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Why Automated Identity Management Is a Game-Changer

Why Automated Identity Management Is a Game-Changer

All modern businesses have an online presence, which means that it is crucial to maintain and protect digital identities to establish trust and maintain security.

Typically, businesses need to manage and protect many digital identities for both users and devices, creating challenges related to security, efficiency, and cost.

As a result, many organisations have started considering Identity and Access Management (IAM) automation solutions to optimise workflows, boost security, minimise overheads, and protect root and intermediate certificates.

This guide introduces the concept of automated Identity Management, its components and benefits, and the common deployment challenges businesses face.

The Basics of Identity Management

Digital Identity Management is a set of practices that involves authenticating user and device identities and managing these identities for secure access to critical data and services and fraud prevention. The Identity Management process involves all the tools and practices needed to create, validate, and protect digital identities.

A key component of Identity Management are digital certificates issued by Certificate Authorities (CAs), the bodies responsible for validating the Certificate Signing Requests (CSRs) and maintaining the Public Key Infrastructure (PKI). A digital certificate is a type of root certificate that secures online communication, where the message's sender uses a public key to encrypt the message and the receiver decrypts its content with a corresponding private key. Only the private key's holder can read the message, ensuring secure encrypted connections and protection against threats that target root CA certificates.

There are two general types of digital identity authentication that trusted root certification authorities focus on: user authentication and device authentication. User authentication comprises authenticating employees or users that access your business’s systems or services. Device authentication, on the other hand, involves authenticating all devices that are present on your company’s network, such as computers, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and security gates.

Identity Management has become an unavoidable necessity, and traditional IAM processes can cost your business a lot of time and effort. Some of the limitations of manual IAM include:

Limited Security

Manual Identity Management using spreadsheets and other basic tools raises security concerns. Just like other manual processes, traditional IAM is very sensitive to human error, and malicious actors actively attempt to exploit mistakes to attack your organisation.

Root certificates could expire or be compromised without your team noticing, potentially resulting in identity frauds and data breaches.

Challenges with the Proliferation of Cloud-Based Services and IoT Devices

The increased adoption of IoT and cloud solutions has made it more challenging for businesses to manage digital identities. With new users and devices being added to the organisation’s network on a near-daily basis, effectively creating, managing, sorting, and protecting identities becomes very resource-intensive.

Limited Manpower and Scalability

Identity Management requires an on-going effort from your team to monitor identity certificate expiration dates and renew digital certificates, issue new certificates, and stay on top of potential security vulnerabilities like malware and human error.

With traditional IAM, scalability is almost non-existent. Depending on the size of your operations, you may need to keep hiring new staff to accommodate your growing digital Identity Management needs, which isn’t just expensive but a very time-consuming process too.

The Rise of Automation in Identity Management

Automated Identity Management has reinvented the way companies protect their digital identities. Traditional Identity Management may have been enough in the past, but with security threats getting more sophisticated, relying on manual IAM processes can expose your company to fraud and lawsuits.

Not to mention, manual IAM typically results in user experience compromises, especially as the number of digital identities that need to be protected increases.

Automated Identity Management utilises Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and Blockchain to streamline your Identity Management tasks and improve security.

With AI and ML algorithms, automated IAM solutions proactively identify and respond to threats related to identity fraud and malicious access attempts. It relies on historical data trends and patterns to accurately identify abnormal user behaviour. Moreover, since ML algorithms are continuously learning, they keep up with evolving cyber threats and maintain security for your digital identities.

In addition to AI and ML, Blockchain technology has been used in Identity Management. Since blockchain relies on decentralised blocks, it helps businesses improve data privacy and eliminate single points of failure to combat fraud.


Key Benefits of Automated Identity Management

There are many benefits of implementing IAM automation, ranging from productivity gains to improved security and efficiency. They can be summarised in the following points:

Enhanced Security

IAM automation can improve security with real-time threat detection and response. With automation, your networks and systems will be monitored in real-time for proactive detection and handling of malicious behaviour. For example, if a user’s device is compromised, the device is immediately isolated from the rest of your network to minimise impact.

Moreover, the Certificate Authority that offers the IAM solution will revoke the certificate and add it to its list of compromised certificates to maintain user trust.

Scalability and Efficiency

As your organisation grows, your Identity Management needs will also grow. IAM automation solutions seamlessly scale with your growing needs. When your company hires new employees or launches new services, you don’t have to worry about the associated overheads of identity access management as the solution can easily accommodate more identity verifications.

Compliance and Regulatory Adherence

Automated IAM solutions allow you to maintain compliance with regional and international regulatory standards and guidelines. Many security standards require a minimum level of security in the certificate lifecycle management process, which can only be achieved and maintained with automation. Further, automated solutions are continuously updated and reviewed in accordance with changing compliance requirements.

Cost Reduction

Automated IAM can help you cut costs in different ways. First, you won’t need to hire more personnel to handle redundant certificate management tasks. Not to mention, since IAM automation is built with fast and automated incident response from scratch, your IT security budget will decrease in the long run.

Challenges and Considerations in Implementing Automated IAM

Some of the obstacles of IAM automation deployment include:

Skills Gap

IAM automation solutions bring numerous efficiency and security advantages, but improper use of these solutions may result in security breaches and other unfavourable circumstances. Unlike traditional Identity Management your employees will mostly be overseeing the certificate lifecycle management process with an IAM automation solution instead of manually checking every certificate.

However, they still need to be adept at utilising advanced tech solutions. Choosing a trusted Certificate Authority that offers training and adaptation resources can make the transition smoother.

Tech Adoption Readiness

Whenever you try to implement needed tech solutions in your organisation, there’s a good chance that you’ll face resistance from some of your company’s employees. If your team is used to doing things in a specific way, they may be less entitled to experiment with a new automation solution.

Before full-scale deployment, hold meetings with your team to discuss the current problems they face with digital Identity Management and how automation can eliminate them. Express your willingness to work closely with them during the deployment process to ease the initial learning curve.

Further, it’s important to communicate with the top-level managers and stakeholders throughout the implementation process. Discuss how the solution aligns with stakeholders’ goals and provides financial and efficiency gains to the company.


A common challenge most organisations face with IAM automation is how it’ll work alongside existing systems, especially if some of your tools or processes are outdated or not compatible with your IAM solution.

Choosing an IAM automation solution that uses pre-made and custom APIs to connect to your other solutions is essential to maximise its benefits.

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