Estimated reading time: 16 minutes
Protecting digital assets is a top priority for every organization, from the smallest nonprofit to large multinational companies. But these assets are only as safe as the people who protect and handle them, guarding them from cyberattacks and other breaches.
Think about it: what do you know about the people who work for your company? Or the new vendor you just signed a contract with to handle your payroll? How about a company that handles functions that you need to outsource?
An identity management system is something your business needs, regardless of industry or any other factors. The increase in the remote workforce leaves both worker’s devices and company networks vulnerable to cyberattacks. With hybrid workers and cloud-based services becoming the norm, identity management software lets you ensure that everyone involved with your organization is who they say they are before you give them access to your network and proprietary data. This includes people who are requesting access to certain types of risky or sensitive information, which may occur in healthcare member identity intelligence systems. A user’s digital identity is key to their job function with attributes that allow them to have only specific resources for their job. Workers don’t always use best practices when setting and storing passwords, so identity management can add additional protections to networks like Single Sign On (SSO) to protect from intrusions to an organization’s internal systems.
Regardless of your why, here’s what you should know about identity management software.
What is identity management software?
Identity management software, also called Identity and Access Management (IAM), simply describes the process of helping you to investigate and verify the true identity of every person your company interacts with. For example, an identity management system may include identity verification software, which ensures the credentials a user provides matches the rest of their information on file.
IT teams must manage system access to internal resources, third-party cloud-based resources, and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) tools for workers. These resources allow your organization to have remote workers from anywhere in the world.
Each one requires pre-user authentication for each individual user. This can also lead to a process with multiple gaps in security processes. That’s where identity management software can help your business protect network and data integrity. It also automates onboarding and offboarding while verifying the identities of each person coming into and leaving your company.
Many identity management systems include data encryption that can protect sensitive information during transmission. IT administrators can set conditions for access, including location, device, or real-time risk information. Automating tasks like password resets, account unlocking, and access log monitoring to identify abnormalities can save time for IT staff and let them focus on other tasks. This is just a portion of identity management software. Typically, identity management software encompasses a variety of methods. All these methods help you understand more about the people you do business with and the people use your business. Tracers helps you learn more about each person before you assign credentials. Whether you’re managing vendors, customers or even employees, identity management software is vital to the process.
Features of the Best Identity Management Software
Identity management software ensures your company knows who has access to the network and vital data, and offers a variety of key features:
- Improves your company’s data security
- Greater control over employee application permissions, giving access to only what each individual employee needs
- Accelerates employee onboarding
- Simplify sign-ins by users, reducing the need for remembering passwords (and increasing their productivity)
- Granting access to employees for software
- Consolidate storage of employee information
- Observe user access and changes to access privileges
- Deactivating accounts for offboarded workers, eliminating inactive accounts for possible unauthorized access
- Check for threats and unauthorized access
- Decrease the risk of compliance failures
Additionally, identity management software and systems can enhance the organizational hierarchy and elevate user experience (UX). Identity verification and authentication is a vital part of the management. Of course, authenticating each person can be a time-consuming and arduous process. Tracers gives access to millions of personal records to help you find personal information about each person you hire or do business with quickly.
Who can use identity management software?
The goal of identity management is to ensure that only authenticated users and devices receive access to the applications, systems and components that they are authorized to use. This practice manages the attributes for each user, device, or entity that needs resource accessibility. Not every user or device that’s authorized to be on the network will have access to every resource. Access to specific resources is provided by evaluating the attributes associated with a user’s identity. This may include factors like their role, organizational hierarchy, or group affiliations. Identity management is a critical part of any IT security since it is related to access control.
Any company can use identity management software. In fact, even more so than other tools in the world of people searches, identity management software is something almost anyone can utilize. That includes, for example, law enforcement data sharing structures and health care payer software, both of which have important boxes around who can access the data.
Whenever you have a piece of data that you need to share, you’re doing any type of transaction, or you have people accessing important information, it’s a good idea to have an identity management system. As you can see, that’s an element of just about every company, which is why it’s so important for you to consider using it in your company.
What does identity management software help with?
