What is Identity Governance and Administration?
Identity governance and administration (IGA) is an approach to managing identities and controlling access based on policies. Unlike traditional identity and access management (IAM) tools, IGA systems integrate identity governance and identity administration to provide additional functionality. These systems are particularly useful for auditing and meeting compliance requirements.
IGA systems offer automation capabilities for user provisioning and deprovisioning workflows. This is crucial in today’s environment, where users need to access resources from various locations and devices, posing challenges for effective identity and access management. Organizations typically deploy identity governance products alongside their existing IAM systems. This allows them to define, enforce, review, and audit IAM policies, align IAM functions with compliance requirements, and monitor user access for compliance reporting.
What Are the Benefits of Identity Governance?
With the cost of data breaches increasing each year and mounting fines for not meeting compliance mandates, implementing IGA solutions across your applications has many long-term benefits for any enterprise, both in terms of costs and security.
Identity governance and administration streamlines labor-intensive procedures like access certifications, access requests, password management, and provisioning. This results in a substantial reduction in operational expenses. It significantly decreases the time IT personnel devote to administrative duties and enables users to autonomously manage access requests, passwords, and access reviews.
Moreover, organizations gain access to informative dashboards and analytical tools, equipping them with the necessary information and metrics to reinforce internal controls and mitigate risks.
Organizations face an increasing threat from compromised identities resulting from weak, stolen, or default user credentials. To address this risk, having centralized visibility is crucial. It provides a unified and authoritative view of “who has access to what,” enabling authorized users to identify inappropriate access, policy violations, or weak controls that pose a risk to the organization.
Identity governance solutions empower business and IT users to pinpoint high-risk employee groups, detect policy violations, identify inappropriate access privileges, and take necessary actions to mitigate these risk factors.
Identity governance and administration solutions enable organizations to implement appropriate controls to meet the security and privacy standards mandated by regulations such as SOX, HIPAA, and GDPR. These solutions establish consistent business processes for password management, access review, access requests, and approval, all supported by a unified policy, role, and risk framework.
By leveraging role-based and attribute-based access control, companies can reduce compliance costs while managing risks and establishing repeatable practices. This approach promotes consistency, facilitates auditability, and simplifies access certification efforts, resulting in a more efficient and manageable compliance process.
IGA systems provide users with prompt access to the necessary resources for their job, enabling them to achieve productivity swiftly and maintain it even amidst role and responsibility fluctuations. Additionally, these systems empower business users to independently request access and manage passwords, relieving the burden on help desk and IT operations teams.
Furthermore, with automated policy enforcement, identity governance ensures that service-level requirements are met while upholding security and compliance standards. This integration of efficient access provisioning, self-service capabilities, and policy enforcement enables organizations to strike a balance between productivity and security.
Top Identity Governance and Administration Features
While each IGA solution can be different in its overall offerings, there are a few fundamental features that define most IGA solutions. They are:
Analytics and Reports
Identity governance and administration (IGA) solutions offer enhanced visibility into user activities, empowering security personnel to promptly detect security issues or risks and trigger alerts during high-risk scenarios. Additionally, these solutions can provide recommendations for security enhancements, initiate remediation processes, address policy violations, and generate comprehensive compliance reports.
Access Control (Role-based and Attribute-based)
Through role-based automation, teams can streamline access management by automatically adjusting a user’s role, ensuring that their new permissions are propagated across all platforms, even if the username remains unchanged. This capability reduces the occurrence of excessive permissions, promoting a more secure access control environment. Going one-level deeper, attribute-based access controls can work alongside role-based controls to govern access down to the field level using context-aware policies based on factors like time of access, location, IP address, etc.
Segregation of Duties (SoD)
Segregation of Duties ensures that users with access privileges cannot carry out transactions when compliance dictates the need for a separation of powers. By implementing SoD, organizations can maintain a robust security posture and mitigate the risk of fraudulent activities. This is why the ability to detect and remediate SoD conflicts is a critical objective for any IGA solution.
User Access Certification
Also known as user access review, this crucial compliance activity helps keep provisioning in check by regularly asking business managers to verify access for every user in their team. IGA solutions enable security teams to conduct review campaigns across multiple applications and provide reviewers with access and role usage information to make informed decisions granting/revoking access.
