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What is Identity Lifecycle Management (ILM)?

Terry Mann | 5 min read| Published On - January 30, 2024

Identity Lifecycle Management

Many businesses use manual processes to provision new users and manage their access, which can be slow and error-prone. This can delay onboarding and lead to security risks, as dormant accounts can be exploited by attackers. Identity Lifecycle Management (ILM) solutions automate these processes, improving productivity by allowing new hires to quickly access necessary applications and services.

What is Identity Lifecycle Management (ILM)?

Identity Lifecycle Management (ILM) refers to the process of managing the entire lifecycle of digital identities within an organization. This includes the creation, modification, and termination of user identities and their associated access rights and permissions. The goal of Identity Lifecycle Management is to ensure that individuals have the appropriate access to resources and systems based on their roles and responsibilities, while also addressing security and compliance requirements.

Identity Lifecycle Management (ILM) also reduces security risks by eliminating privilege creep and out-of-date user accounts. This frees up IT and security staff to focus on other tasks that support the business. ILM solutions also provide self-service portals, approval workflow tools, and centralized monitoring and reporting capabilities. These solutions integrate with HR systems and corporate directories to simplify employee onboarding/offboarding.

The newest identity lifecycle management tools are compatible with Software as a Service (SaaS) products like Microsoft 365, Box, and Dropbox. Businesses can implement identity lifecycle management solutions to automate onboarding new users, creating SaaS accounts (like Microsoft 365), and designating user access privileges. Likewise, many organizations are using IDaaS (Identity as a Service) for its streamlined operation, accelerated time-to-value, and digital transformation support. IDaaS is a cloud-based service, hosted by a trusted third party for simplicity and agility. It combines an enterprise-class identity security solution with the advantages of cloud computing.

Components of Identity Lifecycle Management

Although not set in stone, below are some of the main components of Identity Lifecycle Management:

1. Identity Provisioning: This component involves establishing and administering user accounts along with their respective access privileges. It also involves assigning necessary access permissions to newly joined employees, enabling them to fulfill their duties with the least amount of friction.

2. Access Control: This includes defining permissions and restrictions linked to individual user identities whilst ensuring that users only have access to data and applications they need to perform their roles, thus minimizing the risk of unauthorized access.

3. Authentication and Authorization: Authentication and authorization is about verifying user identities by confirming their credentials before allowing access, and determining the actions authenticated users can perform within the system. These two components work together to maintain security and privacy.

4. Lifecycle Governance: This component is about managing identities throughout their entire cycle, encompassing both onboarding and offboarding. This involves changing or revoking access rights as users switch roles, departments, or leave the organization, decreasing security breach risks.

5. Compliance Management: Compliance management is about ensuring that organizational identity management practices comply with industry regulations and internal policies. It involves conducting regular audits, monitoring, and reporting to guarantee adherence to legal mandates and data protection standards.

The Role of Identity Lifecycle Management in Cybersecurity

Identity Lifecycle Management plays a pivotal role in cybersecurity by centralizing control over user identities and access privileges, automating account management, and minimizing unauthorized access risks. Below are some other notable ways that ILM can bolster your cybersecurity posture:

Enhanced compliance: Identity Lifecycle Management helps organizations comply with industry regulations by providing a structured process for managing identities and access rights, maintaining accurate records, and ensuring compliance.

Streamlined administration: ILM automates provisioning and deprovisioning tasks, reducing manual effort and preventing errors.

Increased productivity: Identity Lifecycle Management empowers users to manage their access requests and updates, reducing the burden on IT support teams and enabling users to focus on core responsibilities.

Reduced costs: ILM optimizes resource utilization, reduces IT staff needs, and helps avoid financial and reputational risks associated with security breaches and non-compliance.

Improved user experience: ILM provides a centralized portal for managing identities and entitlements, simplifying onboarding and offboarding processes and reducing support requests.

Scalability and flexibility: Identity Lifecycle Management solutions accommodate changing business needs, handle a large number of accounts, manage access rights across platforms, and integrate with existing IAM systems.

How Lepide Can Help with Identity Lifecycle Management

The Lepide Data Security Platform provides identity lifecycle management (ILM) capabilities that assists organizations in effectively managing and securing user identities throughout their entire lifecycle. For example, Lepide can integrate with various identity sources, such as Active Directory, SIEM, and various cloud platforms, to streamline user management across different systems.

The platform can automatically detect and respond to inactive user accounts, thus helping to streamline the offboarding process. The Lepide software makes it easier for organizations to implement role-based access control (RBAC), enabling them to assign appropriate access privileges based on user roles and responsibilities. RBAC simplifies access management by grouping users into roles and assigning permissions to the roles instead of individual users.

Finally, the Lepide platform can effortlessly generate compliance reports to demonstrate adherence to regulatory requirements and industry standards. These reports include detailed information on user activity, password changes, and a wide range of other security events.

If you’d like to see how the Lepide Data Security Platform can help with ILM, schedule a demo with one of our engineers or start your free trial today.

Terry Mann
Terry Mann

Terry is an energetic and versatile Sales Person within the Internet Security sector, developing growth opportunities as well as bringing on net new opportunities.

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