Integrating Identity and Access Management to Secure Federal and State Agencies
IAM Challenges for Government Agencies
Canadian residents and workforces encounter government agencies in several ways, ranging from paying taxes and pensions to voting. Different government institutions providing such services must confirm that their users and employees are the individuals they claim to be. A recent survey reveals Canadians want more digitally accessible public services in the wake of COVID-19, with at least two-thirds of citizens saying they prefer to access government services digitally.
However, confirming user identity every time residents deal with an agency is a complex challenge. Firstly, government agencies operate a broad scope of initiatives, meaning various IAM solutions spread across agencies and ecosystems, including fragmented IAM programs and solutions. This challenge prevents the government from achieving a comprehensive understanding of users and managing user access to the agency’s network.
Meanwhile, as government agencies embrace digital options, office walls will no longer define the institutions’ perimeters, especially now that employees access information and information systems remotely from various devices.
Another challenge of implementing effective IAM solutions is that government agencies have several contractors working for them, and their identities must be tracked and managed continuously to enhance information security.
Learn more about IAM for government agencies by contacting KeyData today.
Government Agencies Recognize IAM as a Reliable Security Solution
Previously, government agencies have had to follow directives mandating standards for secure and reliable identification forms. A good example is a Directive on Identity Management that took effect on July 1, 2019, intending to manage identity in a manner that mitigates risks to personal, organizations, and national security, while protecting program integrity and enabling trusted citizen-centered service delivery. The directive also aims to manage identity consistently and collaboratively within the Government of Canada and with other jurisdictions and sectors where employee and device identities are required.
In a separate development, the Government of Canada selected KeyData Associates for a cybersecurity contract to provide security technology solutions and systems integration services to address privileged access management (PAM) requirements of the government’s cybersecurity strategy. Under this contract, KeyData assists in designing and implementing the industry-leading CyberArk Privileged Access Security Solution for PAM and the SailPoint IdentityIQ solution for identity governance. Undertaking such projects highlights the Government of Canada’s commitment to protecting its citizens and their information. Prioritizing IAM, particularly privileged access security, is critical to the foundation of a comprehensive and robust cybersecurity strategy.
Canada also launched a new strategy for digital operations, focusing significantly on the need for trusted digital identities built-in open standards for public and private sector interoperability. The Digital Operations Strategic Plan: 2021-2024 revealed the government’s plan to allow individuals and businesses to use a single identity and password to access federal government agencies through a single window on Canada.ca, effectively eliminating long-standing institutional barriers to digital acceleration. Mainly, the strategic plan emphasizes the importance of trusted digital identity to Canada’s future delivery of government services.
“A trusted digital identity system is fundamental and a key enabler to seamless and frictionless security in digital systems,” wrote Tim Bouma, Treasury Board Secretariat and senior policy analyst identity management.
According to the Strategic Plan, the Canadian government agrees that a trusted digital identity enables Canadians and the public to securely access online services by signing in with an online credential, such as username and password. The government has improved the existing cyber-authentication service and rebranded it as Sign-In Canada.
IAM Solutions in Canadian Government and the Public Sector
Government agencies must identify, monitor, and manage user access to information systems and data to ensure security and efficient operations. IAM is not just a security initiative to comply with government requirements. Instead, it is a means to ensure the trustworthiness and consistency of government services as digital transformations expand.
The Canadian government can deliver exceptional citizen and workforce experiences and mitigate risks with IAM solutions. Instead of managing who has access inside and outside the agency’s perimeter, government institutions should leverage identity as the foundation for managing risks resulting from any attempts to access critical systems and information.
Today, there are reliable IAM solutions that government agencies can deploy. Implementing a proper IAM solution ensures identities are distinguishable, auditable, and managed consistently across a government agency. An IAM program also provides mechanisms for binding, updating, revoking, and destroying credentials for users or devices.
According to Tim Bouma, adopting approved trusted digital identity frameworks allows the government to establish a common approach that will facilitate connections with various levels of government across Canada.
KeyData Provides Reliable IAM Solutions for Government Agencies
KeyData provides IAM solutions, including a risk-based framework and a unique methodology needed by government agencies to meet their security requirements and standards. KeyData provides solutions like IAM, CIAM, and PAM that enable government transformation through industry-leading consulting and system integration services.
Implementing KeyData IAM for governments involves a process with various steps such as gathering and assessing requirements, developing IAM strategies and implementation roadmaps, conducting IAM health checks, conducting current state assessments of IAM, developing the IAM target state architecture, and designing IAM process target states. Apart from bespoke solutions, the organization provides professional services and system integration with a team of certified solutions architects, developers, business analysts, project managers, and trainers to assist with the IAM technology solution implementation.
KeyData IAM solutions manage user and entity access and entitlements across many on-premises and cloud services and applications. The platform enables government agencies to enable additional security controls, such as establishing a zero-trust strategy or enabling identity as the new security perimeter.
Contact KeyData today to learn more on ways the organization helps drive an identity-centric cybersecurity solution for the Government of Canada’s shared services.