Identity and Access Management Compliance

IAM systems are excellent at providing an insight into who has access to what within your organization.

However, If no one is paying attention, all of that security could be going to waste.

For businesses to take full advantage of their Identity Management system, they should have a process to review all employee access and permissions at any given time.

The best way to maintain your system's security is to periodically audit the user access to all applications, networks, documents, and any other asset your organization may use.

access certification process

Additionally, some industries have mandatory regulatory compliance rules, requiring administrators to certify users and applications, to prove compliance, on a scheduled basis.

Identity and Access Management (IAM) systems use this certification process to validate user access to organizational resources, or to revoke access as needed.

Regulations vary across industries, such as HIPAA in healthcare, FISMA in U.S. federal agencies, or PCI-DSS in retail and financial services.

Without an efficient IAM solution in place, with a centralized identity directory, certifying user access privileges can be a daunting process for administrators.

Regardless of potential regulatory issues, compliance controls through access certifications help organizations ensure internal security standards are met, by verifying employee access, to the resources needed for proactive internal security policies.

access verfication

Access Certification Process

Change within an organization happens constantly.

Throughout an employee's lifecycle with a company, they are likely to change roles, departments, locations, take on new responsibilities, or use different applications.

The possibility a former or transferred employee has access to systems or unsuitable permissions within it, is a security risk and a daily concern for most organizations.

When change happens, or when a request is submitted to certify a user or application, a certification request is generated to verify (certify) the employee's access is correct.

Or, to certify an entire application's user base and role assignments, ensuring there is not any inappropriate access granted.

A reviewer, or certifier, will examine the user or application, through various manual or automated processes, to determine if the user or users have the appropriate access, and then complete the certification.

User Access Review

Certifying a user's access to all of their applications is not as common as certifying which users have access to a specific application(s), but there are still times when this is needed.

If a user changes their department, role, or even office location, the new location or management team may want to review all of his/her current access, ensuring he/she has access to only what is needed.

Additionally, restricted rights within a user's previous role, may no longer be valid in their new position, causing an Identity risk.

Another reason to certify access by user, may be due to a change in management. If a new department manager wants to ensure their department runs efficiently, conducting a thorough audit is an excellent first step.

Identity Access Certification

One last possibility for a certification, could be due to the occasional extended leave of absence by managers, application owners or even a single user.

For example, during an extended absence, an employer may want to review and limit the user's account access, while not using it until they return.

In the case of a User Access Review, the certifier would obtain a complete list of all resources the user has access to, along with any entitlements or permissions granted to the user, within those applications.

During the certification process, the certifier would review every item, or outsource it to another reviewer or manager.

Security Managers and Application admins may have better knowledge and understanding of the user’s access rights, ensuring the accuracy of access reviews.

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application certification

Application Access Review

In addition to conducting reviews for business users, access certification reviews can also be based on the application or resource.

During an application review a specific resource, or a collection of resources, and audit who has access to them, and at what level.

Resources can be applications, entitlements, roles, or any other asset an organization uses.

In many cases, requests to certify an entire user base for a specific application, will be part of required compliance regulations.

Additionally, timely certifications may be an excellent internal business practice for applications, allowing access to highly sensitive information.

Access Certification Campaigns

On many occasions, it can be a much more involved project to try and conduct large scheduled application audits, groups of applications, or multiple users at the same time.  

Scheduling and creating periodic and necessary access review campaigns involve using a large dataset to perform multiple certifications simultaneously.

Conducting frequent reviews by security managers with detailed instructions as part of your access control operational standards can help to reduce business risk.

 

access certification

Manage Certifications

IDHub certification definitions once created can be managed as well by the administrators.

You can:

  • Modify existing Certification definitions
  • Run Definitions in real-time
  • Schedule a definition to run at a later date and time
  • Archive an old Certification definition that is no longer in use
  • Maintain security policies to prevent unauthorized access
  • Conduct automatic Access Remediation
certification

Customized Certifications

The ability to fine-tune, and granularly drill into specific data sets within your certification campaigns, is a feature of advanced IAM systems, like IDHub, which goes beyond certifying by application or user.

For instance, IDHub's advanced filtering system allows you to choose what to certify, by using attributes, or custom queries.

Custom queries allow administrators to set up specific granularly obtained data sets, used to certify specific users, of particular applications.

custom certifications

Suppose you need to certify the users of a specific application, who have administrator privileges, part of the marketing department, and have been at the company for less than six months.

Custom queries can accomplish complex certification requests, like the example above.

Triggered Certifications

Another advanced feature of custom certifications is automatically triggering certificates, based on certain predetermined events.

One example of an event that would trigger an automatic certification, would be a user who has a role or department change, or a high-risk application, which needs weekly user access auditing.

Another scenario could be the termination of a manager. That type of event could automatically trigger a re-certification of all of the manager's direct subordinates, or every user of an application that the manager was an admin over.

automated access certification

During the initial certification process creation, administrators have the ability to set up custom triggers and workflows, however they deem necessary to maintain their internal security policies.

Like most features of IDHub, access certification workflow you use to certify access privileges, is entirely up to you.

IDHub allows for custom no-code workflows, using all events, triggers, attributes, and processes, as parameters for your certification workflows.

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Access Audit Report Examples

User Access Report Example

Access review and reporting is a continuous process that relies on an easy to use and follow security policies.

All access should be reviewed for unauthorized access, validated as certified or revoked, and an audit trail should be available.

If an application or resource is revoked, the process of access remediation will be automatically started.

Access Audit Report Example

Application Certification Report Example

In this report, all users for a specific application or resourced will be validated to ensure that their access, rights, and privileges are correct and appropriate.

Application Audit Report Example

 Scheduled Certifications

Compliance requirements can be stringent, and maintaining the precise schedule for multiple compliance audits can be tricky.

Some security policies will require certifications to be completed on an annual, quarterly, monthly, or even weekly basis.

Multiple audits of access privileges for multiple users can be quite the job for administrators.

Additionally, not meeting requirements could result in a compliance violation which could put or organization at risk for serious consequences.

Compliance tasks must be efficient, easy, and take as little time and resources as possible to complete.

With an access certification tool like IDHub, certifications can be configured to automatically initiate on a predetermined schedule, or on any specific criteria you define.

Companies can significantly reduce their chances of violating compliance regulations, in addition to the time and cost savings gained by using IDHub's automated certification process.

scheduled certifications

Certification Life Cycle Tools

Below is the summarised view of Certification feature of IDHub

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Certification Defnitions

Every administrators are provided with a wizard for defining the content for access certification.

Definition Approvals

Before a certification definition is run, it goes through an approval process for security purposes.

Auto-Revocations

Once identified that an access is no longer neccessary, revocation process helps in removing access for the user(s)

Withdrawals

Certification tasks can be withdrawn by the person who ran the certification job in case of user errors

Durations

Certifier Tasks are time based. While creating definition, duration is added based on review priority

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Tasks Management

Certifiers receive time-based certification tasks that they complete as part of Access Review

Certifier Groups

Only specific groups (and its members) within IDHub are allowed to perform certification tasks

Schedulers

Certification tasks can be auto-scheduled too. Our scheduler run in real time to create tasks based on definition

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Trigger Settings

Certification definitions can also be triggered based on certain conditions like Role change, Application creation etc.

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