• 8 min read
3rd November, 2023
IAM jobs basically revolve around managing user access and maintaining data integrity. However, there are other critical tasks that one needs to manage alongside.
In this article, we'll shed light on IAM roles & responsibilities, qualifications, salary, and skills requirements. So, whether you're kickstarting your career in identity and access management or just seeking to understand the role. This article will provide a clear overview.
IAM is a rapidly expanding career field that offers various types of jobs to individuals interested in addressing evolving information security risks. Moreover, when you search for jobs related to "identity management" or "identity and access management" on popular job boards (websites where employers post job openings), you will find a large number of job postings.
These job listings are looking for individuals with expertise in identity management. This indicates that there is a strong demand for professionals with these skills in various industries.
Also, there are trends that have created a high demand for careers in identity and access management. Such as:
The growth of data protection
The acceptance of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies
The rise in SaaS adoption
Shift from on-premises to the cloud computing environment
The expanding Internet of Things (IoT) segment
But you must be wondering why the demand for IAM professionals is so high. What is so special about their role? The demand for IAM Professionals is high because they are ones that play a crucial role in managing access for a growing number of user identities and apps. Also, they ensure the safety of the organization's SaaS app data by preventing potential cyberattacks.
Basically, jobs and career in identity and access management involve safeguarding systems and data by implementing automated systems and streamlining the process of managing access. The ultimate goal is to ensure that only authorized users/devices can access the organization's resources. One needs to use advanced authentication methods (such as implementing PoLP) to grant access to only what's necessary for the users to perform specific tasks.
IAM practices also focus on identifying and preventing unauthorized access through monitoring and review while maintaining detailed records for investigation and compliance purposes.
This was just a glimpse of what a career in identity and access management looks like; there is yet to explore more. So, let's start by understanding the roles and responsibilities involved in IAM that one needs to perform.
Within the identity and access management field, various roles encompass various responsibilities and tasks. These roles involve activities such as
Managing identity directory services
Implementing and maintaining IAM technology
Ensuring security throughout the Application Development Life Cycle (SDLC)
Provisioning and deprovisioning user access
Evaluating User Access
Managing issues that may occur due to misalignment or mismanagement of user access,
Integrating applications to get precious user access data
Many of these IAM roles have a technical focus and require oversight from management to ensure alignment with the organization's IAM program. They also collaborate with various internal and external groups such as Internal Audit, Legal, Privacy, HR, contractors, and regulators to achieve IAM goals and objectives.
Let's consider an example of a managerial role in IAM, which is one of the well-known career options in IAM. An IAM manager plays a crucial role in managing risk assessment and strategy development, considering changes in both internal and external environments. IAM managers and their management teams evaluate their company's IAM needs to select the right technology and expertise that align with their business objectives.
Also, they establish IAM policies and standards. These guidelines provide guidance to staff, define roles, set expectations, and ensure compliance with company directives.
Now, let's explore some of the top job openings in the field of IAM.
Generally, professionals work as practitioners or senior practitioners. Practitioners usually work in teams, assisting both their team members and the entire organization in various IAM aspects. They are hands-on, ensuring the smooth implementation of IAM solutions, and they often aim to become experts in this field.
With more experience, senior practitioners often take on leadership roles, leading teams and overseeing their training. They often serve as a bridge, offering guidance and handling IAM issues for the business and its clients.
Also, once you make it to the top, you may get high-level executive position opportunities within your organization, such as Chief Data Protection Officer or Chief Technical Officer.
Here are some of the job opportunities in the career of identity and access management:
The role and responsibilities of identity and access management specialist is to plan, design, implement, and test IAM systems or solutions. They work closely with the cyber security, service desk, system engineer, network security, audit, app developers, and operation teams to manage the access environment effectively. They are also responsible for identifying and evaluating opportunities to effectively implement IAM. Also, they participate in the decision-making process regarding emerging IAM/PAm technologies.
The IAM Architect's job is to help with the design and technical aspects of our identity and access management (IAM) system. They'll be working on updating the IAM solution to meet the guidelines set by the Executive Office of Technology Services and Security (EOTSS).
The role of senior identity and access management analysts is to take the lead in creating policies and producers. They make sure to explain these guidelines to everyone within the organization. Including end-users, leaders, and peers ensures everyone follows the right practices for managing identity and access securely.
Identity governance and administration analyst jobs are to efficiently manage user identities and access within the organization. They help implement the necessary security measures, such as enforcing access control policies to prevent security breaches and unauthorized or risky access attempts.
IAM Engineers' job is to safeguard all the organization's resources. They set up clear and strict rules about who is allowed to access specific resources. These rules are strict enough to ensure security but consistent to provide a reliable access control framework. This helps ensure that data and systems remain confidential, reliable, and always available.
A cybersecurity analyst's main job is to keep a company's computer network and systems safe from cyber attacks. They do this by staying updated on the latest trends in information technology, making backup plans, checking for anything suspicious, and reporting if there's a security problem. They also educate everyone (workforce) else in the company how to securely access apps and data.
IAM Operations Managers are in charge of overseeing operational activities and making sure everything runs smoothly in a company. They hire and train employees and come up with plans to make processes work better. They aim to ensure that everyone (workforce) completes their work on time.
IAM consultants provide guidance and expertise to organizations effectively managing their access environment. They analyze what could go wrong in different situations and then devise the right solutions to prevent problems. They research, look at data, and make reports to ensure everything stays safe and secure.
Let's see what criteria one needs to fulfill to grab these job opportunities.
