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In Covid-19 times, What is Better – Spending on Access Management or Identity Governance and Administration?

Access Management or Identity Governance and Administration

Budget cuts and dwindling resources are center-front in COVID-19 times. How does a business determine what to purchase and what not to? What is really necessary, and what can wait? As far as IAM goes, this decision can be made quite clearly if one knows how.

There are two main areas of IAM: Access Management (Single Sign-on and Password Management) and Identity Governance and Administration (user lifecycle management, access recertification, provisioning, and de-provisioning, etc.) While both concern themselves with the same central theme of access rights for corporate identities, each offers unique benefits. It is in these benefits that one differentiates what is critical and must be purchased and what can be left for later.

If Your Industry is Highly Regulated, IGA Might be Critical

Industries like Pharma, Healthcare, and Banking have stringent regulations when it comes to access rights of your employees. Audits happen and can be a nightmare if you are not prepared. Among other things, auditors will look to see if access rights are being reviewed periodically and if any wrong/outdated people still have access to apps or systems that they don’t need any longer. They will look for what are called ‘toxic combinations’: combinations of accesses that present a very high risk, such as the right both to write a company cheque as well as cash it. So, if you are in a highly regulated industry, it might be better to consider implementing IGA first before access management, which only deals with single sign-on to increase security and efficiency as well as password management. You can even opt for a single service of Access Review as a Service (ARaaS), a world’s first from Cross Identity, to kickstart your IAM environment within a limited budget. It is billed as an operational expense and sits easily in any budget and is easy to get approvals for!

You Might Urgently Need IGA if Your Organization Works with Sensitive Apps and Information

Identity Governance and Administration concerns itself heavily with insider threat security. It’s all about minimizing the risk of employees having wrong access and protecting sensitive information such as patient healthcare information or bank customer financial information. For instance, manufacturing industry apps, store proprietary formulas, or core banking apps that deal with customer credential. If your organization handles such sensitive information or utilizes many sensitive apps (s), it might be important to budget for an IGA solution such as Cross Identity ARaaS. This solution ensures that access rights are verified as valid every so often and automates the fulfilment of revoking unneeded access.

If Your Employee Roles are Constantly Changing, IGA is a Must Have

Some companies adopt very agile work methodologies, such as project-based structures that mandate roles being changed very often. The challenge here is that accesses that are valid for one role might not only be necessary for another role; they might pose a toxic combination. For instance, an employee in the finance department might work with writing cheques, but their role might change for a different project where they need to cash cheques. If both old and new accesses are present, they can write cheques and cash it themselves, which presents a very serious threat. Hence, if your business is highly agile and employee roles are constantly changing, think about budgeting for an IGA solution like Cross Identity ARaaS.

If Your Organization is Scheduled for a Restructuring or Growth Phase, Access Management is Critical

If you’re looking at hiring many new employees in the near future, either as part of a restructuring or during an expansion, you might want to budget for an Access Management solution. Among other things, access management deals with provisioning (giving access rights) of new employees and the de-provisioning of old employees. This is typically done manually, but the process takes weeks if not months, to fully enable a new employee to work optimally. An Access Management solution like Cross Identity Access Management as a Service not only automates this process entirely, it does so without putting a dent in your pocket. Even if you have no IAM solutions present in your IT environment, you can start small with this service, which is billed as an operational expense and is therefore easy to get approvals for. Then, as your budget grows or needs change, you can add other IAM solutions. Virtually any solution, from Cross Identity or other vendors such as Cross Identity Password Reset as a Service (PRaaS) or ARaaS and integrate everything beautifully for a seamless IAM as a Service experience.

If Cutting Cost and Increasing Efficiency is a Goal for You, Consider Access Management as a Purchase

Access Management, with its Single Sign-on and Password Management, apart from improving IT security considerably, offers sizable improvements in efficiency across the organization. When you enable your employees to sign on from a single click to all their apps, you reduce the time it takes for them to ‘get online’ and be work ready. This can be as much as an hour a day for less commonly used apps to up to 3 hours a day (!!!) for commonly used apps by IT administrators and other employees who utilize a very large number of apps in a day. Manual provisioning of new employees can also be time and cost-intensive, and access management can reduce this cost through automation. Password resets for forgotten passwords is another big operational expense for most organizations. When you automate the process with automated self-service resets instead of going through a live-help desk, you reduce costs and increase efficiency considerably. Employees in different time zones or traveling employees can also reset their passwords on the go without waiting on helpdesk hours.

To conclude, if security and regulatory compliance is a big concern for your organization, and if you are budgeting for but do not yet have any IAM environment, it is advisable to consider IGA solutions.  Cross Identity Access Review as a Service can be a solution to initiate your environment and start adopting the technology. It offers significant security benefits as well as keeps your auditors happy. On the other hand, if your organization is scheduled for expansion or if cutting costs and improving overall organization efficiency is an immediate concern, think about adopting a solution like Cross Identity Access Management as a Service. You can always add another module (or, in fact, any other IAM solution under the sun!) when the situation demands it or when your budget for IAM spend increases. IAM might have been a luxury a few years ago, but with the threat of insider attacks and regulatory bodies creating new rules every day, it is now a necessity. And, with Cross Identity IAM as a Service line of offerings, you needn’t make an expensive license investment that is a challenge to get approved to kickstart you IAM environment, you can get what you need as and when you need it! Check out Cross Identity’ line of IAM as a Service offerings today!

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