How to Clean House Before You Implement Your Identity and Access Management Solution

December 15, 2014
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2 min read

After you acquire an identity and access management solution and begin to set it up, you will have plenty of questions. Is your environment ready to handle this? Do all active users need to be active? Do all the servers have separated user databases? How many user databases should you have? How do you manage this if all the user databases are managed by identity and access management only?

The following is how to get started implementing your solution:

Create a Unique ID

You first need to review the format for composing the user login, such as using an employee number (e.g. 112233) or a code and employee number (e.g. BRA112233). You can also use a composition of an employee’s first letter of their first name and then their surname, but you may have collisions.

Data Cleansing

After defining a unique model for IDs, the next step is data cleansing. You need to identify orphan and unused accounts in identity and access management.

Analyze and Centralize Network User Databases

After the data cleansing, it is necessary to analyze the network authentication. Does each location have independent user databases? The idea is to unify the bases to have a unique point to which to connect, if possible.

Analyze and Centralize User Databases for Other Applications

In tandem with the previous item, you must work to centralize other databases, such as the following:

  • Bases Oracle with Oracle Internet Directory;
  • SAP with Central User Administration;
  • Unix with Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP).

With this, your identity and access management system can connect in focal user bases, simplifying the administration.

Consolidate the Web Application Authentication

In this step, it is necessary to analyze and consolidate the user base of Web application authentication. In this case, it is recommended to use LDAP for authentication, enabling the following points:

  • Easy change of technology (Active Directory, eDirectory, iPlanet, OpenLDap, etc.);
  • Centralized base for centralized management;
  • Standard in software development.

Reconciliation for Identity and Access Management

Once this is done, it’s time to technically implement the identity and access management product. In this step, there are two approaches: creating identities on demand and reconciling identities.

When creating identities on demand, the identities aren’t created before the identity and access management product is implemented. For example:

  1. The identity already exists in the human resource (HR) system and enterprise resource planning (ERP).
  2. In the next change of user, one event is triggered.
  3. The product realizes the identity does not exist in the base and creates it.
  4. The system tries to create the identity in ERP.
  5. The ID is identified and linked.
  6. Changes are made.

When identities are reconciled, the identities have been created previously by a reconciliation process.

Follow this example:

  1. The reconciliation system reads all users of HR based in a condition of query.
  2. Create the identities in the identity and access management system.
  3. Query the ERP with users and link them.

With this, you have the main points to get started in preparing your identity and access management project.

Alfredo Santos
Associate Partner
Alfredo Santos is a contributor for SecurityIntelligence.