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Identity And Access Management

Identity and Access Management Standards for Compliance

October 21, 2021

5 minutes

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Identity and access management (IAM) is a set of business processes and policies designed to manage access to information and systems.

With increased pressure to protect data, IT departments can’t rely on outdated processes that do not adequately fulfill expected standards for data access and authorization.

How Are Modern Organizations Ensuring IAM Standards?

More commonly, businesses today are turning to IAM standards so they can get their operations fully in compliance and ensure that sensitive data they handle is being safeguarded properly.

Modern identity and access management technologies have the ability to monitor and certify a business’ compliance, ensuring you meet all requirements for compliance as laid out by certain industry regulations like HIPAA, SOX, and NIST, for example.

This is done through a set of standard IAM controls that help achieve certain standards such as the principle of least privilege—where a user is granted only enough access to fulfill their work duties—and separation of duties—where one person is never responsible for every task.

Identity and Access Management Standards

Here is a rundown detailing IAM’s standard controls that help organizations meet compliance standards by limiting and monitoring control and access of their systems

General Requirements

The general requirements of IAM standards address access privileges to systems and data based on roles within the organization.

A user is granted access privileges based on the needs of their position, which limits overall data access to just what a user needs to perform the duties of their job.

Unique Access IDs

The standard practice for access IDs is that every user should have their own separate, unique ID in order to control and monitor access.

Unique IDs make it easier to track who is doing what and to ensure all users are only accessing what they’re allowed to.

Assignment of Accounts

This mechanism helps to identify users as well as the resources, data, information, and infrastructure that they have access to.

Access Approvals

The approval process and access approvals standards define the process within your organization for authorizing access for users and identifying the levels of access granted to certain users depending on their titles and job duties.

Management of Accounts

An account management tool that makes it easier to manage, create, modify, and delete accounts and their associated credentials.

Access Review and Recertification

This process is defined to review and update user accounts. Use this whenever you need to add a user or change their access credentials.

Inactive Accounts

Set criteria for deleting inactive accounts after a preset amount of inactivity.

Access Revocation and Disablement

Address any access changes due to a change in privilege needs, such as employee termination or the identification of compromised accounts.

Privileged Account Management

Defines the processes for assigning privileged accounts and IDs.

Remote Access by Administrators

Similar to standard “remote access,” remote access by administrators defines the criteria for remote administrative access to your systems, data, and resources.

Segregation of Duties

This establishes rules to ensure that duties are properly segregated when assigning duties and access privileges to accounts and IDs.

Vendor Access to Resources

This control helps to define criteria to assign appropriate access for authorized vendors to access your system, resources, and data.

Access Authentication

Assign criteria for granting access permissions to certain system resources through a defined series of authentication measures.

User Validation

Before assigning any privileges to a user account, user validation will check and authenticate that user to establish who they are and ensure it is a valid account belonging to a member of the organization

Password Management

Passwords and passphrases are a crucial part of securing and managing access to your system.

Password management control helps to establish criteria for creating consistently strong passwords.

Authentication of Mobile Devices

This control establishes criteria when it comes to security and access via mobile devices.

Mobile devices can be an easy entry point into your system for hackers, especially if used to access your network via a public or unsecured WIFI network.

Access to Voicemail

This defines the process and criteria for granting access to voicemail accounts and recordings.

A lot of classified or sensitive information (both internal and from customers) can be stored via voicemail, deciding who has access to them lowers the risk of them falling into the wrong hands. User Session Management

In order to cut down on anyone piggybacking off of an already-running session, user session management uses certain criteria to terminate sessions after a defined period of inactivity as well as monitoring multiple concurrent sessions by any users.

Notification of System Use

This control displays messages of when and where the system is accessed prior to granting that access in order to further track sessions accessing the system.

Remote Access

In modern business, we’re always on the go and being able to access information from anywhere is an important part of daily work, but it also opens the door for hackers.

This criterion defines the process for granting remote access to system resources, thereby avoiding the issue of compromised devices or those using unauthorized networks gaining access to the main business network and its associated systems.

Data Protection Access

It’s imperative that you closely monitor who has access to your company’s most crucial information and data.

Data protection access controls help you manage access to your organization’s most important data, information, and resources.

Identification and Validation of Devices

With computers, tablets, phones, and more all used in business, there are a lot of different devices that access a modern business’ network.

This control is established to identify and manage all devices before authorizing and connecting them to system resources.

Policies and Procedures

These are approved documents that determine specific rules within an organization that ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information that is stored within its system.

Bottom Line

Companies who implement IAM controls like those will find that they are able to not just meet compliance standards required of them, but also put themselves in a position where the potential for a data breach is substantially lessened.

In today’s cybersecurity environment, where SMBs are being targeted just as frequently as larger enterprises, and where those same SMBs often lack the necessary security protocols, these standards will put them in good stead for ensuring their network and systems are adequately protected.

Standards like these should form a single component of a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy, and adopting protocols and solutions for identity and access management is a crucial step in ensuring information security is watertight.

Don’t leave access security up to error-prone, manual processes. Use standards like those found in an IAM framework to get your access control measures up to speed and put your strategy for data protection on the right track.

To learn more about IAM or data security, visit