IAM Defined

What is Identity & Access Management?

  • The Free Dictionary provides this definition: The management of a user’s identity. Within the enterprise, an identity management system comprises a system of directories and access control based on policies. It includes the maintenance of the system (adds, changes, deletes) and generally offers single sign-on so that the user only has to log in once to gain access to multiple resources.”
  • The Internet 2 Middleware Initiative offers that “IAM ensures that the right people access the right services.”

  • Wikipedia doesn’t have an IAM definition, their closest is for Identity Management: “a broad administrative area that deals with identifying individuals in a system (such as a country, a network or an organization) and controlling the access to the resources in that system by placing restrictions on the established identities.”

Identity & Access Management (IAM) allows an organization to do more online with their users and stakeholders.  It provides assurance (to the degree requried) that the online user is whom they claim to be.

Bottom line: IAM enables meaningful e-commerce and e-government by providing much-needed identification and accountability.

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