If you happen to list down the biggest data breaches of recent times, invariably, fingers point at conglomerates and larger firms – *Uber’s late 2016 breach that exposed the personal information of over 57 million users or *JP Morgan’s 2014 breach that compromised the data of 76 million households and 7 million small businesses are notable examples. In addition, given how the pressure of compliance is felt more strongly in larger companies than in their mid-sized counterparts, small and mid-sized firms are often believed to not require much effort in terms of wholesome governance and administration protocols.
However, this is every bit a myth since the SMB segment is an easier target for the very reason that organizations in the segment worry less about compliance. Add to this the fact that their identity protocols often begin and end with an SSO solution, we’re looking at a grim reality wherein the SMB segment’s digital trust factor is on the edge unless action is taken immediately.
Why is the SMB segment hesitant?
Often enough, mid-sized companies deploy SSO or Access Management solutions that streamline access, manage and secure credentials but fail to factor governance, given how governance is assumed to be too complicated for their scale. Typically, their bottlenecks are –
- Minimal compliance pressure
Larger the organization, stricter the compliance policies. Therefore, unlike publicly traded companies, most mid-sized companies are not strictly regulated so they do not feel the need to deploy an IGA solution as their compliance requirements are not very rigorous.
- Doubts on implementation of IGA
Typically, mid-sized companies usually believe that IGA solutions are complex, costly and difficult-to-deploy as compared to an Access Management (AM) solution. As a result, there is no hesitation when it comes to implementing an AM solution, but there is some hesitation about deploying IGA solutions as the former IGA solutions have been costlier and require expert skills for deployment.
- Stringent allocation of budget
Generally, mid-sized companies have limited funds allocated for IT and security. And, they may not be prepared to make a significant IGA investment. It is believed that 3 out of 4 SMBs do not have sufficient personnel to address IT security.
However cloud IGA is proving to be a game-changer given that solutions in the space are beginning to be economical, simple and easy-to-implement – attributes that simplify all the major challenges of the segment.
How then can the SMB segment make the most of IGA?
Start by Identifying and addressing identity governance needs
A well-designed IGA solution creates flexible policies that state who should have access to what, providing workflows that give insights on the accesses, reviewing and remediating accesses along with audit reports that satisfies compliance needs.
a. User life-cycle management
Right from the time an employee joins until he formally exists the organization, steps such as – creating his accounts, giving him the accesses, monitoring his accesses and terminating the same on his exit are complex and effort-intensive. IGA solutions are designed to simplify such processes by providing entitle-based provisioning/de-provisioning, automating access certification, orphan account management, suspension and restoring the accounts and other such capabilities. You can save a considerable amount of time, enhance productivity and focus on other important business activities as IGA solutions take care of the complex user life-cycle management process.
b. Access review and certification
The crux of IGA is to provide the right access to the right employee and this is an on-going process. As the roles and responsibilities of the user changes, the accesses he has should be changed or revoked accordingly. An effective IGA solution validates who has access to what and provides business-friendly access certifications. Given how mid-sized organizations have multiple operations and processes, all of which are handled by a sizeable number of employees, automated access review and certification unburdens the manual process.
c. Choosing a good IGA vendor
According to Gartner, MSEs often have an advantage in terms of speed, flexibility, and agility when it comes to deployment, which often reduces cost. Products that are designed for the midmarket will deliver best practices and out-of-the-box process frameworks that they can adopt to raise their identity and access management (IAM) maturity when there is no formalized IAM process framework throughout the organization.
Leading analysts often recommend the following considerations while choosing an IGA vendor:
- A well-designed IAM solution with extended IGA features that mid-sized markets find easy to adopt
- A vendor who can effortlessly integrate and work well with the processes of a mid-sized organization
- Integration of IGA with existing SaaS solutions within the organization
- A cost-effective IGA solution that doesn’t require the mid-sized organizations to work on their cost-allocations to a great extent
- Since most mid-sized companies use an Active directory or Microsoft technology, it would be very beneficial if the solution provided by the vendor seamlessly integrates with the AD or Microsoft solution.
While there are a lot of good IAM vendors, most of them fail to fulfill the recommendations as mentioned above.
Cross Identity is a disruptive technology-led holistic solution to Identity and Access Management (IAM) that is simple to implement and use. It is the first product in the industry that not only provides Access Management but also offers features such as IGA, PAM, business to consumer functions, an endpoint to mobile management, personalized dashboards, high powered analytics, and business intelligence.
Our solution is modular – you may choose to try out any feature you like and then scale up to use the complete product.
We sync our solution with your Active Directory, and the organizations that don’t have a directory can onboard their applications on Cross Identity’ in-built, cloud directory.
Also, if you already using Microsoft Azure for Access Management, you may opt for only the IGA features of CI and enjoy a holistic IAM experience.