Five worthy reads is a regular column on five noteworthy items we have discovered while researching trending and timeless topics. This week, we’ll understand the significance of IAM and how it has transformed the identity game in various sectors.

Technology has taken over today’s world, adding a new dimension to everything we see and do. It is helping humans in various ways, automating and simplifying things. But as we embrace this digital transformation, we must be mindful of the risks associated with it. As businesses move online, they unlock a plethora of benefits that also carry disadvantages with them. Various strategies come to the rescue to tackle these disadvantages and safeguard digital identities. One such strategy is adopting identity and access management, commonly known as IAM.

IAM is at the front of the mind of modern cybersecurity. Robust policies, procedures, processes, and technologies are used to manage and secure identities and restrict access to unauthorized individuals. With the right IAM tools at their disposal, security teams can safeguard critical data, mitigate security risks, and prevent breaches.

Besides protecting identities and limiting access to resources, IAM solutions help organizations meet regulatory compliance without compromising security. These tools allow organizations to strike a perfect balance between security and risk, thereby enhancing their brand credibility.

How can IAM empower businesses?

You might be wondering: Do only specific types of organizations benefit from IAM? The answer is a simple no! Industries across sectors—including hospitals, financial and educational institutions, and utility companies—come under the threat radar due to the availability of highly sensitive and confidential data, and these organizations need to enforce stringent measures to protect that data.

Hackers can earn between $500 and $120,000 by infiltrating a network and gaining access to a domain administrator’s account; averaging $3,139 per admin account. Thus, IAM solutions have become indispensable for ensuring security, enhancing trust, and avoiding financial repercussions.

Now that we know what IAM is and its benefits, let’s explore how IAM can facilitate identity management in various industries through the below five articles.

1. Exploring the Role of Identity and Access Management in Healthcare

Healthcare is one sector that heavily relies on IT to improve operational efficiency and streamline patient experience. It is also one of the top industries malicious actors eye to steal medical data and disrupt the network, putting patients’ safety at stake. This is when IAM kicks in and helps manage the enormous data volume.

Identity is an ever-evolving element in the healthcare domain, and managing it can become overwhelming for medical professionals without the right tools. To address these issues and fortify security, healthcare organizations can use the best IAM strategies, such as identity governance and administration (IGA), privileged access management (PAM), and user and entity behavior analytics (UEBA).

With the practices mentioned above, organizations can gain a comprehensive view of their healthcare IT environment without jeopardizing patients’ privacy and safety.

2. Strengthening Education: The Role of IAM in Safeguarding Learning Environments

The education sector is continuously looking to incorporate advanced technologies into its system to improve the standard and learning experience for students. It stores critical information such as student records, grades, and research findings. Hence, protecting these data is paramount for educational institutions.

Deploying IAM in education ensures that students, faculty, and administrators have the proper access to data and comply with legislation such as GDPR. Features of IAM—including multi-factor authentication (MFA), role-based access controls (RBAC), and single sign-on (SSO)—enhance security and provide secure access to digital learning platforms.

With IAM, educational institutions can manage identities throughout the entire user lifecycle (i.e., from admission to graduation). Hence, having IAM tools enable seamless collaboration, help secure digital resources, achieve regulatory compliance, and alleviate potential risks.

3. Strengthening Identity and Access Management in government agencies: A step-by-step guide

Government agencies should have effective and efficient identity management practices in place, considering the amount of sensitive citizens’ data they handle. Poor management of digital identities can make the network and data vulnerable to attacks, thus ripping apart the public’s trust.

When it comes to securing identities in cyberspace, IAM solutions take a front seat. They help admins understand user behavior, detect anomalies, identify threats, and reduce problems associated with each. They also prevent unauthorized access and block the possibility of a potential data breach. Government bodies must invest in identity management tools to offer users a secure and seamless online experience.

4. Digital Identity Solutions for the Manufacturing Industry!

With the Internet of Things (IoT) rapidly growing in the manufacturing industry, organizations have started focusing on improving the security of digital identities. IAM solutions grant appropriate access to employees and contractors and limit access when needed.

Identity management tools enable quick and efficient verification, bolster data privacy, safeguard intellectual property, and thus reduce administrative workloads. They redefine the concept of remote access without tarnishing data security.

Not to mention, these solutions also help comply with data privacy standards such as GDPR and CCPA. Having the best IAM tools is the need of the hour for the manufacturing sector to be Industry 4.0 ready.

5. Identity and Access Management Trends in Banking and Finance

Undoubtedly, banks and other financial institutions are lucrative options for attackers. This is one of the critical reasons for the increase in sophisticated attacks such as social engineering, ransomware, and denial of service (DoS) in this sector. Identity management solutions are more critical now than ever to combat such attacks and protect financial data and money.

Banks are leveraging AI and ML-powered IAM solutions to identify anomalous activities and intruders, verify identities, and improve customer service. Conventional identity management tools involve complex processes, while modern solutions come with self-service capabilities that simplify banking operations.

Optimizing Zero Trust architecture within the system ensures that every user and system is vetted before granting access to resources, thus creating an additional layer of security and preventing fraudulent activities.

Final thoughts

In today’s digital climate, privacy and safety are crucial components that can help organizations transform their business and gain a strong foothold. Companies must stay abreast of technological advancements—especially in the cybersecurity landscape—and harness their power to stay ahead of the competitive curve.

As threat actors and attack mechanisms continue to grow, a robust IAM solution can prove to be a game changer. As discussed, IAM tools help protect data, mitigate security incidents, achieve compliance, preserve brand reputation, and let businesses thrive without having to deal with red tape.