Identity and Access Management for SaaS Products: How to Keep Your Data Safe

As a SaaS business manager, you know that keeping your data safe is of utmost importance. Identity and Access Management (IAM) is a critical component of data security and, if implemented correctly, can help keep your data safe from unauthorized access. 

IAM Primer

Identity and Access Management (IAM) is a system that controls how users can access information within an organization. IAM defines who has access to which resources and their level of access. 

IAM solutions typically include identity management, policy management, and compliance features. 

Identity management is the process of creating and managing user identity information. This includes the creation and management of user accounts, setting passwords, and assigning permissions.

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Policy management is the process of defining and enforcing access control policies. These rules control who has access to what resources and how much access they have.

Compliance features help ensure that users are following the defined policies and include things like auditing and reporting. 

Why IAM for SaaS Is Important

IAM is essential for any organization that relies on data to do business. This is especially true for SaaS businesses, which often store sensitive customer data in the cloud. 

Implementing an IAM solution can help you keep your data safe by: 

  • Controlling access to your data
  • Limiting what users can do with your data
  • Monitoring user activity
  • Enforcing compliance with policies

Nothing better demonstrated the importance of proper identity and access management than the SolarWinds SUNBURST attack in late 2020.

SolarWinds is the well-known maker of Orion, an infrastructure monitoring and management software. Cybercriminals were able to impersonate the organization’s current users and accounts, including high-privileged ones, and insert malicious code into their software system, which was subsequently pushed out to Orion clients with the regular software update patch.

The breach impacted the data and networks of its customers and partners. It was carried out through a back door on a system with access to the company’s networks, data, and resources, ensuring no detection. 

The event is a powerful reminder that all organizations must take identity and access management seriously, especially those that store sensitive data in the cloud. 

Components of SaaS IAM

When choosing an IAM solution for your SaaS business, there are a few key components to look for: 

  • Single sign-on (SSO): Single sign-on (SSO) is a feature that allows users to access multiple applications with one set of credentials. This not only improves security but is convenient for users, as they only have to remember one username and password. 
  • User provisioning and de-provisioning: User provisioning is creating and managing user accounts. This includes things like setting passwords and assigning permissions. De-provisioning is removing access for users who no longer need it. 
  • Identity federation: Identity federation allows organizations to share identity information between different systems. This can be useful when multiple organizations need to access the same data. 
  • Access control: Access control defines the people with access to resources and what level of access they have. There are several different types of access control, including role-based access control (RBAC) and identity-based access control (IBAC). 

If you would like a professional partner to help you implement an Identity and Access Management solution for your SaaS products, get in touch with us today.