Having someone access information they shouldn’t be allowed to is a very serious problem. It’s typically why and how data breaches happen. An identity management software process can help you avoid health care provider fraud by shutting and keeping non-providers out of the system.
Identity management software also ensures that only those authorized by your organization can access your systems. It thwarts unauthorized access to your systems and resources and mitigates the risks of enterprise or sensitive data removal. This software also triggers alerts and alarms in response to unauthorized access attempts that originate inside or outside of the enterprise perimeter.
Roughly 80% of data breaches occur due to mismanaged or inadequate credentials. Without proper identity management, an organization’s network can be easily compromised before anyone notices there’s something wrong. Identity access management (identity management software) platforms can automate control functions like removing departed users access from the network and company directory.
Identity management also protects hardware resources from damage via ransomware attacks. Servers, storage devices and networks are protected from unauthorized access that can cause harm and leak important company data. Having an identity management system in place can protect sensitive data from intrusion and improve the company’s regulatory compliance and governmental mandates. In general, if you want to make sure people can only access certain elements of your information, you need to make sure you have an identity management system set up to handle everything. . Because this is so crucial for all elements of your business, identity management software is important for nearly any company.
Alternately, you may want to know more about your customer base by collecting and analyzing customer identity and behavior data. Identity management software can provide valuable insights about a company’s customer base by helping to collect and analyze customer identity and behavior data, such as:
- Identity Verification: just like your employees, when customers interact with the company’s systems or services, the software can verify their identities. This initial verification provides a foundation for understanding who the customers are. It can also include multi-factor authentication methods to provide valuable data about how customers access the company’s services and systems.
- Single Customer View: the software can help create a single customer view by consolidating data from various touchpoints and systems. This unified view provides a comprehensive understanding of each customer’s interactions and history with the company.
- Data Collection and Analysis: capture and analyze customer data, including demographic information, contact details, purchase history, preferences, and behavior to segment customers into different groups based on common characteristics or behaviors.
- Personalization: The collected data can personalize your customer’s experiences. By understanding customer preferences, companies can tailor their offerings and content to individual customer needs that leads to increased engagement and loyalty.
- Behavioral Analysis: track your customer’s behavior patterns, such as the frequency and type of interactions with the company’s digital channels and use that to identify trends and preferences.
- Risk Assessment: assess the risk associated with each customer based on their behavior and identity, helping to identify potentially fraudulent or high-risk customers.
- Customer Journey Mapping: Analyze the customer journey by mapping the various touchpoints and interactions a customer has with the company. Understanding this journey helps identify pain points and areas for improvement.
- Auditing and Compliance: Identity management software can maintain audit logs of customer interactions, which can be useful for compliance and monitoring customer engagement.
- Segmentation and Targeting: Use customer data to segment the customer base into specific groups or personas, allowing the company to target marketing campaigns and promotions more effectively.
- Feedback and Surveys: collect customer feedback and conduct surveys to learn more about their preferences and satisfaction levels. Identity management data can help identify which customers to survey and tailor questions based on their profiles.
- Integration with CRM Systems: integrate identity management data with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems to provide a comprehensive customer profile, making it easier for sales and marketing teams to understand and engage with customers.
- Predictive Analytics: use customer data and behavioral patterns to implement predictive analytics models. These models can forecast customer trends, identify potential churn, and suggest upselling or cross-selling opportunities.
By leveraging identity management software in these ways, companies can gain a deeper understanding of their customer base. Companies can use this information to improve customer engagement, develop personalized marketing strategies, and enhance the overall customer experience. Ultimately, this can lead to increased customer loyalty and business success.
Why Your Organization Needs Identity Management System Controls
Organizations need identity management system controls for several important reasons, with security and data protection being the top reasons. Identity management controls can also assist in mitigating insider threats by continuously monitoring and assessing user behavior, which can help to detect and respond to suspicious actions by employees or other authorized users.
Hackers take any opportunity to exploit any weaknesses they find to access a network. Organizations need to protect their networks and digital assets or risk damage to their reputation and potentially lead to fines for noncompliance.
