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By Jayne Hallock

Mobility means freedom. Mobility means options and flexibility and mobility means the future of business.

Unfortunately, mobility also means risk. Chief among these risks is the risk of unauthorized access from within an organization by a nefarious intruder who gains access to sensitive systems via gaps in identity security.

Identity and Access Management (IAM) protects businesses from the inside out, with solutions that securely manage user passwords and permissions to safeguard access across applications regardless of location or device.

With the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies, corporate networks are increasingly interconnected, driving more and more need for IAM. In 2016 alone, $7.94 billion was spent on IAM and that number is expected to reach $20.87 billion by 2022.

As IAM goes mainstream, and gets even more complex, more organizations realize the opportunities it presents to improve their IT security.

Here are five ways to leverage IAM to protect your business:

1. Prevent Insider Threats

Last year, 25 percent of data breaches directly involved internal actors and 81 percent leveraged stolen or weak passwords. IAM limits user access to sensitive data and protects it from insider threats. Using identity management for insider threats requires your organization to identify your most valuable assets and categorize your users to determine data and system access. This is a valuable first step to gaining an in-depth understanding of your security posture and weaknesses; so you can target your cybersecurity investments and resources to where they’re most needed. A security information and event management (SIEM) can help collect user activity and security intelligence to help identify normal user activity and create an access foundation that reflects the needs of each department, location and user.

2. Safeguard Activity in the Cloud

The increase in cloud-based applications and cloud networking is a double-edged sword; with more users accessing your network remotely, cloud security and identity management become an even greater challenge. However, cloud-based IAM solutions offer real-time threat intelligence without the cost and complexity of on-premises solutions. It provides integrated cloud security solutions easily mastered with intuitive web-based tools that automate IAM tasks and integrates with SaaS for robust cloud security that someone else manages.

3. Prevent Unauthorized Access

As third-party integrations and SaaS providers become more common, employee passwords become more vulnerable and only the strongest access management system will do. Here, the use of federated single sign-on (SSO), open authorization (OAuth) and social media-based authentication can safeguard passwords and the account information that goes with them with token-based authentication and authorization that grants access without putting these credentials at risk.

4. Get Stakeholders on Board

Winning budget approval for new initiatives can be a challenge when you struggle to tie the solution to profits or competitive advantage. Luckily, CMOs and COOs are just as interested in identity management products as CISOs. Marketing and operations can benefit from a better understanding of the potential risk related to user behavior in cloud-based applications or on your corporate systems. Having a stake in the security game makes these influencers IAM champions who can help drive IAM initiatives through. What’s more, their budgets can be tapped to contribute to IAM costs.

5. Use Compliance to Your Advantage

Compliance is like death and taxes; it’s a certainty. So preparing your business for the rigors of a security audit is in your best interest. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requires strong access control and mandates data protection and privacy. According to Stratistics MRC, the audit, compliance and governance segment of the IAM market is expected to grow at the highest CAGR—thanks to the increased threat of theft and data breaches targeting valuable information.

Interested in taking advantage of these IAM opportunities? Talk to us! Simeio delivers end-to-end IAM managed services that brings real value to your security strategy.