Identity Governance
Erin Geiger, Director of Content at Lumos

What Are the 4 Pillars of Identity and Access Management?

The four pillars of identity and access management (IAM) are IGA, AM, PAM, and ADmgmt. If that sounds like a bunch of random letters, you’re in the right place.

The four pillars of identity and access management (IAM) are IGA, AM, PAM, and NAC. If that sounds like a bunch of random letters, don’t worry—you’re in the right place. At Lumos, we know how complicated cybersecurity can get, even for the IT heroes who keep tech stacks running. With that in mind, we put together this brief blog to explain the basics of identity and access management. We’ll also talk about what IAM tools to consider that’ll help make this process much, much easier for you.

But first, let’s quickly establish: what is IAM in the first place? Essentially, IAM is all about preventing unauthorized access—typically, to software or sensitive information. The four pillars, then, are the strategies you use to protect your tech stack. Going back to those acronyms, they break down as follows:

  • IGA = identity governance and administration (or identity governance, for “short”)
    • Managing approved user lists for software
    • Determining access and authorization protocol
    • Specifying what users can and cannot do
  • AM = access management
    • MFA (multi-factor authentication), RBAC (role-based access control), and other acronyms
    • Granting temporary access under special circumstances
    • Enforce access control without harming user experience
  • PAM = privileged access management
    • Specialized access controls for unique users
    • Storage of identity credentials
    • Session monitoring and recording
  • NAC = network access control
    • Keeping track of device information, such as network privileges
    • Monitoring any changes to the network
    • Authentication and authorization of devices

All four of these pillars form the foundation for a comprehensive, well-rounded IAM strategy. The benefits of IAM include higher security, more organized operations, and an overall better tech stack. But for many companies, preventing unauthorized access gets really tricky for two reasons: there’s a lot of software to monitor, and the list of approved users is always changing. It’s not just a matter of knowing who needs access to your software, but what softwares they need access to, and how much access they need to each software solution. It’s easy to imagine how this could quickly spiral out of control, even for the most organized of us. And that’s where software can help out—which is why IAM solutions exist.

Don’t worry, this isn’t just another piece of software…well, technically it is, but it’s not adding to the noise. If anything, the right IAM solution should be clearing out all the noise—namely, by consolidating your IAM process to one simple portal. Software solutions like Lumos bring all your IAM data points to one place. Not only that, our software can help automate much of the tedious, error-prone legwork of checking access for each individual user (and each software they may have access to), which not only saves time but prevents mistakes that poke holes in your cybersecurity.

That all sounds great, we’re sure; after all, who wouldn’t want cybersecurity to be a breeze? But to make sure you aren’t just getting another piece of software, you need to know what you’re looking for. So with that in mind…

What Are the Key Aspects to IAM Solutions?

Any IAM management solution should cover a few critical parts to cybersecurity. These include:

  • User Management | Keeping track of each user and all their privileges
  • Authentication & Authorization | Governing how people get access—or request it when needed
  • User Reviews | Periodically auditing your user list to ensure all access is appropriate
  • Onboarding and Offboarding | Streamlining the process of adding or removing users

While it’s tough to definitively say what the most important components are to consider when managing an IAM solution, these four components are pretty darn important.

Need Identity Governance and Administration Solutions?

Look no further—Lumos has you covered! As one of the best providers of IGA tools, we bring our clients the easiest, most streamlined solution for managing access to a tech stack. Our software not only automates the auditing process, but creates sharable reports and dashboards for your leadership team to review. With our tools, IAM goes from sifting through literally hundreds of access privileges by hand…to a few simple automations and reading a report. If that sounds like the IT experience you want to have, then you need Lumos at your fingertips.

See the power of our software for yourself, and book a demo today! You can also read through our free IGA guide for more information on identity governance, or use our ROI calculator to see how much you stand to save by using better IGA policies.