9 top identity and access management tools

Identity is becoming the new perimeter, and these IAM tools have evolved to help secure assets as organizations rely less on traditional perimeter defenses and move to zero-trust environments.

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Identity and access management (IAM) has long been a key proving ground of security leaders’ careers, with many a make-or-break decision made over identity technology deployments. Assuring secure access and managing identities is at the very foundation of cybersecurity postures. At the same time, the ways people, applications and systems log in and integrate with one another are also visible touchpoints for the business stakeholders. Security pros walk a tightrope of usability and security.

Weak IAM controls and authentication mechanisms put the company at risk of attack, account compromise, and limited security visibility. At the same time, strict ones disrupt the flow of business.

How IAM tools have changed

The good news/bad news scenario for organizations shopping around for IAM technology is that the space has grown significantly more nuanced and capable, especially over the last half-decade. The tools have made it much easier to manage identity in hybrid and multi-cloud environments, get a handle on privileged accounts, gain greater visibility into login patterns, authenticate based on risk factors and automate provisioning and other user lifecycle elements.

“We've seen compelling market segmentation among IAM solutions. Whether solutions can streamline user experience via AI, integrate with cloud service providers for improved workload management, or offer better insights into IAM operations via advanced analytics, there are just so many more functionalities available today than ever before for organizations to leverage to build strong programs,” says Naresh Persaud, a managing director in Cyber Identity Services, Deloitte Risk and Financial Advisory.

At the same time, as the market has seen an explosion in new capabilities, it’s created a dizzying number of submarkets, with features that are sometimes standalone products and sometimes part of a broader platform. The latter becomes increasingly more likely as vendors rapidly converge within this space, creating a high degree of cross-pollination of submarkets and crossover functionality. In short, there are tons of options that can lead to IAM analysis paralysis.

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