How To Develop an Identity Governance Program

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How To Develop an Identity Governance Program


With a rapidly growing digital landscape and a rise in work-from-home environments, many companies are realizing that their security posture is not where it should be. According to a 2022 study by the Identity Defined Security Alliance, 84% of organizations experienced an identity-related security breach within the last couple of years.

Despite advances in the digital world and the development of intelligent cybersecurity systems, many companies are still affected by security breaches. It’s crucial that organizations develop strong security initiatives and continue evolving with the industry. The difficult question is how do you do it?

What is Identity Governance?

Before jumping into the “how,” it’s important to understand the basic components of identity governance: who has access to your company’s technology assets, what do they have access to, and how are they using that access?

For example, if you’re onboarding a new hire, you must ensure that they have access to the necessary information right away. Similarly, if you terminate an employee, it’s vital to have a system in place that restricts access in a timely manner. Having dedicated infrastructure helps alleviate human error and keeps track of those three questions.

Why an Identity “Program” is Better Than a “Project”

When you’re planning to implement identity governance initiatives, it can be tempting to only think about short-term security projects. However, Jeff Purrington, an Identity Strategist at SailPoint, advises against it.

Instead, you should build an identity program. This is a more strategic, long-term approach that can help you improve your security posture. Additionally, you can focus your efforts on broad objectives that are less likely to change down the road.

Security projects aren’t useless, but programs allow you to set goals across the enterprise and improve security posture far into the future. “We talk to our customers about how it needs to be a program,” Jeff explains. “When we have a program, we have stakeholders [and] we have funding. These programs tend to be hugely more successful than when we treat them tactically in the short term.”

The Benefits of Identity Governance Programs

Identity programs not only improve security posture but also reduce costs and streamline processes.

SailPoint researched the areas of access certification, new user and terminated user access, self-service requests, and password management. They discovered that improved identity governance could save companies an incredible amount of time, revenue, and stress — and it’s not difficult if you have automations in place.

SailPoint has helped companies automate new user access, taking the process down from 14 hours to two and a half minutes. In removing user access, they took the process down from 30+ days to zero days, saving $800,000 in extraneous costs. Additionally, they helped businesses automate 62,000 service requests, resulting in zero help desk calls and $1 million in annual cost savings.

When you get the right people in place, automate controls, and utilize advanced digital tools, you gain higher visibility across your environment, handle help desk tickets swiftly, and reduce the effort expended on all internal audit items.


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Guest's Company Profile


SailPoint is an Austin Texas tech company that provides Identity management and Governance for Unstructured Data access.

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