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April 2013 / Volume 15 / No. 3

Managing identities in hybrid worlds

You would think that managing identities and access rights in an organization would be settled, solved and routine by now. But the ebb and flow of disruptive technologies such as cloud-based systems, mobile apps and bring-your-own-devices (BYOD) have made it as elusive as ever. Identity and access management, or IAM, is the business and technology concerned with effective management of all users’ access to an organization’s assets and facilities. It is difficult to fund IAM projects because they consume resources without actually adding business functionality. IAM is a part of the organization’s plumbing; you take it for granted until you turn on the hot water and nothing happens. Many organizations do not realize that their IAM is out of control until one of the following occurs: Security incident caused by an insider with excessive privileges Security incident caused by a former employee who still has access rights An external auditor or regulator discovers lapses in IAM processes resulting in too many people having access to ...

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