Identity management is the task of controlling user information on computers. The information that is controlled includes information that describes the data that users are allowed to access along with information that verifies the identity of the user. Descriptive user information is also monitored and managed by identity management. There are three main functions that identity management performs: pure identify functions, user access functions, and service functions.
Through pure identity functions, users can create, manage, and delete identities. Each identity has a specific relationship to real world entities. An entity can have several identities, which each identity being able to consist of multiple attributes. Each attribute of an identity can be unique within a given space. Any given identity can have an endless number of properties. The properties that each identity has can record object information for external purposes or for improved operations. The external exposition of each of these properties is unimportant to pure identity. Identity management will often expand in order to express how content is supposed to be reconciled and provisioned among models with multiple identities.
Another important function in identity and access management is the user access functions. These functions allow users to have a specific digital identity across multiple applications. This enables users to have access controls that are assigned and evaluated against their digital identity. When a single identity is used across multiple systems, administration and user tasks are much easier to complete. The access verification and monitoring process is simplified and the organizations are allowed to minimize the number of privileges that are given to one user.
Services can be added by the organization for internal users and customers. Many of the services that are provided will require identity management in order for the services to be properly provided. Identity management has been separated from application functions so that its identity can serve many different activities. For internal users, identity management has evolved. Control access has been given to devices, servers, network equipment, content, portals, and products. The access to information about a user is often required. This includes preferences, address books, contact information, and entitlements. Controlling the information is extremely important because the access to such information will be subject to confidentiality agreements and privacy compliance.
Monitoring Identity Management
The presence of identity management is essential to complying with security regulations. Capabilities of an effective identitiy management system include authentication, authorizations, delegation, privacy, research, and standardization. Each organization will most likely have a department that is responsible for the identity management functions. This allows a team of well-trained employees to focus only on the functions and implications of the entire process. This team or department is responsible for the pure identity, user access, and service functions that are provided by the identity management process.
It is important that the functions and implications of identity management are carefully considered. In order for identity management to be successful, you will need to ensure that your assigned employees are well trained and prepared to handle all that goes in to identity management. Through careful evaluation, your employees will benefit greatly, and your company will be more prepared to handle identity management issues.