Identity management (IDM) is essentially the management and administration of individual identities within a system, such as a business or a network.
“Everyone has a digital presence of sorts,” says Gerald Naidoo, CEO of Logical Consulting. “This could be social media such as Facebook or Twitter, it could be emails, online accounts and suchlike. This digital presence is effectively our digital identity. Within the business word, it is the organisational identity that is important, as it is defines users within the frame of the business.”
He says this collection of unique characteristics that define each of us helps the technical department to manage and maintain the business systems, by having a single identity or view of each individual within the company. “Identity Management (IDM) is crucial to an organisation’s security and productivity initiatives. By using an IDM tool, businesses can protect their networks and proprietary information, as well as their applications, all while lowering complexity and costs.”
In addition, Naidoo says IDM is core to ensuring that the business networks are secure, and that all the organisation’s stakeholders, from staff, to management, to third-party partners have access to the resources they need. “Without IDM, this process would be far too onerous and complex. Add to this the issue of compliance and liability pertaining to protecting customers’ data, and you can see why having an IDM solution is not a ‘nice to have’ but a ‘must have’.”
Describing how IDM systems work, Naidoo says they provide technical departments with a central platform for managing identities, and also feature a number of tools including password generators and device management systems. “A good IDM tool enables IT departments to centrally manage user accounts, user authorisations and user groups by utilising a convenient, Web-based management system.”
One such tool, Oracle Identity Management, which Logikal has recently become certified in, is a complete and integrated identity management platform that offers unprecedented scalability; enabling businesses to achieve rapid compliance with regulatory mandates. It also secures sensitive applications and data regardless of whether they are hosted on-premises or in a cloud, and it reduces operational costs.
Naidoo says it includes several features. “One of these is access management, whuich gives clients the flexibility to deploy a comprehensive solution delivering authentication, single sign-on, authorisation, federation, mobile and social sign-on, identity propagation, and risk-based authentication and authorisation at the network perimeter.”
In addition, Oracle Identity Governance facilitates self-service, simplifying account administration, and streamlining audit tasks. “This translates into a significantly lower overall total cost of ownership for managing identities. Through the comprehensive platform for user registration, that includes access request, role lifecycle management, provisioning, access certification, closed-loop remediation and privileged account management, the solution simplifies the process to address today’s requirements and enables businesses to address new opportunities.”