As we wrap up one year and look forward to another, it’s time for businesses to start preparing for what’s ahead. One area of focus that’s likely to be a key priority is identity and access management or IAM.
IAM is increasingly relevant because it looks like remote work is here to stay.
Many employers had dreams of bringing employees back to the office, but it’s unlikely to happen on any significant scale.
Of course, there are other reasons IAM is a priority, including the growing cybersecurity threats.
With those things in mind, the following are some trends in identity and access management to watch for and consider integrating into your organization in 2022.
Modernized Single Sign-On
Many companies are looking past outdated single sign-on solutions and instead want something more comprehensive that takes a modern approach.
True single sign-on capabilities can be deployed across all IT resources, along with a cloud directory platform for full-scale identity and access management.
Organizations should work to move away from the management of an on-prem directory that would require many add-ons to get it where you need it to be.
Businesses are likely to be looking for centralized places to control and manage identities, devices, and the overall IT environment.
As well as looking specifically at the role of MFA, there is more spending that looks like it’s going to go toward the most secure MFA solutions.
IAM Spending Increases
Throughout 2020 and 2021, spending on IAM solutions ramped up quickly. Businesses were trying to manage the challenges of the pandemic, keep employees safe, and deal with business continuity all at the same time.
Unfortunately, a lot of organizations were caught off guard as far as not just the rapid shift to a virtual work environment but the cybersecurity implications. Cyberattacks grew in scale and sophistication.
When bad actors could get privileged access credentials, they can then breach an organization and move laterally. Cybersecurity teams in the past two years have been working nonstop to put in place things like two-factor authentication, and they realize why they need proactive investments into IAM in the first place.
Forrester has been predicting IAM growth will continue accelerating.
Without putting the proper attention on IAM solutions, businesses will be unable to protect their data from theft.
Another interesting trend to watch for in IAM is the use of biometric. Global Market Insights predicts the worldwide biometric market will reach an estimated value of USD 50 billion by the end of 2024. Biometrics include retinal scans, facial recognition systems, and fingerprints.
This is a preferred way to make sure only authorized users can gain access to network systems.
While biometrics looks poised to be a compelling part of IAM in the coming years for organizations of all sizes, that doesn’t mean it’s foolproof. A lot of what’s coming in the next few years will likely be working on reducing the risks of biometric information. Rather than a standalone element of IAM, biometrics are likely to become one more layer.
Internet of Things (IoT)
The growing role of IoT is leading to more requirements as far as identity access management. When an IoT device is added to a network, there’s the need to mitigate any security risks.
Because of how rapidly IoT applications are growing, there have to be mechanisms in place to restrict entry into networks as a result.
Similarly, another relevant aspect of identity management to pay attention to is a context-based identity which is part of artificial intelligence. Context-based identity is a way to compare data about users who need to be authenticated. The data includes various data points related to behavioral patterns including IP address, usage, preferences and machine addresses, and IP address.
Using AI programming for data mana can help reduce fraud and risks. It’s already something being used in banking systems globally.
Cloud Services and Identity Access Management
Probably the area already most relevant for businesses of all sizes is identity access management for cloud services. Organizations are shifting to cloud platforms for the advantages they bring like efficiency, flexibility, and scalability. However, you can’t overlook the security concerns that can come with these benefits.
When we’re talking about IAM, we’re most often talking internally, as far as employees. Companies are going to have to be forward-thinking in how they protect user privacy as well.
Two regulations, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), are especially relevant, but other privacy regulations are currently in the pipeline.
Users must have control over their data, and companies must show they’re serious about safeguarding privacy.
Customers expect that all businesses will detail the information they collect, ask for permission to store and share data, and if requested, delete data.
Data privacy issues will change advertising and social media, and these shifts will inevitably affect your organization.
Legacy approaches to access control have often involved rigid approaches to how roles are defined, stiff policies, or attribute-based access control. There were a lot of gaps in these legacy approaches that needed to be filled; otherwise, there are internal and external opportunities for exploitation.
Now, IAM development and deployment are increasingly leaning on frameworks of agile software development.
Cloud-Based IAM Solutions
Finally, something else relevant is the growth of cloud-based identity and access management suites with pre-integrated stacks. Cloud-based IAM platforms offer managed services or IDaaS, and as an organization, from your end, you can use the features you need without paying for the ones you don’t.
In the coming months and years, organizations will have to be more dynamic regarding how they approach network access. This will often include moves to zero-trust security architecture, and IAM is pivotal to that.
It’s a compelling time to start thinking about the role of IAM for your business, no matter how big or small you are or your industry.