Identity Governance
Erin Geiger, Director of Content at Lumos

What are the Primary Functions of an Identity Governance and Administration Solution?

Identity governance and administration solutions aim to simplify, streamline, and protect an organization’s user permissions for the software it uses.

Identity governance and administration solutions aim to simplify, streamline, and protect an organization’s user permissions for the software it uses. The goal of identity governance is to set principles and guardrails for software access—and identity governance solutions carry out those principles and guardrails through their functions and features.

What Is Identity and Governance Administration?

Identity governance and administration (IGA) makes up a crucial component of cybersecurity; it is about maintaining the digital identities for a company’s staff—especially their access permissions for software. IGA acts as the core guiding principles for how an organization monitors, reviews, gives, and revokes access permissions for every single piece of software that company uses. IGA also enacts access safeguards for other sensitive information within an organization. Primarily, IGA focuses on monitoring software users, keeping track of credentials for access, and similar functions.

When software was a new addition to the workplace, it was much easier to perform regular maintenance of digital identities; companies only had to review the software licenses for a handful of programs. But with the list of work-related softwares growing every year, keeping track of who has access (and to what) has become a massive undertaking—one that is hard to keep up with, but essential for keeping a company and its employees safe. Organizations have to track who has access, what they can access, and whether or not that needs to change, all for a list of potentially hundreds of users and hundreds of software solutions. Otherwise, they risk creating holes in their cybersecurity, or at the very least wasting money on unused software licenses.

What Is the Role of Identity Governance and Administration?

IGA acts as a living, breathing set of guiding principles for software security. It establishes rules and regulations for how an organization maintains software access, then puts those rules and regulations into action—through administration, review, and approval processes. IGA is one of the many checks and balances for ensuring a company knows who has access to their software, when people access software, and how much access is permitted.

What Is the Difference Between Identity Governance and Identity Administration?

The two halves of IGA—governance and administration—each have their own purpose:

  • Identity governance is about creating protocols, processes, and principles for how to handle digital identities. It addresses things like analytics, management, roles and responsibilities.
  • Identity administration enacts the guidelines that identity governance establishes, primarily through managing licenses, reviewing user requests, administering accounts, and more.

These two functions work together to form the core of IGA: governing and administering user access

What Is an Identity Governance Administration Solution?

Identity governance and administration solutions are software solutions that have the tools to support your IGA process. They consolidate user permissions into a single source of truth, as well as monitor privileged accounts, automate the auditing process, generate spending reports for software, and much more. This helps protect the organization’s most sensitive data, but it also protects the employees.

In addition to bolstering your security measures, IGA solutions also offload much of the groundwork your IT team does for cybersecurity. They’ll be less swamped with handling user access requests, auditing, and monitoring your permissions workflows, which means they can spend more time handling meaningful ticket requests.

What Are the Primary Functions of an Identity Governance and Administration Solution?

IGA solutions seek to simplify, streamline, organize, and optimize the process of maintaining software permissions. The best solutions out there will provide a toolbox full of ways to do this, including:

  • Customizable approval workflows to match your unique policies
  • Automatic company-wide reviews of software licenses for each user
  • Self-service portals where new users can request software access
  • Report and analytics generation to optimize software spending

In short, IGA solutions eliminate the redundant, rote tasks that cybersecurity requires to be effective. This frees up more time for your staff, while also saving money and improving your security efforts. These software solutions apply in a wide variety of industries, especially those where privacy is paramount—for example, healthcare.

What Are the Identity Governance and Administration Standards in Healthcare?

Healthcare organizations must comply with a wide range of standards, such as HIPAA. These regulations protect the privacy of individuals and require organizations to maintain a certain level of security for patient data. As a result, anyone in the organization who works with sensitive healthcare information needs specific permissions to access them—and that’s where IGA comes in.

By setting up IGA guidelines and using the right software, a healthcare organization can have clear protocol for how professionals gain access to sensitive data. This also helps protect the data from unauthorized access, thanks to a constant review process of access permissions. But again, doing this for multiple softwares across dozens or more employees is difficult, which is where software can help with the workload. Solutions that prioritize privacy and security can not only help protect organizations and their patients, but save money on redundant software and time spent regulating access.

How Can I Find the Best IGA Solution for My Business?

If you need help finding a solution that works for you, we at Lumos are here to help. Cybersecurity can feel like a jumble of acronyms and processes, but with the right knowledge and tools it truly can be a simple, safe process for your org. To learn more about IGA as a whole, feel free to check out our IGA guide. And if you’d like to see how our tool works firsthand, book a demo with us today. Please reach out if you have any questions about IGA—we’d be glad to help you!