run seamlessly across all your applications.

Human error. An employee accidentally clicked on a phishing email or downloaded malware onto their computer. Now, an attacker has gained access to your sensitive information. Hopefully, this is just worst-case scenario and not your reality. To make sure it stays in the realm of What If, you need stronger access controls and IAM processes that can limit the scope and contain the radius of a breach—or prevent it altogether.

Additionally, a least privilege approach to access controls, where employees only have access to the information they need to perform their job functions, can vastly reduce the impact of a breach.

Companies also need a comprehensive incident response plan with a step-by-step guide for detecting, containing, and resolving security incidents, as well as identifying key personnel responsible for each stage of the response.

Lack of Resources:  What do all these IAM challenges have in common? They require expert staff who can devote their time to redundant processes and complex problem-solving, and that requires a bigger budget than many mid-sized companies have.

Identity Governance, Evolved

In 2015, Saviynt introduced the world to the first SaaS-based IGA solution. Our cloud-native, converged identity platform delivers no/low code design without the headache of multiple point products. The result: mid-sized organizations are empowered with enterprise functionality—without the enterprise price tag.

Whether this is your first foray into IGA, or you’re gearing up to modernize, it’s a significant undertaking. As your team embarks on the journey, there are key questions you need to ask first.

In our next blog, we’ll cover the key questions that will identify gaps, clarify your top priorities, and ensure your program achieves your goals—today and in the future.

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