Companies need to re-examine their identity management program. Earlier it was sufficient to have a basic in-house identity management solution for protection. But this is no longer enough in the face of ever-increasing security risks, both internal and external. Increase cyber-attacks from external hackers, and internal employee frauds mean new security tools to combat them continuously.
Hackers usually use compromised user credentials as an entry into an organization’s network and its information assets. Companies have been using identity management to safeguard their information assets from rising criminal data breaches, hacking, phishing, ransomware, and malware attacks. Ransomware damages costs alone exceeded $20 billion in 2020 globally.
Reasons why a company should not manage their identity solutions:
1. The traditional identity program of a company is no longer helpful. They cannot keep pace with the ever-increasing demands of cybersecurity. Their on-premise identity management solutions have become obsolete and no longer feasibly cost-wise. Out-dated IT hardware is expensive to maintain, and there are physical security risks attached to it. Leaving IT systems unattended even for a short time exposes them to a data breach, often caused by employees. Data theft is the most common act of indiscretion performed by employees or would be ex-employees.
2. Inhouse or on-premise IAM (identity and access management) is costly. The implementation costs are high, and it is not a one-time expense. This implementation process may extend over several months. Add to this, the hiring of a dedicated workforce to handle the IAM means additional recurring costs. A full-fledged IAM program would entail the implementation of hardware and software, staff, and process throughout the organization. One also needs to pay up-gradation costs.
3. Missing out on upgrades is common. Sometimes vendors take time to release updated software's to on-premise customer requirements. At times it even takes six months or so. Companies have to find other work solutions to keep tabs on inactive users with spreadsheets during this period.
4. Getting the best results from an IAM program can happen only when the entire organization is protected. This means that all employees and departments are covered under the IAM program and not excluded as an oversight. This does not usually happen when a traditional on-premise IAM program is running. As and when some anomalies are detected, multiple IAM solutions are installed, leading to extra costs and more administrative work.
5. Scalability becomes an issue when the company is growing. The standard security measure does not work. The cybersecurity program needs to evolve as the system upgrades from physical to virtual mode. With data exposed to the network, the threat from external hackers is plausible. This could cause a major embarrassment if a customer's data gets breached. Engaging multiple consultants to set up IAM systems, becomes a burden to manage. On the other hand, no matter how diligent IT managers are, they may be busy in day-to-day troubleshooting jobs and may not give full-time focus on IAM activities.
Advantages of outsourcing Identity Management
• Delegating this process to service providers like Lyonl means that they keep track of all the passwords and be responsible for renewing them. They also have products that provide a multi-factor authentication process using, in addition to DNS-layer security and interactive threat intelligence, the use of lyonl secure web gateway, firewall, and cloud access security broker. It combines multiple security functions into one solution, so one can extend protection to devices, remote users, and distributed locations anywhere.
• Outsourcing identity management means less burden of writing codes internally through in-house developers. Service providers can quickly provide new applications or extensions or any services that a company wants to enhance their customer experience.
• Shifting to a service provider has its challenges. There is hardly any company that has a zero-identity management system. Some companies may have to abandon their legacy systems and move to cloud-based applications. However, it is not easy convincing IT managers, as legacy systems still have values. Service providers such as lyonl have the expertise in integrating cloud-based applications with cloud-based legacy applications and user accounts. Many companies often overlook this aspect. They end up being forced to piece together more than one identity management product.
• Provide training to IT employees of the company who has had prior experience in other applications but no exposure to a cloud-based system—making them aware of the cloud identity management solutions through training and hand-holding.
• Shifting from legacy systems to cloud-based identity systems has its pros and cons. Cloud solutions favour quicker deployment and have the capacity to scale upon demand. Here, security aspects are not foolproof though IAM software, which is a critical component of overall security, is robust. Vendors such as Lyonl ensure that data are not threatened in the cloud-based system. Also, since lyonl is into end-to-end fintech solutions, having developed applications for the financial sector such as peer-to-peer lending, payment gateway, they understand the theocratical importance of a complete security system while developing their new Identity management product.
• Provide value-added service such as roll back in the testing process with new updates throwing up some problems. If a new release causes the problem, vendors empower the organization with rollback to return to the previous version and control identity management.
• Minimizing Risk by Placing Identity Data on virtual servers. With cloud solutions, companies have no visibility into the physical location of the data. That cloud-based system can be a problem. One may be exposing the company’s most sensitive data to surveillance and interference from foreign governments, organized crime, and other threats. Certain vendors do provide hybrid IAM solutions also in addition to only cloud-based ones.
Identity management systems today are ideally better outsourced. Company administrators would prefer to manage access privileges for various users, including domestic on-site employees and international off-site contractors, through a hybrid computer system environment that encompasses on-premise computing. The identity and access management system must facilitate centralized management of users consistently and scalably across the enterprise. In recent years, lyonl has evolved as a reliable third-party managed service offered over the cloud on a subscription basis, providing identity management to an enterprise's on-premises and cloud-based systems.