E-Handbook: Why user identity management is a security essential Article 1 of 4

User identity management needs technology, effective policy

As end-user security threats continue to grow in scale and severity, user identity management and access control is increasingly an essential pillar of any strong enterprise identity and access management (IAM) strategy.

Both advanced technologies and effective policy are necessary to an IAM strategy, which guides the work of security teams charged with identity management and identity governance. Having the right tools and policies in place can save enterprises some major headaches, particularly when it comes to compliance with industry laws and regulations like the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and HIPAA.

Additionally, the privilege-escalation attack threat continues to rise and can do significant damage to enterprises and their networks. But with user identity management tools and policies, enterprises can better secure privileged user identity and access, as well as regulate user administration, identity intelligence and role-based identity administration and analytics.

Enterprises with a strong identity governance and management strategy in place will also find themselves better shielded from insider threats -- employees can only access what they're allowed to access and not anything beyond their role. And when employees -- including the disgruntled -- leave, an effective identity governance and IAM strategy ensures they can no longer access networks or data.

It comes down to this: Enterprises need to be able to answer the question of who is on their networks and devices, and exactly what those with access are allowed to do. A strong user identity management strategy is the essential first step to getting such vital insight.


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