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Access and Identity Management: Friend or Foe?

Access and Identity Management: Friend or Foe?

 By Charles Joseph | Cybersecurity Researcher
 Published on July 31st, 2023
This post was updated on November 25th, 2023

Access and identity management refers to processes and tools used by organizations to authenticate the identity of users and control their access to different resources within a system. This ensures that each user only has access to the data and resources they need, enhancing security and preventing unauthorized access.

Examples of Access and Identity Management

1. Employee Login System

An effective example of access and identity management can be observed in an employee login system within a company. This specialized software validates the identity of each employee, allowing access to the workplace network.

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The reach of this access is wholly dependent on the user’s role and responsibilities within the company. For instance, someone working in the HR division would have different access permissions compared to someone in the marketing department. The access and identity management system ensures these permissions are appropriately assigned and adhered to.

Say an HR manager logs in using their unique credentials. They would be granted access to sensitive resources like employee records, confidential company documents, etc. These are necessary for their role in managing the company’s human resources.

On the other hand, a sales representative may only require access to customer databases or sales tools but not to confidential HR documents. So, their login details would unlock a different set of resources suitable to their job responsibilities.

This approach ensures employees see only what they need to, maintaining the best security practices and preventing unauthorized intrusion into sensitive data.

2. Online Banking

Online banking is another key example where access and identity management come into play. Each customer has unique credentials to log into their personal banking account. The banking system validates these credentials before granting access, thereby protecting against unauthorized users.

Once logged in, customers can view their own account details, make online transactions, and utilize various other banking services. However, the system ensures that they are not able to access other customers’ account details or internal sensitive banking information. This clearly defines the boundary of what customers can access and what they can’t.

It’s all about providing the right level of access to the right user. For example, if a customer logs in to their online banking, they might be able to view their checking account balance, transfer funds, pay bills, etc. But they won’t be able to view other customers’ account information or the bank’s internal data.

Thus, access and identity management in online banking enhances the security of online transactions and protects the privacy of users by limiting access to sensitive information.


Access and identity management play a crucial role in maintaining security and ensuring authorized use in various systems, be it a company’s employee portal or an online banking platform. By correctly implementing these protocols, organizations can safeguard sensitive information, protect user privacy, and prevent potential misuse of access rights.

Key Takeaways

  • Access and identity management is designed to authenticate a user’s identity and control their access within a system based on their role and responsibilities.
  • Access and identity management is commonly used in various fields like company systems and online banking, ensuring optimal security and preventing unauthorized access to sensitive data.
  • Online banking is a prime example, where each customer can only access their own account details and can’t access others’ information.
  • In a company’s employee portal, access and identity management is applied to control employees’ access to specific files and applications, promoting both information security and privacy.
  • By correctly implementing access and identity management, organizations can safeguard sensitive information, protect user privacy, and prevent potential misuse of access rights.

Related Questions

1. What is the primary goal of Access and Identity Management?

The primary goal is to authenticate a user’s identity and ensure they only have access to resources that are necessary for their role, enhancing system security and limiting potential misuse of access rights.

2. Why is Access and Identity Management important in online banking?

In the context of online banking, it ensures that each customer can only access their account details and can’t view others’ accounts or sensitive banking information, thereby safeguarding privacy and boosting the security of online transactions.

3. Can Access and Identity Management systems be automated?

Yes, many modern systems automate Access and Identity Management processes, allowing for quicker, more efficient access control and proactive security management.

4. How does Access and Identity Management help in preventing data breaches?

By ensuring users can only access data necessary for their roles, it reduces the likelihood of sensitive information falling into the wrong hands, thus preventing potential data breaches.

5. Is Access and Identity Management only for big corporations?

No, businesses of all sizes can benefit from properly implemented Access and Identity Management. It scales according to need, providing value for both small businesses and large corporations.

"Amateurs hack systems, professionals hack people."
-- Bruce Schneier, a renown computer security professional
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