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What’s the difference between identity management and access management?

Identity management and access management are both key components of protecting how users access your company data.

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When it comes to the sustainability of your business, having the right IT features is critical to your success. Particularly in the area of security, it’s crucial that you have the right tech solutions that help protect your business’ interests. More and more businesses are falling prey to high-profile data breaches, and without the right tools, your company could also be susceptible to these kinds of threats.

As a result, it’s pivotal that you find the tools and software that allow you to protect your private data—and a lot of that starts with ensuring that none of your employees drop the ball when it comes to data security. A managed services provider can help you handle these issues, by allowing you to utilize identity management systems as well as access management. Many people don’t actually understand the differences between these two security approaches, which is important to be able to discern if you’re searching for the appropriate tool to protect access to your data.

The ins and outs of identity management.

The most common way you’ve likely interfaced with identity management is through logins and passwords. This is particularly useful when your business needs to know which people are making certain requests. That being said, identity management goes beyond a typical username and password these days. Thumbprints and other biometric data, for example, can be used in order to authenticate users—with smartphones adding even more possibilities to identity management.

Another benefit of identity management is that it’s a key component for giving different user groups permissions based on their role or department. This can help streamline who has secure access to certain documents, servers, and even keycard access to different buildings or office spaces. Ultimately, digital identity tools have come a long way to go beyond authentication through user-generated passwords alone and help companies manage different user identities more efficiently.

What to understand about access management.

While identifying a user’s identity is linked with aspects of access, identity authentication alone doesn’t account for the access itself. After a user is correctly identified, only then can authorization be granted based on the permissions set up for different user roles. In the above example, perhaps only administrators or supervisors are the ones with access to certain servers or office spaces, whereas lower-level employees aren’t granted that kind of access.

Understanding access management can help you better manage who gets to see confidential information within your company, avoiding the need for separate systems, since different users can have permissions set based on their role. Maybe that means that your marketing department has the ability to access a subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud, whereas your accounting department has access to the financial information that marketers wouldn’t necessarily need to see.

As you can see, identity management and access management are both key components of protecting how users access your company data. That being said, there are some important differences that shouldn’t be confused if you and your business take security seriously. Remember that identity management deals with how users’ accounts are authenticated, whereas access management is responsible for authorizing users.

If you feel a little overwhelmed by all of this technical talk, you’re not alone. That’s why it might be worth finding another company that can help you manage the needs of each of these different systems to ensure that things are handled appropriately. A solution like OneLogin is ideal for handling identity and access management, so that users, software, and even IoT devices don’t threaten your company’s data security. In order for everything to move smoothly with the technology your business is built on, you need to have both aspects of identity and access properly configured to ensure the efficiency of how your company runs.

Have any thoughts on this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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