Creating Trusted Identities Starts with Trusting Your IAM Vendor

RequestInformation
jmacinnis's picture

Finding the right identity and access management (IAM) solution can be a challenge. With dozens of vendors and products in the marketplace, how do you pick the right one? The following is a guide to help you identify the unique needs, challenges and various factors in your organization to consider when selecting the perfect IAM solution and vendor to meet your security goals.

Determine the Authentication and Security Needs of Your Organization

Choosing the right IAM solution starts with understanding the systems, data and other areas that require protection. Begin the process by:

  • Connecting with stakeholders across the organization — security experts, engineers, application owners, information architects, end users and others
  • Understanding the sensitivity and confidentiality of the various systems and data that need to be protected
  • Identifying potential issues that may arise when adding authorization to existing systems
  • Prioritizing systems that need to be secured
  • Establishing how systems and information integrate across the organization
  • Deciding the appropriate level of authentication for all systems and data

Use these findings to create a wishlist of features and functionality that an IAM solution must have. This information will allow you to filter IAM vendors according to whether their solutions meet your security needs. Begin an initial round of fact-finding or requests for proposals to help shortlist IAM vendors for further investigation.

Understand the Challenges of IAM Deployment, Management and Support

An IAM solution will affect all of the systems, data, processes and employees within an organization. Working with your shortlist of IAM vendors, be certain you discuss and comprehend:

  • The methods of creating, managing and removing user accounts
  • The complexity of the integration process within your organization’s current applications and infrastructure
  • Any custom configurations required for the solution to work across various IT environments
  • How to measure fluctuations in employee productivity due to the change in accessing business systems
  • How the solution will impact helpdesk support dealing with IT issues, including failure to authenticate, lockouts, etc.
  • The auditing and reporting capabilities of the proposed solution

Once you understand the administrative and productivity costs of an IAM solution, you can build it into your organization’s use case.

Create an IAM Project Plan to Assess Authentication and Security Needs

Your IT security team should develop an IAM strategy for deploying access management across the organization. Prioritize where resources will go the furthest, and understand the systems and information that need to be protected now. Develop more granular project plans that detail IAM requirements. You can then drill down into the IAM solutions and match features against your security needs to help decide on a vendor. Go through your project plans and ask the shortlisted vendors to provide information on how their proposed solution matches your requirements. This final step will help in creating a gap analysis for making a final choice.

Choose an IAM Vendor Based on Strong Criteria

Ideally, you will choose an IAM solution and vendor based on:

  • Alignment with your high-level business needs
  • How closely the solution matches granular project requirements and specifications
  • How easy the solution is to deploy and manage for users, developers and the security team
  • The impact the solution will have on productivity and employee satisfaction
  • How responsive, open and transparent the vendor is about what their IAM solution can and cannot do
  • How the vendor meets the needs of the business use case regarding scope, licensing costs and support
  • The vendor’s reputation as a trusted provider of high-security access controls

HID IAMS provides trusted identity authentication and credential lifecycle management for people, places, and things. We offer the broadest array of authentication factors, including adaptive risk-based solutions to ensure secure and compliant transactions, physical and logical access, and digital engagement in today’s highly connected Zero Trust environment. Our on-premise, cloud and hybrid deployment capabilities deliver optimal flexibility, coverage and ease of administration. Explore HID IAM solutions.

Get the latest blogs on identity and access management delivered straight to your inbox.

John MacInnis is a Product Marketing Manager for Identity & Access Management Solutions (IAMS). He has a background in cybersecurity and has held product marketing, product management and technical marketing positions at Philips Healthcare, Cisco, Intel and Phoenix Technologies.