The Processes of Identity Lifecycle Management Phases

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Identity lifecycle management (ILM) manages user identities from creation to retirement. It includes the onboarding, provisioning, authentication, and deactivation phases.

Creating new identity records requires the use of unique identifiers and attributes. Therefore, this process must be automated and governed by policies and procedures to ensure data consistency.

Onboarding

Sound identity lifecycle management phases automate onboarding and offboarding processes to streamline assignations and resource access permissions efficiently and securely. It also helps lighten the load for HR and IT teams.

Onboarding a new employee involves many steps, including creating user records in HR, provisioning that record into AD and application-specific identity stores, and removing that identity from those systems when the employee leaves the organization.

Keeping track of this process requires an identity lifecycle management solution that can map the HR system and the different identities stored in AD or application-specific identity stores.

It can be done by combining rules and data sources, such as the user’s HR profile, access control groups (AD groups), and roles they hold in application-specific stores.

Provisioning

Identity lifecycle management is a critical process that keeps user access to company information safe. The process focuses on managing the entire lifecycle of a digital identity, including onboarding, offboarding, and updating access rights as required.

A crucial component of identity lifecycle management is provisioning and de-provisioning, which ensures users get access to the tools they need for their job. It also removes outdated, inactive accounts from the network to eliminate potential cyber vulnerabilities.

Often automated, user provisioning automatically updates IT resource access when new employees join, existing employees change roles, or users leave the organization. As a result, it saves administrators much time that would otherwise be spent managing account permissions.

Deprovisioning is a similar process, but it’s aimed at removing former employees from company apps that they no longer need. It can prevent former employees from continuing to have access to company applications, thereby reducing the risk of cyber breaches.

Authentication

Identity lifecycle management involves onboarding and offboarding users, managing their access rights, and enforcing privilege controls throughout their tenure. It is an essential aspect of identity security offerings that automates processes and eliminates human error.

Authentication is the process of verifying a user’s identity before they can gain access to data, applications, and systems. It is typically accomplished by matching user credentials to those stored in a database of authorized user information on the local operating system or through an authentication server.

Authorization is the next step in this process. Once a user is authenticated, they are granted permission to access specific files and applications based on their rules and roles in the user record.

Privileged access management (PAM) solutions can help govern the identity lifecycle by implementing select access controls that enforce the least privilege, limit the use of sensitive data, and ensure policies governing access are met. These controls are essential for any organization, especially in a cloud environment where machine identities on endpoints, servers, and applications can access other systems.

Maintenance

Maintenance ensures that a company’s assets operate at their highest capacity and efficiency. Unfortunately, assets that need to be appropriately maintained can cost business money through unplanned downtime and expensive repairs.

There are a variety of maintenance management strategies that businesses can implement, including preventive, condition-based, predictive, and planned maintenance. However, the most effective method will vary based on your unique business needs and equipment.

Preventive maintenance is a type of maintenance strategy that aims to identify issues before they become significant problems. This approach can reduce downtime, improve reliability and availability, and extend the life of your equipment.

It is a proactive approach that uses data and intelligent technology to detect issues with a machine before they lead to more costly repair work. It’s a great way to increase the lifespan of your equipment while also keeping your costs under control.

Deactivation

Deactivation is the step that removes access to identity data and credentials. It is essential if an employee leaves your organization and has access to company-related accounts, like a computer or email account.

These accounts can be used to launch attacks or steal sensitive data from your systems. However, a well-organized offboarding process can ensure that your organization is not exposed to such threats by making sure these are deactivated before the former employee leaves.

A business’s identity management system is the engine that allows it to manage user access across disparate data stores, including directories, databases, and flat files. Each requires different authentication mechanisms and unique ways to grant access.

Many businesses need help with manual-intensive and error-prone user provisioning processes. They also have a high risk of privilege creep and out-of-date user accounts because they are often left in place after workers change roles or exit the organization.

Offboarding

When an employee leaves a company, whether, by resignation, retirement, or termination, the offboarding process must be completed to formalize the end of the relationship; depending on the reason for departure, this may include preparing paperwork, asset recovery, exit interviews, and other necessary processes.

When employees leave on their terms, the offboarding process can be a pleasant experience for both parties involved. It’s a time to thank the employee for their hard work and ensure they feel valued by the organization.

Involuntary termination or a layoff can be even more stressful for both the employee and the employer, so it’s essential to have an organized offboarding process in place. By doing so, you can minimize the risk of legal action against the organization and ensure that the employee has a smooth transition.

Identity lifecycle management tools can support your offboarding process by automating access control and security workflows. They can also help your IT department track users and entitlements, support compliance audits, and provide centralized monitoring and reporting capabilities.