IAM, also known as Identity and Access Management, is a comprehensive framework or system that governs and controls user access to various digital resources within an organization. It involves policies, procedures, and technologies that aim to ensure the appropriate access privileges are granted to the right individuals at the right time.
IAM encompasses the processes of identity management, authentication, authorization, and accounting for both internal and external users. It allows organizations to securely manage user identities, their permissions, and their roles throughout their entire lifecycle, from onboarding to termination. The key objectives of IAM are to enhance security, streamline user access, comply with regulations, and mitigate risks associated with unauthorized access.
With IAM, individuals are provided with unique digital identities, which serve as their online persona or representation. These identities are authenticated through various methods, such as passwords, biometrics, or multi-factor authentication, to ensure the person accessing the resources is who they claim to be. Authorization is then applied to define the actions or operations the identified individual is allowed to perform based on their assigned role or permissions.
IAM systems also enable centralized management and administration of user identities, simplifying access provisioning, modification, and revocation. It provides capabilities for single sign-on, password management, and activity monitoring to enforce user accountability and detect any suspicious or malicious activities.
Overall, IAM plays a crucial role in safeguarding sensitive information, maintaining data privacy, and ensuring efficient and secure access control within an organization's digital ecosystem.