Enterprises, healthcare providers put focus on identity management
January 31, 2014

Regulatory compliance continues to become more stringent amid increased data breach costs, the number of identity theft victims and several other economic-facing problems. In today's fast-paced, digitally driven enterprise and healthcare landscapes, identity management has become one of the most important priorities, but has also been generally overlooked by many organizations.

Businesses and medical organizations must remember that the data they store, collect, create and share is often enough to cause damages should it fall into the wrong hands. Additionally, decision-makers should consider the fact that identity and access management solutions have become more affordable, intuitive and effective than ever before, leaving little excuse for a lack of proper controls and authentication capabilities. 

The days of a simple password being enough to stop a breach are long passed, and multi-factor authentication has stepped up as one of the most viable replacements. 

GigaOM unlocks key enterprise trends
GigaOM recently released a report that revealed some of the benefits of advanced identity and access management solutions, as well as why all enterprises need to recognize the importance of deploying these solutions. The researchers pointed out that the number of user accounts has grown enormously, partly because of an increasing general population and otherwise resulting from the increased reliance on digital platforms for corporate responsibilities. 

According to GigaOM, the enterprise sector has a lot of ground to cover to more seamlessly leverage new solutions and adjust policies to fit the criteria of multiple authentication tools. Right now, many businesses simply rely on password protection for employee accounts, and those that are generally ahead of the curve will force staff members to change the codes regularly.

However, as data breaches have shown time and time again, password protection of any kind does not minimize the risk of information exposure and loss. Additionally, employees forget passwords, write them down on pieces of paper and go through endless other struggles with the traditional and otherwise antiquated protection measure. 

On the other hand, enterprises that leverage advanced and intuitive authentication solutions will more often than not enjoy much fewer vulnerabilities and risks in the long-run. GigaOM added that an ever-expanding volume and diversity of data is being stored in and transferred through cloud-based environments, including highly sensitive information.

This has led to the increased demand for advanced and modernized access controls, which multi-factor authentication and identity management tools can provide.

Finally, when looking specifically at identifying information, such as usernames, addresses and Social Security numbers, enterprise environments are teeming with vulnerabilities as the result of much higher generation and sharing rates than ever before. As necessity is the mother of invention, enterprises have had to turn to control solutions that will not hinder productivity but still protect the data being shared throughout the workplace. 

Healthcare remains a question mark
TechTarget recently explained that the average healthcare provider is just now beginning to realize how important effective identity management controls are to continuity and privacy protection for their patients. The medical sector has always been one of the most highly regulated industries in the world, especially because of how sensitive patient data has become. 

As such, the news provider explained that medical organizations are largely turning to outsourced identity management solution vendors, as this has been one of the best measures to defend against breaches and remain in compliance with privacy-related regulations. Likely the most important piece of legislation to follow is the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act, while providers also need to account for the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health act as well. 

Advanced identity management solutions can help ensure simultaneously portable and secure data.