Download Pathlock’s guide to 9 Best Practices for Implementing Segregation of Duties
What to Look for When Choosing IGA Software
IGA solutions can include a variety of features, and your individual compliance and security needs play a big part in deciding which one is right for you. However, having a list of must-have features helps you shortlist the best of what’s out there. So, here are six things to consider before you approve that PO:
Manual access reviews are prone to errors. Instead, consider implementing automated access reviews that can identify and escalate high-risk requests for manual review. By leveraging automation, organizations can reduce the likelihood of human errors and ensure that critical access requests undergo thorough scrutiny.
Includes Artificial Intelligence
Implementing a risk quantification system can significantly improve an organization’s risk management practices. It is beneficial to seek analytics capabilities that provide data-driven insights for intelligent decision-making regarding the management of the identity lifecycle, certification campaigns, and access requests. By leveraging such analytics, organizations gain valuable information that aids in making informed decisions and effectively mitigating risks.
Provides Least-privilege Access
Implementing least-privilege access within applications ensures that employees have access only to the resources necessary for their tasks and that this access is regularly validated. Additionally, just-in-time provisioning can be employed to eliminate standing privileges, which grant users permanent access to systems or data and pose a risk to organizations.
Scales with Your Company
When considering identity governance and administration (IGA) solutions, it is crucial to prioritize scalability to accommodate the increasing number of employees, vendors, and applications within an organization. As businesses expand, they not only add users but also diversify their technology stacks. With the growing reliance on cloud and hybrid architectures, it is essential to choose an IGA solution that can effectively maintain compliance across multiple systems.
Deploying technology that minimizes the dependence of IT stakeholders on manual analysis is crucial. By implementing such technology, organizations can simplify their governance program and ensure that decision-making is more straightforward and effective. Accessing clear and comprehensible data provides enhanced control and empowers stakeholders to easily make informed decisions.
Uses a Risk-based Strategy
It is essential for an IGA solution to adopt risk-based decision-making when granting user privileges. This approach helps mitigate the accumulation of unnecessary access privileges that can occur after a project is completed or when an individual departs from the company. By implementing risk-based decision-making, organizations can ensure that access privileges are evaluated and adjusted based on the level of risk associated with each user.
Implement IGA with Pathlock
Pathlock’s IGA solution delivers multiple, layered security controls that can be implemented inside business applications like SAP, Oracle EBS, JD Edwards, and more. These controls continuously monitor user activity, assess risk, and enable security and compliance teams to enforce fine-grained policies based on the context of access, risk parameters, and compliance requirements. Pathlock’s cross-app capabilities also allow access management and policy enforcement across multiple applications using a single interface.
Granular SOD Analysis
The solution immediately detects SoD violations across multiple applications and allows you to view SoD status through a single dashboard. It provides can-do/did-do analysis along with financial risk quantification to help prioritize remediation and achieve compliance.
The Pathlock provisioning module supports cross-system analysis and provisioning to grant admins and auditors complete visibility and control over local, remote, and heterogeneous systems. Automated workflows for access requests and approvals, backed by SoD risk analysis, eliminate IT dependence.
Automated Access Certification
Performs multi-system access reviews simultaneously to get a full view of all user accesses across business applications like SAP, Salesforce, Oracle EBS, and more. Pathlock also provides reviewers with usage insights to make informed decisions.
Dynamic Data Masking
Applies full or partial data masking on any desired field, using a centrally managed ruleset to easily implement and enforce data governance policies down to the field level. Pathlock allows you to deploy dynamic policies that account for risk contexts such as location, IP address, time, data sensitivity, and more.
User Activity Logging
Tracks changes to transaction and master data, including the source of change, the user initiating the change, as well as before/after values, including items that have been deleted. Out-of-the-box templates and reports simplify audits and increase productivity.
Attribute-Based Access Controls
Pathlock enforces policy-based data access while ensuring your most sensitive transactions are not executed from an unfamiliar network. The solution enables security and compliance teams to create and automatically enforce policies based on contextual attributes at the business process, transaction, and master data level.
Schedule a demo with our IGA specialists to learn how you can implement controls that enhance security and compliance within your applications.