What is integrated access management (IAM)? - Definition from WhatIs.com

Definition

integrated access management (IAM)

Part of the Authentication glossary:

Integrated access management (IAM) is a combination of business processes, policies and technologies that allows organizations to provide secure access to confidential data. IAM software is used by enterprises to control the flow of sensitive data in and out of the network.

Effective integrated access management tools incorporate four elements:

  • A method of providing users access to applications, systems and documents throughout an enterprise that are required for individual job function.
  • The ability to authenticate a user at the proper access level, based upon the principle of least privilege (POLP).
  • A single sign-on (SSO) that easily allows users to access resources to which they have been granted access.
  • A means to generate an audit trail to confirm the IAM system is working properly and meet compliance requirements.

Security experts recommend the use of multifactor authentication (MFA) to validate user identity, including biometric data, smart cards and RFID chips.

Learn more about IT: 
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> You can download a free chapter from "Security Assessment: Case Studies for Implementing the NSA IAM."

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Joel Dubin explains how multifactor authentication works in IAM suites

This was last updated in October 2008
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms

Definitions

  • machine authentication

    - Machine authentication is the authorization of an automated human-to-machine or machine-to-machine (M2M) communication through verification of a digital certificate or digital credentials. (WhatIs.com)

  • four-factor authentication (4FA)

    - Four-factor authentication (4FA) is the use of four types of identity-confirming credentials, typically categorized as knowledge, possession, inherence and location factors. (WhatIs.com)

  • three-factor authentication (3FA)

    - Three-factor authentication (3FA) is the use of identity-confirming credentials from three separate categories of authentication factors – typically, the knowledge, possession and inherence categor... (WhatIs.com)

Glossaries

  • Authentication

    - Terms related to authentication, including security definitions about passwords and words and phrases about proving identity.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

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