Understanding Identity Management within Organizations
Identity management is about ensuring that all individuals have access to the information they need, when they need it, in a safe and secure environment, while protecting the privacy of employees and customers.
Identity management systems structure and functionality varies based on the organizational needs; however, the main goal of ID management systems is an effective design that allows for information sharing without compromising personal information or companies’ confidential files.
User access and ID management
User’s access is determined by a user’s role or position in the organization. For example, HR personnel might have access to employee payment information, while IT department staff would have access to the tools to execute the projects they are working on.
Who a business’s users are will vary from organization to organization. In general, users will be anyone that has a relationship with the organization. User accounts can be created for:
- Partnering organizations
To simplify the process, most companies attempt to group users into categories and allow access to specific systems, programs, tools, or information based on this classification. Therefore, during the account set up process, users will have access to more or less resources to create an account.
Identify Management is Multidisciplinary
While, on the surface, ID management seems to be primarily an administrative function within an organization, it is rather diverse in terms of its impact. Identity management has a role in many areas:
Social issues such as privacy.
- Legal issues such as legislation for the protection of data (i.e. copyright).
- Access to information and other information security issues.
- Technical issues related to the creation, management, removal, access, and updating of user identities on various systems within an organization.
- Organizational issues such as restricting and granting access to specific individuals.
- Business and e-commerce issues.
The Role of Identity Management Systems
ID management systems perform four main functions for organizations. The first thing they do is establish identities for users via user accounts. Second, they classify and describe the identities and apply attributes to the user. Third, ID systems track the activity of identities, and fourth, if necessary, identity management systems delete user accounts when they are no longer necessary. Therefore, ID systems manage all aspects of user account access to all company systems and resources.
IT and Identity Management
Within an IT network, companies use ID management software applications to automate specific, primarily-administrative tasks.
One of the most time consuming aspects of identify management is related to password management. IT departments and help desks are consumed with calls from system users about access to resources, creating, resetting and changing passwords for system access. When specific tasks are automated, such as password management, users can handle these issues on their own and IT departments can focus on more pertinent issues.
The goal of applying ID management and task automation is to:
Improve overall efficiency.
- Reduce strain on IT resources.
- Eliminate redundancy.
Identify management systems are effective at streamlining company-wide access to resources, tools, and, information that users need in order to efficiently perform their job.
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