Law firms are challenged with the grave responsibility of securing confidential data for their clients, attorneys, and paralegals. Law firms must provide the highest level of security to ensure their client and employee data is maintained and protected.
While most law firms understand the severity of enforcing security protocols, they’re often left wondering where to start.
Luckily, law firms can take the first step in protecting their confidential information with the help of Identity and Access Management (IAM) tools.
From providing access to cloud applications for billing and file-sharing purposes, to granting quick access to new employees needing to work with technology resources, IAM simplifies the process of protecting data, applications, and identities.
In this article, we’ll define Identity and Access Management and cover why it is crucial for data protection. By the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of how IAM can enhance security measures and productivity within your firm.
What is Identity and Access Management (IAM)?
Identity and access management (IAM), also known as Identity Management, is a framework of security policies and integrated technologies that ensure the right people have the right access to resources.
IAM enables authorized employees to work with the appropriate tools they need to do their work.
Through Identity and Access Management controls, your firm can manage a range of authorized identities.
- IoT devices
Some examples of Access Management components include single sign-on systems (SSO), two-factor authentication (2FA), multi-factor authentication (MFA), and privileged access management.
Let’s explore what each component does.
Single Sign-On Systems (SSO)
Single Sign-On, or SSO is a form of authentication that ensures users securely authenticate their identity with multiple applications and websites by way of only using one set of credentials.
Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
Two-Factor Authentication, or 2FA, is an extra form of electronic protection used to ensure the security of an account beyond just a user’s username and password.
2FA requires users to verify their identity by way of using two or three factors. Factors may include a passcode that needs to be verified by a mobile device or email, a fingerprint, or a personal question that only the user would know.
Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
Multi-factor authentication, or MFA, is a method of authentication in which a user is provided access to a particular application or website after successfully providing two or more pieces of concrete evidence to an authentication mechanism.
Privileged Access Management (PAM)
Privileged access management, or PAM, is a cybersecurity solution used to control, secure, and audit all identities within an IT infrastructure.
More specifically, PAM is a type of information security mechanism that defines and controls who or what has the authorization to make changes to a network or device.
Two important use cases for PAM include achieving security compliance and preventing credential theft.
A PAM solution will continuously monitor your IT environment to ensure your firm can generate accurate security reports to identify any cyber anomalies that may occur.
Why is Identity and Access Management Trending?
As specified by Gartner, “IAM addresses the mission-critical need to ensure appropriate access to resources across increasingly heterogeneous technology environments and to meet increasingly rigorous compliance requirements.”
With the growing number of cyberattacks amongst law firms and a variety of industries, IAM helps put emphasis on consolidating the way in which firms protect and access dozens of technology resources.
IAM optimizes the way firms work by using fewer and more integrated tools from the same vendor to protect confidential data.
Why should Law Firms Use Identity and Access Management?
Law firms require an online security system that works well and increase employee productivity. In addition, IAM takes the guesswork out of who accessed what client file and at what time.
The two main reasons firms should consider adopting an identity and access management system are to enhance security and improve productivity.
Instead of just relying on employees to use a simple username and password to access information, IAM ensures the user’s identity is checked in more ways than one, prior to them accessing privileged information.
Think of it this way, if a user’s password happens to be breached, your organization will become vulnerable to cyber threats. IAM narrows down the points of failure and stops bad actors with tools when errors are made.
In addition, strict security standards must be enforced for regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).
With an IAM solution, your firm can ensure that the highest standards of administrative transparency and security tracking are upheld daily.
When it comes to productivity, IAM makes it so your employees no longer have to worry about having the right password to access their files. Instead, with IAM, employees receive access to a suite of tools that integrate all of their devices to be protected and verified by various identity management tools.
Employees no longer have to cross-reference any strange behavior with an IT professional, because your firm’s internal IT department or Managed IT Provider will be actively monitoring your firm’s devices as a group.
How Can Your Firm Adopt an IAM Solution?
ntity and Access Management generally confirms that the user is who they say they are by authenticating their credentials against a database.
For an IAM solution to be properly integrated within your IT infrastructure, it’s best to work with your firm’s internal security team or a Managed IT Provider that has experience integrating IAM cloud identity tools.
For over twenty years, ArchonOne has worked with several law firms to integrate viable cloud solutions into their IT infrastructure to protect their confidential data.
ArchonOne believes that to ensure a firm is protected against cybersecurity threats, a security risk assessment must be performed first to evaluate your firm’s current security posture.
Book a free demo today to ensure your firm closes any security gaps and defend itself against cyber threats.