integrated access management (IAM) definition

Integrated access management (IAM) is a combination of business processes, policies and technologies that allows organizations to provide secure access to confidential data. IAM software is used by enterprises to control the flow of sensitive data in and out of the network.

Effective integrated access management tools incorporate four elements:

  • A method of providing users access to applications, systems and documents throughout an enterprise that are required for individual job function.
  • The ability to authenticate a user at the proper access level, based upon the principle of least privilege (POLP).
  • A single sign-on (SSO) that easily allows users to access resources to which they have been granted access.
  • A means to generate an audit trail to confirm the IAM system is working properly and meet compliance requirements.

Security experts recommend the use of multifactor authentication (MFA) to validate user identity, including biometric data, smart cards and RFID chips.

This was first published in October 2008

Next Steps

In a fast-paced world where hacking is a daily occurrence, multifactor authentication brings on a set of new challenges. Understanding how MFA works with IAM suites will enable security pros to make better decisions on the type of access their users need. Products like Oracle’s Gold Identity and Access Management Suite top the list of vendors security pros should consider when purchasing a new product suite.  Learn more about multifactor authentication, and read our comparison of popular MFA products. Next, read our in-depth profiles of SafeNet Authentication Service and SecureAuth idP v8.0.

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