Identity and Access Management (IAM) Best Practices for SaaSOps Teams

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Identity and access management processes and tools help organizations prevent unauthorized access to sensitive information. It also enhances the end-users experiences by enabling them to get the access to resources that they require and removing the unwanted clutter.  

Identity and access management (IAM) is a process by which organizations ensure that the right people have proper access to different technological resources of the organization. Identity and access management (IAM) enables users to access resources securely from anywhere. 

Giving appropriate access to relevant resources to users is important. It not only protects confidential information but also ensures a good user experience. Organizations can detect and prevent threats in real-time with the help of identity and access management (IAM) tools. 

Further, identity and access management (IAM) tools deliver audit-ready reports to meet compliance requirements and reduce the time and effort required in audits.

With identity and access management (IAM) tools, IT administrators can give access to relevant applications to users in a few clicks. It allows admins to automate the onboarding and offboarding of the users. Also, identity and access management (IAM) empower users to access different applications with a single set of credentials; this eliminates the need to manage different passwords for accessing different applications.

Identity and access management (IAM) enables security, and IT teams to enforce security policies across the organization's systems, platforms, devices, and applications. This reduces the risk of data breaches and prevents unauthorized access. Further, with identity and access management (IAM), it is easier to identify violations, remove inappropriate privileges and revoke access when needed.

With the help of identity and access management (IAM), organizations can design and develop their own set of rules for different circumstances, times, and conditions for the users to access the information stored in digital assets. 

Top Identity and Access Management Best Practices that You Should Follow

1. Implement Zero Trust

Zero Trust eliminates unauthorized access and continuously validates every stage of users' digital interaction to reduce cybersecurity risks. It is a security framework that requires all users, whether in or outside the organization’s network, to be authenticated, authorized, and continuously validated for security posture and configuration before granting or keeping access to resources. In simple terms, Zero Trust continuously monitors and validates users and their devices that they have the right privileges to organizations' resources. Verifying every user, validating every device, and intelligently limiting access are three core principles of the Zero Trust security. IT and security teams can have precise and granular level visibility of their organization's threat surfaces by following the Zero Trust approach.

The Zero Trust strategy helps organizations to precisely control the access of different resources for employees as well as non-employees to prevent any unauthorized access.

2. Automate onboarding and offboarding

Organizations should ensure that they have a proper process for smooth onboarding and offboarding of the employees. At the time of onboarding, the user should be provided access to relevant applications and resources so that they can use them while doing their job. Similarly, when an employee leaves the company, it is essential that all the access gets revoked. This helps in preventing any data breaches from ex-employees. Onboarding and offboarding can be streamlined by using tools like Zluri, which helps organizations to allocate necessary applications to employees in a few clicks and saves a lot of time.

3. Follow regulatory compliance 

Adhering to regulatory compliance ensures that sensitive information is secure in the organization. You can follow different regulations such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), System and Organization Controls (SOC) 2, and other security standards. Being compliant with different security standards gives confidence in potential customers as well as helps organizations to protect their confidential data from external and internal threats.

Adhering to compliance not only prevents data breaches but also helps in reducing the effort and time required to audit. For example, to ensure that all applications in your organization are compliant with regulatory requirements, you can use the SaaS management platform (SMP) Zluri. Zluri automatically manages compliances of all SaaS applications and ensures that applications are aligned with the regulatory requirements. This keeps applications always audit-ready.

4. Use Multi-factor Authentication (MFA)

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) adds an additional security layer on top of a password to ensure that even if a password is compromised, only the authorized and right user access the resource by providing additional information.

Two-factor authentication is a simple type of multi-factor authentication, which is an easy and robust way to secure access to resources. In multi-factor authentication, to access a tool or resource, users have to provide different types of information to verify their identity. This information can be their biometric record, facial identification, eye scanning, etc., and once these are validated, users can access the resource. Multi-factor authentication empowers users as well as organizations to control access to their important resources by unauthorized users. 

5. Enforce a strong password policy

A unique and strong password reduces the risk of hacking by eliminating the access via guessing the password. Administrators must enforce a password policy that consists of combinations of numbers, alphabets, and special symbols. A lengthy and strong password that cannot be guessed should be enforced, and asked employees to follow the password policy. 

For example, passwords such as 987654@ or on similar lines are easily guessable. So, organizations must create and enforce a policy that should not allow users to set any such sort of password. A strong password is a combination of alphabets, numbers, symbols, and special characters. Further, the length of the password can be set as at least eight or more. Also, it is good practice to set a specific timeline after which passwords should be changed to access the resources.

6. Role-based access control

Role-based access is an efficient way to reduce external and internal risks of data breaches. It enforces that only the necessary information access should be shared with the users. Organizations should share the information which is essential for doing the job or completing any specific task. If a user needs any extra information sometimes, then it should be provided as and when required, and once the task is completed, the access should be revoked. By enforcing role-based access, organizations can shield sensitive information from those users who don't require it.

7. Go passwordless

Passwordless login is a method that allows access to the resources without using any password. This reduces the hassle of entering passwords while accessing as well as the burden of remembering passwords. There are different approaches via which passwordless login can be implemented. Email-based login, SMS-based login, and biometric login are some of the passwordless login methods. 

8. Conduct regular audit

IT and security teams should conduct regular audits to check whom all has access to different resources of the organization. The different applications and their access should be checked, and any user who doesn't require the access should be removed. Any external or internal user who was given access for a specific purpose and if the task is completed, then the access must be revoked if it is still there at the time of review.

Use Zluri to create a centralized system of visibility for SaaS applications.

Zluri is a SaaS management platform that enables organizations to gain complete control over their SaaS applications. With Zluri, organizations can automate various tasks like onboarding, offboarding, compliance management, etc. Some of the key features of Zluri are:

  • Discovering your organization’s SaaS subscriptions: Zluri has the largest app library with over 120000+ applications. Zluri discovery engine uses five methods to discover all your apps with near 100% accuracy.

  • Automated employee onboarding & offboarding: Zluri has a powerful automation engine that enables organizations to give or revoke access to employees with a few clicks. Further, its contextual recommendation system provides information about which applications a new employee needs to be based on the department and seniority of their role. It also recommends different channels/groups to which an employee should be added.

  • Renewal Monitoring: With Zluri, you don't need to worry about surprise renewals. Zluri alerts about your upcoming renewals, giving you enough time to decide whether or not you need the app. You can decide that through the SaaS usage insights from Zluri.

  • Applications Cost Optimization: Zluri helps you standardize your applications and eliminate budget wastage. Zluri traces your SaaS ecosystem and monitors, measures, and helps you take control of your SaaS spend. It also helps you find the hidden apps spend.

  • Smooth Vendor Management: Zluri has an automated vendor management system with all the features needed to manage your SaaS stack. It maintains a SaaS system of record by integrating with your core business system, after which it prepares to maintain your vendor life cycle with your predefined workflows.

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