Identity Governance
Erin Geiger, Director of Content at Lumos

What Are the Access Management Standards?

Learn about the identity and access management framework and its standards and how they can help keep your data secure.

Remember in The Hobbit how Gandalf selected each member of the group, assigned them specific roles, and informed each which of the treasures they could access once the dragon was defeated? In a lot of ways, ​​identity governance functions as the Gandalf of your IT security—protecting sensitive information and ensuring that only authorized individuals can access it. 

In this short guide, we’ll take a look at IAM and access management protocols to better understand how this framework and these standards can help you in your quest to secure your digital domain. 

What Are the Core Principles of IAM?

The core principles of identity and access management (IAM) include security, efficiency, and compliance. Let’s take a look at each of these fundamental principles: 

  • Security: The main goal of IAM is to protect your digital assets from unauthorized access. Generally, this involves verifying users and defining which resources they can access. 
  • Efficiency: IAM also aims to streamline user access to the necessary resources. This improves productivity and enhances the user experience by minimizing barriers to essential tools and information. 
  • Compliance: Another crucial aspect of IAM is adherence with regulatory requirements. IAM can help you meet compliance demands by managing user access according to established guidelines and by maintaining detailed access logs. This is essential for businesses that need to prove they are following best practices for data protection standards like HIPAA, SOX, or GDPR.

What Are the 4 Components of IAM?

The four main components of IAM are identification, authentication, authorization, and auditing. These IAM protocols help you keep your data and systems from falling into the wrong hands. 

  • Identification: The first step is recognizing who the user is—hearing someone knocking on the door and peeking to see whether they are friend or foe (or a Sackville-Baggins). 
  • Authentication: Next, you need to authenticate the user’s credentials through passwords, biometric scans, or other security tokens. Are they really who they say they are? This step gives you the confidence to swing open the door and let them step inside. 
  • Authorization: Once authenticated, the user will be allowed to access specific resources—like telling the visiting dwarves which rooms of your hobbit hole they can go in. 
  • Auditing: Finally, you’ll want to monitor and record who accesses what and when to ensure security and compliance with regulatory standards. Luckily, you’re not one small hobbit who has to run back and forth from the kitchen to the dining room to see who is carrying a stack of dishes precariously. 

What Are the IAM Standards?

IAM standards are the guidelines that govern how you manage and secure identities within your business. For example, access management standards help you grant, modify, and revoke access rights, as well as monitoring the use of those rights. Access control standards are the methods and technologies you use to enforce the access management policies through protocols like two-factor authentication (2FA) or role-based access control (RBAC). 

So, what are access management standards? To put it another way, IAM standards are similar to the setup that Gandalf used for the dwarves when they visited Bag End. He carefully chose which dwarves could attend, and gave them all the secret password (the rune Gandalf marked on the door). To extend this analogy, imagine Gandalf went a step further and gave each dwarf a different level of access based on their roles. Thorin, as the leader, could enter Bilbo’s study to go over the maps, like how a high-level administrator in a company would have extensive access within the IT network. Meanwhile, younger dwarfs like Fili and Kili would only be allowed in the living room and kitchen, similar to limiting user access for lower level employees so they can only interact with the resources necessary for their roles. 

What Is the Best IAM Tool?

Among the many different identity and access management solutions, Lumos stands out as a leading tool. An end-to-end platform, Lumos gives you comprehensive coverage of all IAM aspects—from user authentication and authorization to detailed auditing and compliance reporting. Our complete suite of IAM capabilities will help you defend your party and lead them to the treasure—safe and secure systems where everyone can quickly and easily access the resources they need. Request a demo today to learn more about our platform and what it can do for your organization.