Verizon’s 2023 Data Breach Investigation Report indicates that:
- The human element was involved in 73% of all data breaches, which included error, misuse of privilege, stolen credentials, or social engineering.
- External actors were involved in 83% of breaches, 95% of which were “financially driven.” This can include former employees or contractors whose user accounts were not disabled after their departure.
- The top three methods used for breaching networks were stolen credentials, exploitation of vulnerabilities, and phishing.
- Ransomware was involved in 24% of data breaches
Both external and internal actors (current employees, contractors, and partner organizations such as outsourced IT) may be responsible for data breaches in an organization.
As businesses increase in size, they have a greater need for identity and access management systems. These solutions help maintain the integrity of their network perimeter and reduce the potential for human error.
Remote Work And Cloud-Based Applications
The events of the last three years have made remote work more prevalent for many companies. Remote workers’ not-quite-secure wireless connections and ineffective passwords can affect your entire system. But remote work has only become more widespread, with many employees opting to work from home after realizing the benefits. That means more outside access and more chances for possible breaches to the network.
Identity management software plays a crucial role in ensuring the security and efficiency of a remote work environment. With the expansion of remote and distributed workforces, organizations must manage and protect user identities, access, and data from various locations and devices.
Implementing identity management means that the organization can manage access to remote desktops and virtual environments, allowing employees to work as if they were in the office. The software also helps control access to cloud-based applications and resources, ensuring that remote workers can use them securely. It also ensures remote workers can securely access collaboration tools like video conferencing, messaging, and document sharing platforms while protecting sensitive company data.
Identity trust software enables secure authentication for remote employees, ensuring only authorized individuals can access company resources. Also, with Single Sign-On (SSO), remote access is made easier by allowing users to sign in once to access multiple applications and resources, reducing the need to remember multiple usernames and passwords.
When a worker onboards, no matter where they are, the identity management software streamlines the onboarding process for remote employees, automating the creation of user accounts, permissions, and access to necessary resources. After an employee leaves the company or changes roles, the same software ensures that their access rights are promptly updated or revoked, reducing the risk of unauthorized access later.
Zero Trust Security
This approach to IT security assumes that any access is not trusted and must be authenticated before allowing access to the network. The rule is “never trust, always verify,” and eliminating the principle of in-network trust. It is not location-dependent, so users and assets can reside nearly anywhere.
IT architecture previously used the principle that everything within the network is safe. But changes in the workforce, including location, means that no user or device is safe. Remote employees are no longer behind a firewall or VPN, and service applications may have their components anywhere. This is particularly important if employees decide to use non-approved applications on the network without approval, creating their own “shadow IT.”
Zero trust sees “trust” as “vulnerability.” Therefore, anything and everything must go through authentication prior to accessing an organization’s network. It also gets a handle on the ever-increasing number of both personal and machine identities that organizations experience when they begin to move to hybrid and other landscapes for their IT.
Identity management software plays a vital role in a Zero Trust environment. Constant monitoring of user behavior and network traffic is essential. The software can help track user activity, detect anomalies, and respond to suspicious behavior, helping to maintain a continuous trust assessment.
By implementing identity management software within a Zero Trust environment, organizations can establish a strong foundation for securing their digital assets, reducing the risk of breaches, and ensuring that trust is continuously verified across all aspects of their IT infrastructure, from users and devices to applications and data.
Verifying identities is a fundamental and critical aspect of identity management. It also involves the process of confirming that a person’s claimed identity is accurate, ensuring that the digital identity matches the real-world individual.
Verification is essential for identity management as it forms the foundation of security, compliance, and trust in digital environments. Having a robust identity verification process ensures that the right individuals have access to the right resources while minimizing the risk of unauthorized access and security breaches.
Tracers offers the most complete and wide-ranging people search records for your identity verification needs. It includes billions of identifiable data points and an instant triangulation process that makes identity verification easy for anyone or any company you want to screen for potential risks. Tracers public and private records database offers a faster and easier way to research people and companies for your company’s security.
How can I start using identity management software?
