Many people work in identity management careers within large companies without being aware of their great contributions to the field of identity management. However, professionals who know they have been engaged in identity management careers and businesses know that the identity management field is a vast, complex and evolving field which requires specialization. To be effective, identity management professionals must have specialized experience and up to date knowledge to not only properly address all identity risks within the boundaries of their job responsibilities, but also understand how others are involved in managing identity risks within the organization. As such, for an organization to properly manage the identities of its employees, customers, and business partners, it must engage and enforce the coordination of internal groups which have varying degrees and scope of responsibility for effectively addressing identity risks. For this purpose alone, internal groups must understand each other’s responsibilities with regards to identity risk management. Individuals working within various groups may not be able to perform each others’ jobs but must understand how each person or group helps with managing identity risks.
Proper management of employee, customer and business partner identities within any organization is critical for the successful execution of the company’s goals and objectives which might require the appropriate and timely access to business information to run the business operations or complete various projects including system implementation, mergers and acquisitions. Such critical identity management practices aim to ensure that all individuals involved in business transactions are properly identified, and granted the appropriate access to information as dictated by business needs, in the most efficient and effective manner while complying with the laws.
For many years, identity management risks within organizations have been ranked as top priorities by Chief Information Officers (CIO) to be addressed. Also, for many years, Information Technology (IT) departments have been tasked to solve the identity management challenges for their organizations through investments in IT products and services which resulted in huge financial and human resource expenditures. However, we all know today that identity management challenges can not be solved with investments in technology alone. Companywide processes, risk assessments, as well as awareness and training must also be considered if we want to address all identity risks in a coherent manner.
Identity management has especially been of a greater importance in some large organizations which employ thousands of employees across the globe, collect millions of customer personal information, and have many international business partners providing services and products for running their global operations. As mentioned, today’s identity management risks are even more complex and technology alone is not able to solve this huge challenge. Globalization, rise in consumer and business identity theft and related fraud, introduction of new, incomplete and overlapping security and privacy laws, and the lack of identity risk awareness on the part of both consumers and businesses have introduced both new challenges and opportunities in identity management careers.
Identity management responsibilities are spread across many groups and functions in large companies. Sometimes and due to the lack of consistent and clear communications among these groups, some identity risks are left unaddressed until companies are hit with data security breaches or lawsuits. As we discussed, many functions within a large organization are involved with managing identity risks related to their employees, customers and business partners. These groups include Information Technology, Compliance, Privacy, Information Security and Human Resources just to name a few.
From a consumer information services standpoint, identity management careers are especially flourishing in the areas of identity theft protection such as identity monitoring, fraud recovery, and document shredding services. While these companies provide services which are highly sought by consumers, they also need identity management professionals to improve their services, provide knowledgeable customer service, and promote their products or services to consumers. Most consumer identity theft risk management companies offer affiliate programs to allow interested individuals enter the identity management careers by becoming their agents and sell their services or products in exchange for a commission.