The largest entities of the financial services industry have been at the forefront of adopting identity and access management (IAM) solutions for close to a decade. With the need to implementing IAM on the rise, mid-sized and smaller financial services organisations are starting to use IAM solutions, so as to achieve better regulatory compliance and prevent unauthorised access to sensitive information.
The technology of IAM was first introduced in the beginning of 2000, when the Internet began to revolutionise how people worked and operated and organisations began to be able to do much more with shared computing. As their application infrastructure became highly complex, with financial services organisations having to move off the mainframe to use hundreds of applications across the Internet and their networks, there was a crucial need for a central management system of access. As a result, financial institutions eventually positioned themselves to be at the front edge of the adoption of IAM. The need for management programs stemmed from the fact that financial services firms do not have a lot of the specialisation that is relevant for IAM, which brings to light the inability to manage IAM adequately on a one-off basis. The need for audit controls and data protection, as well as the strict regulatory requirements in the industry, is what fuels the transparent paper trails that allow reports to be produced at faster rates. As a result, this important factor is an elaboration of why financial services organisations turn out to be at the head of the pack when it comes to the adoption of IAM solutions.
Across the financial services industry, there is a major recognition for IAM to be a core security infrastructure that needs to prioritised and given attention. As most financial services organisations are working towards a future driven by identity, they have recognised at this point in time that there is a need to plan for a modern identity management infrastructure. As more services and applications are outsourced and moving towards cloud-based platforms, more concerns and challenges for IT security are bound to surface. Such issues can be mitigated by financial institutions through IAM solutions.
In addition, larger financial services institutions are deep in contemplation over the use of IAM. Aside from the debate over internal and external IAM and the outsourcing of identity management technologies, there are various types of IAM that have different functions and are put to use differently. While an organisation can utilise employee IAM, financial services organisations in particularly can gain great use out of consumer-side IAM solutions that cater towards the needs of the financial services industry. Audits have revealed the imperative for organisations to progress and move towards the implementation of an IAM infrastructure.
As IAM is founded on the principle of least privilege, which means that the right people have access to the applications and systems that are needed for their work, transparency and security policies can be enforced. This transparency is why IAM has been gaining traction within the financial services industry.