Top 5 Features to Look for in an Access Management Platform

The market leader delivers robust identity and access management (IAM) capabilities for many cloud apps. It includes standards-based single sign-on authentication and APIs for personalized UI experiences.

It also offers automation for user management, reducing the demands on IT technicians and promoting compliance with security policies like least privilege by default. Its audit capabilities ease reviews of existing rights, helping to avoid privilege creep.


Authentication addresses identity issues like sign-on and single sign-on, while authorization deals with users’ permissions to applications, files, systems, and networks. SolarWinds Access Rights Manager (ARM) is built to help organizations monitor and control these permissions with a focus on security, allowing you to view current permissions and quickly generate audit-ready reports demonstrating compliance.

Effective access management reduces the risk of internal and external data breaches by monitoring user access to files, systems, and services and keeping track of changes in those permissions over time. It helps protect companies from hackers who are targeting user credentials as a means to gain entry into business systems and networks.

Increasingly, hacking attacks are focused on obtaining passwords or other login credentials that can be used to enter business systems and steal sensitive information. Having multiple authentication methods that can be verified reduces the risk of these attacks by adding another layer of security that cannot be lost, shared, or guessed. It is also known as multi-factor authentication. An IAM solution can help with this by providing tools like MFA and passwordless authentication.


An access management platform needs to have strong authentication capabilities. It is crucial because it determines whether end users are who they say they are and can get the data they need.

Authentication can happen in multiple ways, from passwords to fingerprint scanning and voice recognition. The best IAM solutions have multi-factor authentication (MFA) that can leverage these technologies or even more traditional ones like usernames and passwords.

Other important authentication features include Single Sign-On (SSO), which provides a seamless login experience for end users while strengthening security by eliminating risky behaviors such as writing passwords down on paper. Privileged access management (PAM) is also a standard capability that IAM vendors have in place to ensure secure authentication for critical business systems.

Other features to look for in an access management platform are user provisioning tools that make it easy for administrators to grant or revoke access to files and systems as needed. Some solutions also have a self-service permissions portal that puts control over managing access in the hands of the users themselves, freeing up time for administrators to focus on other issues.

Access Control

Authentication and access control work together to prevent confidential data like customer data, personally identifiable information (PII), and intellectual property from falling into the wrong hands. Whether your data and apps are on-premises or in the cloud, robust access control policies can help keep them secure.

The most basic access control model is mandatory access control (MAC), which establishes strict security policies for each user and the resources, systems, or data they can or cannot access. Unlike discretionary access control, MAC allows only one system administrator to set, alter, or revoke permissions. This security model is used in many government facilities and is the most reliable option for sensitive data.

Another more advanced access control option is role-based access control (RBAC), which creates permissions based on groups and roles, such as bank employees or managers. It’s the choice of many organizations that place a high value on privacy. It is a popular option for regulated industries such as financial services, health care, and utilities. A well-designed RBAC can also be more flexible for businesses that need to adjust access privileges regularly.


The best IAM tools help you automatically document user access rights and activities for compliance reasons. These systems are necessary to enforce least privilege access and perform manual user audits on time. IAM software also helps bolster data security by identifying and reporting high-risk accounts. These risky accounts can cause accidental damage or even data breaches if hackers gain access to them.

The top access management solutions also integrate with widely used authorization-related business systems like Active Directory, Group Policy, SharePoint, and more. It makes it easy to manage access and permissions for a comprehensive view of enterprise resources. In addition, they should provide visualization features that offer at-a-glance visibility of domain access through maps or tree structures. These views are more intuitive than lists of permission relationships.

Some IAM systems offer integrated privileged access management (PAM), which helps protect critical data with additional layers of security such as multi-factor authentication and zero trust. Others focus on consumer identity and access management (CIAM), which helps reduce friction by leveraging social logins, reducing password complexity, and supporting self-service to make it fast and easy for users to log in and get the work done.


The best access management tools can integrate with various applications and servers. It allows admins to focus on other tasks and gives end users a single tool they can use to access all the applications they need. It simplifies IT operations and eliminates risky practices like users recording passwords on paper or using the same one across multiple applications.

Most IAM tools also make it easy for end users to request new privileges and for admins to review and approve them. It helps reduce the time IT staff spends on administrative duties and ensures that security policies are enforced correctly.

An excellent example is the single pane of glass approach, which integrates with thousands of applications. It also supports both SSO and federation, so that users can authenticate with the identity system of their choice. It is a critical capability for businesses working with partners to share information and work remotely. It makes it easier for both sides to trust each other and allows business processes to continue without interruption.


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