What is identity and access management (IAM)

Identity and access management (IAM) is the practice of managing and controlling access to digital resources. IAM systems are used to authenticate and authorize users, ensuring that only authorized individuals have access to sensitive data and systems.

IAM systems typically include the following components:

  1. Identity Management: This includes the process of creating, maintaining, and managing digital identities for users. This includes creating and managing user accounts, setting up authentication methods, and managing access to resources.
  2. Authentication: This is the process of verifying the identity of a user. This can include methods such as usernames and passwords, security tokens, or biometric authentication.
  3. Authorization: This is the process of granting or denying access to resources based on a user’s identity. This can include granting or denying access to specific files, applications, or network resources.
  4. Access Governance: This is the process of managing and monitoring access to resources, including identifying and revoking access for users who no longer need it, and ensuring compliance with security policies and regulations.
  5. Single Sign-On (SSO): SSO is a feature that allows users to access multiple systems and applications with a single set of login credentials. This can improve security by reducing the number of usernames and passwords that users need to remember and decreasing the risk of password reuse.

IAM systems are becoming increasingly important as organizations move more of their operations to the digital space. With the increase of cyber threats, it’s crucial to ensure that only authorized individuals have access to sensitive data and systems, and that access is continuously monitored and managed.

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