Leveraging Identity Access Governance For Enhanced Security

    Identity Access Governance (IAG) results in a frictionless operating environment that leads your business toward growth while reducing your exposure to risk. It is an ongoing initiative to understand, implement, and monitor the effectiveness of the controls that you have deployed.

    Using traditional ‘cost-saving’ ROI methods, especially in the area of risk-based governance, the effects of IAG cannot always be easily quantified. Yet, estimation is essential in order to maintain a sound business case for IAG programs.

    To avoid disappointments, such as a failed audit or security vulnerabilities, the following five practical measures will serve as a guide.

    Evaluate the organization’s IAG maturity.

    Determine what is and is not feasible within your current stance. Failure to do so would result in cash being misspent and time lost, and then unfinished or abandoned projects. A help could be ‘Maturity models.’ But since every organization has a different IAG journey, you’re likely to have to create a customized version. And if you are embarking on the company’s first IAG project or deciding where to invest next, you might be wondering about the company’s digital acceleration investments, how can IAG help there, and how well-positioned is your company, given the potential investment, to move up the maturity model to your intended target?

    Get a comprehensive picture of the status quo.

    This will be critical in determining the key risk indicators (KRIs). Operational risk factors arising from anomalies, availability, redundancies, and compliance hold negative potential for the organization. Include all types of user identities and have a risk environment to be measured. For example, there are hundreds of SaaS products that live at any time in many organizations, and no clear identity lifecycle processes are defined/implemented around them. Identify the ‘access silos’ operating under different rules. Consider the management of privileged identity and how IAG relates to key business applications, such as finance, and consider the scope of this access from outsourced contractors and suppliers. In the future, identify how to create and access new accounts to solve problems while reducing the risk exposure. Model the risks inherent in your approach.

    Fill the gaps.

    Work with the teams to establish a plan to avoid inconsistencies while establishing and deploying controls that are applied and registered by the IAG system. Based on the nature of the business and the prioritized problems, this approach may be policy- or technology-based. In any case, you will need to ensure that sufficient steps are in place and they can be tested. Controls such as ‘Segregation of Duties’ (SoD) help prevent combinations or modes of access that pose a risk to protection. Assign ownership of key applications and privileged identities with a single control center that includes multi-factor authentication, plus monitoring and documenting of access.

    Establish, monitor, and share key IAG goals and performance indicators. It is crucial to ensure that your IAG controls are functioning and that you are on your way to achieving your objectives in order to plan and know when to stop. There are many methods and many perspectives when analyzing the success of an IAG project. Identifying KPIs does not need to be hard; some are very tangible, while others are likely to be patterns.

    Evaluate the plan regularly and handle it according to risk. IAG should be considered an ongoing journey of continuous refinement of KPIs as market goals progressively develop. IAG with a start and end is not a one-off program.


    Governance is about change, transparency, and accountability. And there are easy and quantifiable profits to be leveraged from efficient IAG. Successful IAG programs deliver far more than protection against crime costs and data breaches. In an increasingly hostile global marketplace, a risk-aware business that offers safe and efficient access places itself in the very best position to be competitive and creative.

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