Robust Identity Management With ‘8-Point IAM Audit Checklist’ and ‘IAM Strategy’
Meeting compliance and regulatory requirements is one major challenge to every organization, globally.
Given today’s cybersecurity challenges, organizations are under the constant pressure of penalties for failing to meet the compliance requirements. So, it’s imperative for every business to secure their assets and data from intruder attacks.
Thanks to the measures aimed at ensuring organizational IT security and data safety.
Moreover, a robust Identity and Access Management (IAM) system offers the first line of defense for your organization. For that to deliver results, you need to have a checklist.
Here are 8 checklist points that can make the IAM system work the desired way in line with the IAM Audit requirements.
The 8-Point IAM Audit Checklist includes:
1) Create an IAM Policy
Make sure the IAM process is clearly defined and a crucial part of your organizational security policy. Creating an IAM policy document is strongly recommended for the following reasons:
- Meet compliance requirements
- Manage user access and authorization
- Define access to stakeholders who can help make a robust IAM policy
- Robust incident response
Moreover, it’s more important to review the policy document at regular intervals to ensure that the right practices are updated and followed on time.
2) Develop and Streamline Procedure
It’s not done with creating a policy, and you see desired results only if implemented properly. For that, you need to develop a procedure involving all stakeholders in the IAM process and define roles.
The streamlined procedure should have the list of stakeholders with assigned responsibilities and actions they are accountable for.
3) Access Review
In any organization, users, roles, and responsibilities keep changing. In such a scenario, it’s important to review access and authorizations given to different users. To ensure the right access is given, formulate a user access review process.
Keep reviewing that at different intervals to avoid discrepancies. Policy-Based Access Control (PBAC) is one means to execute the user access review process.
4) Appropriate Privileges
This is the crucial point that defines the robustness of an IAM system. Despite being known, this is often ignored. It’s very important to see the user access remains limited to ‘particular’ job requirements and not further. It’s recommended to follow the Least Privileged Account principle, which calls for setting maximum limitations possible to the resources.
If special privileges have to be given, make sure to revoke them immediately after the temporary period set for its usage ends.
5) Segregating Responsibilities
This is one crucial aspect that can avoid possible risks in the very first step. Segregating duties among people keeps them limited to their respective functions, and none gets complete access. In case of critical tasks, break them into smaller ones and assign them to multiple people. This keeps every process and its associated security functions independent from others.
In case one of any breach to a process, the threat scope remains limited to that particular process, leaving the rest of the system.
6) Generic Accounts
Generic accounts are required in every organization to execute regular and common activities like training and testing. But keeping them idle can lead to security risks. Never assign admin rights to generic accounts and make sure to delete the unused ones.
It’s important to see they are bound by strong passwords to avoid breaches through default settings. Privileged Access Management (PAM) and PBAC can offer full control over generic accounts.
7) Delete/Disable Idle Accounts
It’s important to keep your IAM system clean, secure and updated. Delete any unused user account (generic or important ones) lying idle. Leaving them is like allowing them to grow further and welcome threats through them.
Delete inactive users lying individually and in groups. Make sure users are only present in their relevant groups. Conduct a regular review of group policies and delete exposed login details.
8) Document Everything
Back to where we started. We started with documenting policy for its effective implementation. But it’s important to document everything in implementation too. This forms as a trial for future implementations and helps comply with rules every time.
Documentation is key to the IAM audit process, where you need to share administration activities, policies, and usage documented. Moreover, the documentation process gives a better understanding of the entire IAM system, helping you find ways to improve it further.
What Makes an IAM Strategy?
Based on the above checklist, we can list down what a robust IAM strategy consists of:
- Automated Provisioning and De-provisioning activity
- Single Sign-on, Multi-factor authentication, and PAM methods
- Centralized Management
- Manage by Groups
- Compatibility with multiple platforms or OS
- Extensibility and scalability to SaaS Apps
- Automatic and Customizable Password Management
- Use of standard core protocols
Based on these points, you can easily measure the robustness of your organization’s IAM system by scores. Measured out of 10:
- Score 0-4 indicates your current IAM program is causing a risk to your organizational security and needs a makeover.
- Score 4-7 indicates your IAM program is not at risk but not adding to your progress. That could be rising incompatibility issues or lagging in some areas, among others.
- Score 7-8 indicates your IAM program is serving you well but can be improved further to fight the future challenges.
- Score 9-10 indicates your IAM program is performing very well and is ahead of the curve.
With a perfect IAM strategy in place, you will have an ability to fight identity-and access related risks such as identity vulnerabilities and sprawls, challenges with unused/legacy systems, vendor lock-in, among others. Looking for IAM Solutions and Services support?