Identity and Access Management [IAM] is a framework of policies, processes, and technologies that enable organizations to manage digital identities and control user access to critical corporate information. IAM is responsible for the administration of identities and the assignment of access rights to various applications, systems, and resources. Authentication and authorization of users are central functions of IAM.
Authentication is the process of verifying the identity of a user who requests access to a system or resource. Authentication can use simple username and password queries, or more advanced methods such as multi-factor authentication with security tokens or biometric features. Authorization is the process of granting or denying access to a system or resource based on the user’s identity and role. Authorization can be based on predefined rules and existing user and role concepts, or on manual approval by an administrator.
IAM provides several benefits for organizations, such as:
– Improving security and compliance by ensuring that only authorized users can access sensitive data and systems.
– Enhancing user experience and productivity by providing fast and secure access to the resources they need.
– Reducing costs and complexity by simplifying and automating the management of identities and access rights across multiple platforms and systems.
– Increasing scalability and flexibility by enabling organizations to adapt to changing business needs and new technologies.
IAM can be implemented using various software components and architectures, depending on the specific requirements and goals of each organization. Some common components of IAM are:
– Identity repository: A database or directory service that stores user information, such as name, email, password, role, etc.
– Policy engine: A service that defines and enforces the rules and policies for identity and access management, such as who can access what, when, where, how, etc.
– Audit engine: A service that monitors and records the identity and access management activities, such as who accessed what, when, where, how, etc.
IAM is an essential component of modern IT infrastructure that helps organizations protect their data and systems, improve their efficiency and performance, and comply with regulatory standards.