Risk and Compliance: Critical IAM Challenges

Regarding Risk and Compliance in 2021, companies will need to have an increased focus on access controls and governance across all of their business assets worldwide.

December 2, 2020

Where do risk and compliance start?

This will include all platform access, all in-house and third-party applications. All repositories that store sensitive unstructured data, including end-user access and privileged access. More importantly, how IT security intends on managing entitlements moving forward with an evergreen process is a pivotal requirement. Inventory, usage, and ownership are critical. Standardizing access, remediating violations and failed audit points should be a priority for minimizing the potential risks of data breaches. These precautions ensure regulatory compliance and overall proper governance.

Unfortunately, there are a few challenges to getting there, such as:

  • Lack of Coverage: On average, organizations have only been able to onboard half of their applications, systems, and platforms into critical Identity and Access Managment (IAM) workflows. That translates into unknown inventory and major gaps in access management.
  • Poor Data Quality: Nearly 30% of ownership data, entitlement inventory, and the metadata associated with it is accurate, complete and/or up-to-date. Data quality issues are a typical problem across many of the books of record for most organizations. When deploying or managing IAM data, normalize that bad data in always means bad data out.
  • Zero Automation: A small fraction (only about 20%) of the necessary analytics are fed into IAM systems automatically, making regular, ongoing compliance workflows virtually impossible to perform. This translates into very manual, very costly, and ineffective access review and certification processes that become a distraction to the lines of business and increase risk and the potential for a data breach.
  • Lack of Actionable Intelligence: In large IT organizations, relevant user and application information comes from disparate and, usually, proprietary data sources such as HR and one of the main reasons being able to integrate, correlate, as well as normalize third-party or proprietary data feeds is critical. Lacking the ability to report on excessive privileges as well as identifying and remediating permissions will certainly result in failed audits or worse.
  • Inability to Maintain a Clean State: Automating the remediation process requires experience, expertise, and relevant, in-depth reporting for effective entitlement reviews. Not having the proper insight and automated processes to feed ownership and valid user information into existing IAM systems will only amplify access issues over time.

The solution

All in all, overcoming these challenges will lay the groundwork for a deeper, smarter, and more efficient way to reduce risk and better manage any corporate Identity and Access Management program. Whether the corporate IAM journey has just started or is in a later stage of deployment, SPHERE can help. Learn about SPHERE’s Tech-Enabled Managed IAM Automation.


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