Agency leaders see identity, access tools essential to IT security, but lag on implementation

Published: August 08, 2018

Cloud ComputingCloud ComputingCybersecurityGeneral Government ServicesInformation TechnologyInformation Technology

State and local government officials in a new survey foresee identity and access management tools addressing a multitude of IT issues, but fewer than one-third have the tools in place.

A recent report produced by StateScoop and underwritten by Okta found that IT leaders recognize the benefit and need for identity and access management (IAM) practices when it comes to addressing IT security issues. However, the report also found significant gaps remain in the actual implementation of IAM tools in government IT.

Of those government officials surveyed, three-quarters acknowledged that the ability to automate the management of identity information is essential to IT security, and two-thirds agree IAM tools are critical for adopting cloud computing services. However, despite this apparent strong support, according to the report, only 28 percent of state government IT officials surveyed indicated that IAM solutions are fully or partially operational in their organization.

The report found that inadequate controls and a lack of automation pose problems, and are costly, as they imped the delivery of services to citizens and reduce efficiency. For example, one-quarter of survey respondents said their organization manages more than 30 applications requiring sign-on privileges, and seven out of ten support five or more citizen-facing applications. Another issue the report found is that the authentication process takes much longer than respondents believe it should, both for activating new users and disabling user privileges when needed.

The reasons as to why there is such a limited implementation of IAM solutions vary. These include competing IT priorities, lack of IT staff expertise, as well as the increasingly complex nature of these solutions and data integrity. Although there are some challenges associated with these solutions that have kept implementation relatively low, it is noted that state government IT leaders acknowledge the significance this technology can play, and it will be worth monitoring if and how state governments adopt IAM solutions in the future.

Source: StateScoop