The process of using identity management software requires that you have a great tool to begin using. Implementing identity management software in a company involves multiple steps to ensure a smooth and effective transition:
- Assess Your Needs: identify the specific requirements and objectives for implementing identity management software. Consider factors such as the size of your organization, the number of users, the types of resources to be protected, and any compliance or security requirements.
- Set Clear Objectives: define clear and measurable goals for your identity management implementation. These could include improving security, enhancing user access control, reducing administrative overhead, and ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements.
- Select the Right Software: research and evaluate identity management software solutions that align with your organization’s needs and objectives. Consider factors like authentication methods, access control capabilities, scalability, and integration options. Seek vendor recommendations and reviews and consider conducting a proof of concept (POC) to test the software’s suitability.
- Plan the Implementation: create a comprehensive implementation plan that outlines the scope, timeline, and resources required for the project. Define roles and responsibilities for the implementation team and establish a budget.
- Integration with Existing Systems: ensure that the identity management software can seamlessly integrate with your existing systems and applications. This might involve customizing the software or configuring it to work with your organization’s specific infrastructure.
- User Training and Awareness: develop a user training program to educate employees on the new identity management system, its benefits, and how to use it. Promote awareness of the changes and emphasize the importance of adhering to the new identity management processes.
- User Provisioning and Deprovisioning: configure the software to automate user provisioning and deprovisioning processes. This will ensure that new employees have the necessary access and that departing employees have their access rights promptly revoked.
- Define Access Policies: create and enforce access policies that align with your organization’s security and compliance requirements. Define roles and permissions and establish a policy of least privilege to minimize the risk of unauthorized access.
- Security Features and Policies: implement security features such as multi-factor authentication (MFA), password policies, and encryption to enhance the overall security of your identity management system.
- Testing and Quality Assurance: before rolling out the software to all users, conduct rigorous testing and quality assurance to ensure that it functions as intended, with no vulnerabilities or issues that could compromise security.
- Deployment and Rollout: deploy the identity management software in a phased approach, starting with a subset of users and gradually expanding to the entire organization. Monitor the rollout for any issues and address them promptly.
- Monitoring and Maintenance: implement ongoing monitoring and maintenance procedures to ensure the software continues to function correctly. This includes routine updates, patch management, and responding to any user issues or security incidents.
- User Support and Helpdesk: provide user support and helpdesk services to address user inquiries, issues, and password resets. Ensure that users have access to the necessary resources to resolve their identity-related concerns.
- Compliance and Auditing: set up auditing and compliance processes to track user activity and maintain compliance with relevant regulations and internal policies.
- User Feedback and Continuous Improvement: gather feedback from users and stakeholders to continuously improve the identity management system and adapt to changing organizational needs.
These steps can help a company effectively implement identity management software, which will enhance security, streamline access control, and improve the overall management of digital identities within the organization.
You can’t build a great identity management system unless you have incredible, strong tools behind that system. Identity management software must start with a great set of tools and a huge database of records or you’re not going to get much effective use from your software. The desire and need for strong software with a great set of tools is exactly what draws so many people to Tracers.
With Tracers, you don’t have to worry about whether you have enough power in your identity management software. Tracers offers plenty of options, including an API, batch processing and much more. Plus, by drawing on over 42 billion records from over 5,000 sources, you never have to worry about whether you’re missing information. It’s the best way to maintain an identity management system. If you want to experience this for yourself, sign up for Tracers today to learn more about your options.
What is the Best Identity Management Software available? Tracers
Overall, it’s important to manage identities in your organization properly. Whether that means managing users’ identities or managing the identities of your employees, you need to make sure you’re thinking about the process for any organization. The first step is verifying those identities before allowing anyone to access your organization’s systems and resources.
These are just a few of the industries that can utilize identity management software:
- Law enforcement
- Government organizations
- Insurance companies
- Healthcare agencies
- Educational institutions
- E-commerce business
Even if you don’t believe your organization fits into any of these industries, it doesn’t mean you have no need for identity management software. Most organizations can utilize identity management software in some context in their day-to-day functioning. However your company implements an identity software system, verifying identities is a crucial part of knowing who has access to your company’s resources. Consider Tracers for your identity management software needs, no matter what they might be.