Identity Governance
Erin Geiger, Director of Content at Lumos

What Do You Mean by Identity Management?

Explore key identity management concepts that help you protect your data, ensure compliance, and enhance operational efficiency.

In the complex world of cybersecurity, two critical components stand at the forefront: identity governance and identity management. These key frameworks play essential roles in protecting your business from your sensitive information getting into the wrong hands. In this series of blogs, we’re highlighting the differences between identity governance vs identity management to help you understand the nuances of access control. In this blog, we’ll do a deep dive into identity management and why you should consider using this framework.

What Is Identity and Access Management?

Identity and access management (IAM) is the technology, policies, and processes that you implement in order to ensure the right individuals have the right access to the right resources at the right time. See the pattern? IAM is indispensable, especially for SaaS companies, where security AND efficiency are paramount.

What Is the Basic Principle of Identity Management?

The core of IAM is where the name came from: identity management and access control. Your goal when implementing an IAM framework is to provide users with the access they need to perform their roles effectively without compromising your company’s security.

What Are the Concepts of Identity Management?

IAM encompasses several fundamental concepts, including least-privilege, zero-trust, role-based access control, and privileged access management.

  • Least-Privilege: This concept ensures that users are granted only the minimum levels of access or privileges necessary to perform their job functions. It limits the risk of unauthorized access to your sensitive information by restricting what the majority of users can access.
  • Zero-Trust: As a security model, zero-trust operates under the assumption that no user or device, either inside or outside your network, is trusted by default. Verification is required from everyone trying to access resources in your network, thereby minimizing potential breaches.
  • Role-Based Access Control (RBAC): RBAC assigns users to roles based on their job responsibilities and defines the access rights according to those roles. This approach simplifies the management of user permissions by grouping them, making it easier to administer access across your organization.
  • Privileged Access Management (PAM): This framework focuses on monitoring and securing access to critical resources and administrative accounts. Using PAM principles, you would make sure that only the most trusted and high-level users (like your CEO) have access to critical system functions and sensitive data, protecting against internal and external threats.

These are just a few of the IAM concepts that you’ll come across, but these four ideas are vital to implement for an excellent security posture.

What Is an Example of Identity Management?

For an identity management example, let’s take a look at an employee named Josh who was recently hired at FutureProof Cloud Inc, a thriving SaaS company.

When Josh joined FutureProof Cloud as a software developer, the HR and IT departments initiated the onboarding process, the first step in identity management. On his first day, the IT manager walked through setting up his own unique digital identity in their system. Using RBAC, the IT manager assigned Josh to the role of “Software Developer,” which automatically granted him access to the development environment, project management tools, and the code repository. This streamlined approach minimized the setup time for Josh, allowing him to dive into his work without unnecessary delays.

Because FutureProof Cloud values the principle of least-privilege, his role was not given access to the entire tech stack, since he doesn’t need all of the tools to do his job properly. And, the company’s zero-trust framework requires Josh to undergo multi-factor authentication (MFA) before accessing sensitive data, further securing the access points. Throughout his onboarding, Josh was introduced to the company’s privileged access management (PAM) processes, and understood why he was issued elevated access rights even in his developer role.

As Josh proved his skills and dedication, he was promoted to a senior developer position, necessitating access to more sensitive data and critical systems. The IT manager could quickly update his digital identity to reflect his new role and access needs.

Several years later, Josh decided it was time to pursue his lifelong dream of teaching English in another country. The offboarding process was as meticulous as his onboarding. On his last day, the IT department initiated the offboarding procedure, revoking his access to all company resources. His digital identity was deactivated, and all sessions terminated, ensuring no residual access remained.

Although this is a fictional story, it exemplifies how identity management concepts safeguard your company’s digital assets throughout an employee’s entire lifecycle. From onboarding to offboarding, each step was carefully managed to maintain security, efficiency, and compliance, highlighting the role of identity management in protecting and enabling the workforce in a SaaS environment.

Lumos: Choose the Best Identity Management Solution

The marketplace of identity and access management tools is crowded, and many solutions make grand promises of being the “perfect solution.” Here at Lumos, we’re IT obsessed—and we’re passionate about building something special: a product that will fundamentally change how IT teams work and a company that will break the mold of tech startups. What sets our platform apart from the crowd is our deep understanding of the IT and tech world, all baked into a comprehensive suite of identity and access management tools so you can effectively implement and uphold your IAM frameworks.

At Lumos, we equip companies to implement:

  • SaaS management that helps you slash software costs, discover shadow IT, and get more out of every contract.
  • Accelerate access reviews with audit-ready SOX, SOC2, and ISO27001 reporting.
  • On- and off-boarding workflows that harness the power of automation, allowing you to do more with less.
  • Identity governance tools that enable you to control and manage access to SaaS, cloud & internal tools.
  • Self-service automation that can cut your support costs in half by enabling your employees to help themselves.
  • Privileged access management so you can enforce least-privilege with just-in-time access and make IAM your first line of defense.

To see Lumos in action, book a demo today. Or, if you’re interested in exploring how Lumos can help you cut your spend, check out our impact calculator.