If you want to work in the cybersecurity field, you need to understand first that it demands specialized knowledge. Many companies want IAM experts who have general IT skills and appropriate qualifications. One needs to have at least a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field.
Possessing certain cybersecurity skills is beneficial to prepare for a career in identity and access management. These skills provide a foundation upon which companies can further train you for your specific role:
In-depth knowledge of networking and system administration
Familiarity with network security control measures
Understanding of cloud security principles
Understanding of virtual machines and operating systems
In addition to these foundational skills, you should acquaint yourself with specific hard skills to excel in an IAM role:
Thorough understanding of user provisioning, account creation, and management.
Application of industry-standard protocols like Kerberos, OAuth, and FIDO.
Proficiency in using identity and authentication solutions such as Okta, Auth0, and Azure AD.
Knowledge in privileged access management.
Ability to compile and generate reports.
Basic comprehension of scriptwriting.
These skills will make you a valuable asset in the IAM field and position you as a competitive candidate in the cybersecurity industry.
Now, let's move further and explore the salary expectations in an IAM career.
Salaries differ based on positions and roles, and also they are influenced by your educational background, certifications, additional skills, and the years of experience you've accumulated in your field.
For example, the average salary for an Identity & Access Control Manager in the United States is approximately $140,098. Also, the yearly earnings of an individual working in the field of identity and access management in North Carolina is $73,571. To break it down, that's roughly $35.37 per hour, or about $1,414 per week, and around $6,130 per month.
Now, after going through the roles and responsibilities and necessary skills in IAM, you may have realized that there are several critical tasks that you need to manage. So, to help you manage IAM processes effectively, you can opt for Zluri. Why Zluri? What functionalities does it offer? Here's a quick guide.
Zluri offers advanced access management solutions. It is designed to help your IT team automate and simplify several identity & access management tasks. Including provisioning, access modification, and deprovisioning process, enforcing access policy, and ensuring regulatory requirements are met.
Let's see what all benefits it offers in detail:
Zluri's access management automates the manual, repetitive access management tasks. This helps to significantly reduce the likelihood of errors while managing errors.
This reduction in errors is important for protecting data security. As such, inaccuracies or oversights in access control can pose substantial risks to an organization's sensitive data.
Furthermore, it offers a centralized approach to access control, providing a unified platform for managing permissions across various SaaS applications. This simplifies access management, improves security, and makes granting and revoking access easier. Also, the centralized control provided by Zluri's access management enhances IT efficiency and minimizes the potential risks due to granting unnecessary access.
Zluri's access management seamlessly integrates with your organization's HR system, providing real-time employee data to you. This integration automatically fetches and presents all employee data on a centralized dashboard.
This enhanced visibility allows you to verify employee details without the need for manual intervention, enabling you to grant, modify, or revoke access as needed. Also, this helps ensure that each employee has the right level of access to the correct apps at the right time.
Furthermore, it automatically revokes access when an employee departs, effectively preventing potential security breaches.
With Zluri’s access management, you can monitor all the access activities that are taking place in your organization, including:
How often do they utilize the SaaS applications?
Who among the users is granted access to specific apps?
What level of permissions do they hold?
What is their active or inactive status (by evaluating the user's login and logout time)?
Which role, position, or department are they from, and what other details does your team need to know to manage user access effectively?
You can easily understand the access patterns/user behavior by monitoring these access activities. This will further help ensure that only the right user continues to hold access to resources. Also, this allows you to maintain a well-governed and secure environment.
Zluri’s access management enables you to enforce segregation of duty policy (SoD), role-based access control (RBAC), the principle of least privilege (PoLP), and just-in-time access.
Enforcingthe segregation of duty policy enables you to ensure no two individuals are responsible for completing one task.
Implementing role-based access control enables you to ensure the access permissions align with the user's roles and responsibilities.
Enforcing the principle of least privilege enables you to ensure minimum access permissions should be granted to employees. This allows you to avoid over-provisioning or granting excessive privilege.
Enforcing just-in-time access enables you to grant employees temporary or just-in-time access to required apps for a specific duration. This way, you can reduce the attack surface caused by standing privileges.
At times access permissions remain unchanged. This unchanged access presents a potential security threat. As unauthorized individuals could exploit these permissions to gain entry to sensitive information, potentially leading to a security breach.
With Zluri’s access management, you can periodically perform access audits to address this concern. These audits involve the review of existing access permissions. Additionally, Zluri generates reports that help identify unauthorized users or those accessing critical applications with a high-risk profile. This further helps you to proactively implement measures to safeguard sensitive SaaS application data from potential security breaches.
Also, this solution records the entire review process and generates access logs/audit trails to demonstrate as evidence to auditors. By doing so, you can meet stringent compliance regulations where data integrity is a crucial security requirement.
Zluri’s access management monitors access entitlements to analyze if any users possess more access permissions than necessary. In case you identify issues or violations, you or your IT team can swiftly adjust the user's access permissions.
This helps ensure that only the authorized users maintain the correct level of access. This proactive measure helps prevent potential security issues that arise due to employees holding excessive permissions.
Also, Zluri’s access management sends real-time notifications if any users attempt to access apps that are not authorized to access as per their role. These alerts help you take immediate actions to uphold a secure access environment, such as limiting or suspending user accounts as needed.
So now that you know what all Zluri offers to streamline the identity access management process, why not book a demo now? And experience it firsthand. You'll discover that it might just be the ideal solution to kickstart your career in identity and access management.
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