Functions of Identity Governance and Administration

Identity governance and administration (IGA) is an increasingly important part of enterprise security. It helps companies balance risk with the customer experience and achieve regulatory compliance.

IGA improves visibility into identities and access privileges, enabling system administrators to implement the necessary controls to prevent unauthorized or risky access. It also helps organizations mitigate cyber risks, meet compliance requirements and reduce costs.

Role-Based Access Management

Role-based access management (RBAC) defines user roles, access rights, and permissions. It also helps protect sensitive data from misuse. It is a widely used access control methodology by most large organizations.

RBAC systems grant and restrict access based on a user’s role in a system, ensuring that all employees have appropriate access to the information they need to do their jobs. It also makes it easier to implement and manage security for an entire organization by eliminating the need for establishing individual user permissions.

The scope and implementation of a role-based access model must be customized based on your industry, scale, and regulations. For example, a healthcare organization will have different requirements than a bank or a school.

Users are the people who need to access operations and objects on a computer or network. For instance, they can be employees or vendors who must work on a project.

Objects, however, are static files, data sets, websites, or other assets that are not changes to the state of a computer or network. Therefore, it makes it much harder for an attacker to know whether a user is unauthorized to access them.

RBAC systems grant access based on a user’s role, monitor the operations and objects accessed, and maintain a log until the user closes their browser or exits the session. Therefore, it is vital to thoroughly test a role-based access model before implementing it to avoid the possibility of erroneous or incomplete configurations that could have severe implications for the company’s security and productivity.

Access Review

Access review is essential to identity governance and administration, helping control and monitor authorizations. Its purpose is to ensure that users have the access rights strictly necessary for their job functions.

Access reviews, like Omada IGA solution, can be performed on-demand or periodically, helping maintain the correct user privileges. They can also include audit policy scans, which can help to identify compliance violations.

A periodic access review can take one or more days to complete the scanning and attestation process, depending on the number of resources being reviewed. It can also take longer if resources are spread across geographical locations or if there are network latencies.

Recurring reviews can be scheduled to occur at set intervals, such as weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually. When they do, the access reviewers are notified and can choose to continue or stop user access.

During the review, the system displays recommendations to the reviewer to indicate a person’s last sign-in to the tenant or previous access to an application. These recommendations help the reviewer decide about the user’s continued access, such as removing group membership, elevating an application assignment, or revoking access to a privileged role.

When an access review is completed, the system applies the recommendations to all users to which the reviewer did not respond. It ensures that the appropriate individuals have access to the right resources at the proper time.

Access Deprovisioning

When a user leaves your organization, you must ensure their access rights are terminated before they can access any systems or data. Failure to do so can lead to “zombie accounts” or data breaches, which can be expensive.

Traditionally, this process has been performed by HR teams, who must communicate information to IT and then system admins to de-provision users. Unfortunately, this process is tedious and time-consuming and can cause delays and errors.

Automated de-provisioning eliminates this burden by letting an IAM tool disable or delete user accounts in Active Directory and other systems, such as accounting software and collaboration tools. It also automatically removes user subscriptions and licenses, disables folders and file shares, and revokes access to systems and applications.

With these solutions, you can quickly onboard and offboard employees, streamline user management across applications, and increase security by eliminating “zombie” accounts and preventing ex-employees from continuing to have access. In addition, with logging, reporting, and analytics functionalities, you can automate and maintain user permissions and ensure compliance with regulations and industry-specific and general data-focused standards.

You can de-provision users based on business rules using an automated system that integrates with your HR database. It eliminates the need for IT to perform this task, saving your organization time and money. In addition, by removing these tasks from your IT team, you can free up their time to focus on projects that add value to the company.

Separation of Duties

One of the critical functions of identity governance and administration is ensuring the proper separation of duties. It is a vital element of effective internal control. In addition, it can help organizations reduce their risk of fraud and error–two issues that can harm their reputation, financial health, and compliance efforts.

For example, a company should have a policy that says a cashier should not update the accounting book or keep track of the money on their person. It helps reduce clerical errors and ensures that the financial information is accurate.

It is an essential component of ICFR or Internal Control for Financial Reporting. A deficient ICFR can lead to financial reporting errors and even fraud.

Separation of duties is the concept that no individual should be able to execute all the tasks in a business process. It can prevent unchecked errors and fraud and provide a solid foundation for an organization’s risk management strategy.

Identity governance and administration can support the practical separation of duties policies by enabling frequent access reviews and certifications. These reviews help managers validate that users only need access to applications, systems, or platforms to perform their job duties.


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