What Does an IGA Tool Do?

Identity governance and administration solutions enable businesses to manage their apps, accounts, and data. Learn the ins and outs in our new article.

by Erin Geiger, Director of Content at Lumos

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If it’s been awhile since you’ve done a careful audit of your tech stack, you might be surprised to learn how many different applications it takes to keep your business running. You also might find a shocking number of active software licenses that aren’t being used frequently, if at all!

With new apps entering the market every day—including, ironically, tools for consolidating and managing other tools—the possibilities are endless. The apps really add up, though. One study actually found that the average company subscribes to well over 100 different apps—but uses less than half of them on a daily basis. There’s also the issue of app fatigue—burnout caused by, you guessed it, too many apps!

  • Fun Fact: While app fatigue might sound like a modern problem, the term has been in circulation since at least as far back as 2016.

Too many apps often means too many vendors to deal with, too many systems to configure and manage, and too many support teams to deal with—not to mention a maxed-out budget and a number of potential security issues. That’s why identity governance is so important.

But what is identity governance—and what can the right identity governance and administration tools do for your business? Keep reading for the answers.

IGA vs IAM: What’s the Difference?

Identity governance and administration (IGA) and identity access management (IAM) are closely related—they are not the same exact thing, though. So, what is the difference between IGA and IAM? Here’s an easy way to differentiate between them:

  • IAM is specifically focused on granting access rights—including the management, authentication, and authorization of digital identities and their associated access controls. It encompasses things like account and credential management, user and device provisioning, entitlement management, and more.
  • Once those policies are set, then, IGA largely occupies an oversight role, tasked with the implementation and enforcement of defined access controls for individual users and apps. Another way to think about it is that IAM determines who gets access to specific apps—including controls and permissions—and IGA is responsible for ensuring that those controls are adhered to.

What Are IGA Controls?

IGA controls, also known as access controls, are the rules or policies that an organization puts in place to improve their security and ensure compliance. They govern who can access and modify certain applications, systems, or other resources—letting the right personnel in and keeping unauthorized personnel out.

Strong IGA controls can go a long way toward preventing the disruptions that can come when systems are compromised or breached. When “setting” their IGA controls, it’s important for organizations to consider the entire tech stack, and the entire software lifecycle (from account onboarding through offboarding).

So, what do effective IGA controls consist of, and how are they used? Consider the following use cases:

  • Access Review: This is the ongoing process and framework for reviewing users’ requests for specific permissions or access to specific apps—including what happens when an employee leaves the organization.
  • Analytics and Reporting: Setting access controls is only half of the IGA equation—monitoring their implementation is equally important (if not more so). A robust identity governance framework should include visibility into user access and activity in order to identify and mitigate security risks in a prompt manner.
  • Role-Based Access Management: Not everyone in your organization needs access to every app—or the same level of access within them. The more you can customize who is accessing what systems, the more you reduce cybersecurity liabilities.
  • Segregation (or Separation) of Duties: Conflicts of interest or duplicative efforts can hamstring an organization’s ability to be productive and efficient. These policies effectively divide responsibilities among individuals or teams, increasing an organization’s agility. This, in turn, enables company leaders to identify—and mitigate—potential breaches as quickly as possible, preventing potential catastrophe.

What Is an Identity Governance Solution?

An identity management tool is used to implement and oversee an organization’s IGA controls. This helps to ensure that specific resources and systems are available to those who need them—but also aren’t accessible to unauthorized users.

Modern identity governance tools are versatile—they’re capable of empowering an organization with the functionality to:

  • Automate the access review process, which saves time, reduces the chance of human error, and helps an organization to maintain compliance.
  • Streamline the IT helpdesk with self-service options for access requests, helping to reduce ticket volume and improve time-to-resolution.

The list above is just a fraction of the functionality you can harness with the right IGA tool. Identity governance solutions like Lumos are designed to empower organizations with tools that can save them a significant amount of time and money—while increasing productivity and reducing cybersecurity risks.

Is Lumos the Right Solution For Your Business?

If your business could benefit from slashing software costs, streamlining and automating workflows, improving security, or maintaining compliance, Lumos could be a perfect match. As we’ve seen time and time again, the right IGA tools can deliver major ROI to an organization. From automating manual processes like ticket submissions and access reviews to reducing redundant or unused applications, the savings can be significant.