Authentication Fundamentals

How to Find the Best Identity and Access Management Solution in 2019


Identity and access management (IAM) — ensuring that only the right people have the right access to the right systems at the right time — is a vital part of any organization’s cybersecurity. Properly-implemented identity and access management can significantly reduce the risk of criminals, hackers, and other bad actors compromising your sensitive systems and information.

Technology and best practices are constantly evolving. When you’re looking for the best identity and access management platform, there are several features you’ll want to insist on going into 2019. We’ve covered the most common below.

Provide access management across all environments

The modern enterprise has technology deployed across multiple environments in almost limitless configurations. Your identity and access management solution should be able to work flawlessly across local datacenters, public, private, and hybrid clouds, and anywhere else you have implemented technology. It should work for mobile workers. It should work across all configurations, even the most esoteric edge-type cases, and also be available through any device that your employees might use. This is asking a lot but covering all users in a consistent manner through a common identity platform is critical for your future.

Offer a choice of authentication factors to align with security policies

Your identity and access management software should fit your security policies, not the other way around. This means your security teams can create policies and processes based on industry best practice, designed to restrict access to authorized users. Your identity and access management platform should provide a list of customizable security and authentication factors that allow you to flawlessly implement your security policies and procedures.

Implement robust two-factor and multifactor authentication

Two-factor and multifactor authentication is an increasingly important way to ensure a user has the proper credentials to access your systems and data. Your identity and access management system should provide a range of built-in authentication methods including security tokens, security cards, biometrics, behavioral and other techniques. One size doesn’t fit every user, so don’t lock yourself into a platform with limited authentication factors.

Allow sophisticated adaptive authentication

Adaptive authentication (also known in some circles as Adaptive Access) allows your security team to tailor access controls and required credentials to the unique circumstances of how a system is being accessed. Adaptive authentication can take into account factors like who is accessing the system, the device they’re using, the time and date, their location, and various other information. Your authentication system can then insist on various extra credentials for login attempts, based on how the adaptive authentication algorithm determines the risk of the person trying to access your systems. Introducing a visible authentication method only when absolutely necessary is the goal of adaptive, risk-based authentication and it should be a component of your IAM system.

Offer authentication hardware integration, out of the box

If you’re introducing two-factor or multifactor authentication, you need complete, effortless integration with the most popular hardware and other authentication technologies. Your identity and access management system should easily integrate with the various security tokens, biometric scanners, and other authentication devices and hardware. FIDO (Fast Identity Online) is a technology standard quickly becoming de riguer among identity professionals because it allows trusted, off-the-shelf devices like hardware tokens to be integrated into a core IAM platform.

Provide integration with single sign-on

Single sign-on, or SSO, allows your identity and access management system to provide access to multiple systems once a user is properly authenticated. It achieves this by communicating with discrete systems that a user is already properly authenticated and does not need to enter additional logon information like a username and password, to access connected software and platforms. SSO can work across multiple types of software, including locally installed and online Software as a Service (SaaS).

Offer industry-specific best practice authentication solutions

Authentication needs vary widely between industries — a healthcare provider or financial service organization may require stronger credentials than a retailer. Ideally, your identity and access management platform should provide guidance on the right authentication for your industry and sector, and provide practical authentication options, out of the box.

Crossmatch solutions serve digital security needs across all industries. DigitalPersona’s flexible configurations provide a composite authentication solution that’s unmatched in the industry. DigitalPersona transforms the way IT executives protect the integrity of the digital organization. Utilizing a composite authentication approach, the solution goes beyond two-factor (2FA) and multifactor (MFA) to secure every user, application and endpoint.

Stephanie is a Regional Account Executive for DigitalPersona’s advanced authentication solution. As a top Inside Sales Rep at Crossmatch in 2016 and 2017, she works well with organizations in solving their critical problems in today’s accelerated cybersecurity climate.

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