Identity Governance
Erin Geiger, Director of Content at Lumos

What Is an IGA Framework?

Identity governance and administration (IGA) can feel overwhelming without the right tools and processes. Here’s what you can do to support your IGA strategy.

Identity governance and administration (IGA)—or identity governance, for short—is crucial for the safety and security of your organization. IGA is about tracking who can access different parts of your organization, and how much access each person has. For any company, “access” may involve things like:

  • The software applications an organization uses.
  • Reporting and analytics tools that capture key data.
  • Sensitive internal information or processes.

In theory, knowing who has access to your company tools and innerworkings should be simple. The challenge, though, comes with how often access needs to be reviewed, and how often it’s given (or revoked) as things change. For example, employees might need access to a certain software to do their role, or leadership positions may need a certain level of clearance for sensitive information. But as roles and responsibilities change, their access permissions need to change as well. And as organizations adopt more and more technology, monitoring access is only growing in complexity. According to Statista, companies are using 130+ software applications on average—a number that is climbing faster than ever before, with no signs of slowing down.

But don’t worry, this does not have to spell doom and gloom. At Lumos, we specialize in making IGA a simple, seamless process—with the right framework and the right IGA security tools to support you. While identity governance can get complicated, it doesn’t require a full-time “man in the chair” to do well (though we won’t judge you if that’s what you’d prefer). Keep reading to learn more about IGA solutions and how working with Lumos supports your organization and your IT team in one fell swoop.

What Is the IGA Strategy?

At its core, IGA strategy boils down to answering three questions:

  1. Who has access to our organization’s software and data applications?
  2. Who needs access to our organization’s software and data applications?
  3. Is there anyone who doesn't show up in both of the above lists?

Monitoring access means making sure that everyone who needs access gets it, and everyone who doesn’t need access doesn’t get it. Of course, this would be simple if “access” involved a single yes/no approval for a single software application, but oftentimes that’s not the case. Typically, you must track not only what applications people can use, but even what functions they can use in each application.

For example, a company may use dozens of software applications, but not all applications need every employee to access them; one employee may need access to Apps A, B, and C, whereas another needs A, C, and D—then there’s that one corner case employee who needs E, F, and G…the list goes on. To add another layer to that, some employees may need more or less access in specific applications. An  operations manager, for instance, may need a higher level of clearance in App A—but not necessarily in App B, because that’s a sales application. The sales manager, on the other hand, might need top-level clearance in App A and App B—that is, until she is promoted to sales director and now needs less clearance in App A but more in App B, plus she now needs to use App M and R for her new role and…you see where this goes.

For most organizations, IGA is less like a switchboard and more like a series of dials and knobs to be twisted for each employee. This is why IGA tools are so valuable for an organization; they help streamline much of the legwork in monitoring varying levels of access for multiple employees. On that note, let’s answer the question…

What Is an IGA Tool?

An IGA tool helps you organize, automate, and streamline identity governance. Many organizations use multiple software applications—all of which might have varying levels of authorization—so it’s key to have simple, effective methods of managing access. Rather than trying to track everything with a spreadsheet (or heaven forbid, on paper), an IGA tool consolidates all access permissions into one convenient portal you can easily review.

In addition to bringing all your access information together, the best IGA tools can:

  • Automate access reviews on varying schedules for each software and/or individual.
  • Create a frictionless UX where employees can request access to software when needed.
  • Auto-remove access and quickly generate audit reports for sharing with leadership.
  • Develop multi-stage access protocols and require additional MFA before approving access.

Cybersecurity is important, but it’s not always easy to maintain—especially as we add more and more software to our workflows. But having an IGA solution means that no matter how many software apps you use or how many employees you have, your IGA strategy stays simple and straightforward.

What Is the Difference Between IGA and IAM?

When discussing IGA vs. IAM, the main differentiator is scope. IAM (identity and access management) focuses solely on the processes of granting or revoking access, whereas IGA (identity and governance management) also involves the principles and systems that govern IAM. That said, IGA and IAM have a lot of common ground; both are cybersecurity measures for an organization, and both involve monitoring who can access what parts of the organization. Any IGA tool worth its salt will serve both IGA and IAM purposes.

What Could an IGA Tool Do for Your Organization?

The answer is “wonders”—if you find the right solution, of course. And at Lumos, we’ve got a lot of reasons to believe we’re that solution, many of which are our happy customers. We help IT teams simplify, streamline, and de-stress their tech stack with tools made for them, by them.

Want to learn more about our solutions and what they could bring to your organization? Download our free IGA guide, or book a demo today to see the power of Lumos firsthand.