Wednesday Aug 14, 2013

Integrating Identity Management and GRC: Decreasing Risk Across Your Organization (Deloitte)

In this edition of the Oracle IDM blog, we’ll look at a case study for integrating Oracle Identity Manager (OIM) 11g with Oracle Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) as part of an enterprise deployment and an integrated risk management strategy. We will incorporate specific use cases that leverage an integration of the two solutions to address risk and promote operational efficiency for routine tasks such as access requests and certification.  In addition to the primary focus between OIM and GRC, we will also highlight how Oracle E-Business Suites (EBS) roles are defined, synchronized, and provisioned using a combination of these two solutions providing an end-to-end integrated solution of the Oracle “suite.”

Abstract

When we think about Identity Management, we often relegate it to the IT Security or Infrastructure groups where it is traditionally used to address manual security and administration functions such as creating accounts, e.g., “hire and fire” scenarios, granting additional entitlements, and providing report-outs on information access for audit purposes. As identity systems improved their ability to manage the access they provisioned, it has become clear that there was a powerful relationship between IAM and GRC initiatives to better manager enterprise compliance in an integrated, less redundant fashion.

In many organizations today, GRC initiatives are often spread across multiple infrastructure silos and managed by different business units or IT groups. Tackling the constantly evolving regulatory requirements, coupled with increased business complexity, may present an uphill battle for a compliance department within the organization. Organizations are being asked not only to understand ever-changing global regulations, but also to create appropriate strategies in addressing their GRC needs.

Knowing who has access to what is not only important from a traditional security sense, but is important to financial controls groups being able to attest that financially significant systems have minimal risk through inappropriate access. By integrating Oracle’s GRC and Identity Management platforms and the associated processes, organizations can improve user lifecycle management, continuous monitoring and automated controls enforcement to assist with sustainable risk and compliance management. 

 
Figure 1 – Solution architecture

Solution Architecture

For a visual reference of the type of integration we are discussing, we have included an overview of how the systems can potentially interact.  In Figure 1, you will notice a typical Human Resource authoritative source system feeds OIM and OIM then provisions to target resources.  What’s different is the call-out to Oracle GRC to perform policy checks.

We won’t reference all of the GRC functionality available in this blog, but will focus on the segregation of duties (SoD) integration and relevant use case. [for detailed instructions on this integration, please see: http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E14899_01/doc.9102/e14763/segregation_duties.htm].    What’s interesting about this integration is OIM is able to leverage the information EBS and GRC already have about the roles that exist.  Using OIM scheduled tasks, we are able to synchronize those roles into OIM so that there is no need to manually build them in OIM.  Moreover, if the roles get end-dated in EBS, OIM reconciliation with EBS will end-date the roles and the related access for the users who have that role assigned with a goal of end-to-end compliance.  Both OIM and GRC offer a web services interface for performing common transactions.  More information about this can be found at http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E14507_01/apirefs.1112/e14133/using003.htm

Compliant User Provisioning

In our use case, we will explore how during an access request, a real-time validation can be performed against known SoD conflicts to determine if a role being requested has a conflict.  Through OIM’s Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) workflow functionality, we can include an additional layer of approval if a conflict is presented.  A conflict is often unavoidable and, in many cases, requires a power user from the compliance organization to step in, review the request, and document a mitigating control before accepting.  In this example, we’ll show a request by a Payables Manager for an Invoice Entry EBS role.
 
As you can see in this process flow, there is cross-functional behavior between the OIM and GRC solutions to identify the SoD violation and apply a mitigating control if required.  Ultimately, OIM manages the provisioning of the role in the end system (EBS in this example) and, therefore, will be able to continually track that entitlement.

There are three take-a-ways from this use case.  With GRC and IAM integration, organizations can:

• Automate provisioning and de-provisioning of business application users, with appropriate authorization and compliance checks.
• Improve the management of enterprise accounts and efficiently produce reports such as “who has access to what.”
• Reduce the cost of compliance by removing the need for after the fact remediation.

In Conclusion

At Deloitte , we see the need to not only install and configure an IAM solution, but to work with our clients to get value out of an enterprise compliance approach.  Solutions can be leveraged in their individual capacity to achieve benefits for an organization, but when organizations leverage cross-platform synergies, such as the ones that Oracle has intentionally created within their OIM and GRC solutions, the sum can become greater than the parts.  An integrated approach to an organization’s IAM and GRC programs can assist in reducing costs and redundancies, and improving value to the organization.

About the Author

Kevin Urbanowicz is a Manager in Deloitte & Touche LLP’s Security & Privacy practice with eight years of experience in information technology with a focus on Identity & Access Management (IAM).  He has served primarily in the Oil & Gas sector where he has helped his clients identify the business drivers and build the business case for establishing world-class IAM solutions that maximize IT efficiency and minimize security and compliance risk. 

Tuesday Nov 15, 2011

Limiting Audit Exposure and Managing Risk – Q&A and Follow-Up Conversation

Thanks to all who attended the live ISACA webcast on Limiting Audit Exposure and Managing Risk with Metrics-Driven Identity Analytics. We were really fortunate to have Don Sparks from ISACA moderate the webcast featuring Stuart Lincoln, Vice President, IT P&L Client Services, BNP Paribas, North America and Neil Gandhi, Principal Product Manager, Oracle Identity Analytics. Stuart’s insights given the team’s role in providing IT for P&L Client Services and his tremendous experience in identity management and establishing sustainable compliance programs were true value-add at yesterday’s webcast.

And if you are a healthcare organization looking to solve your compliance and security challenges, we recommend you join us for a live webcast on Tuesday, November 29 at 10 am PT. The webcast will feature experts from Kaiser Permanente, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Oracle and the focus of the discussion will be around the compliance challenges a healthcare organization faces and best practices for tackling those. Here are the details:

Healthcare IT News Webcast: Managing Risk and Enforcing Compliance in Healthcare with Identity Analytics

Tuesday, November 29, 2011
10:00 a.m. PT / 1:00 p.m. ET

Register Today

The ISACA webcast replay is now available on-demand and the slides are also available for download. Since we didn’t have time to address all the questions we received during the live Q&A portion of the webcast, we have captured responses to the remaining questions here. Please continue to provide us your feedback and insights from your experience in deploying identity compliance solutions.

Q. Can you please clarify the mechanism utilized to populate the Identity Warehouse from each individual application's access management function / files?

A. Oracle Identity Analytics (OIA) supports direct imports from applications. Data collection is based on Extract, Transform and Load (ETL) that eliminates the need to write connectors to different applications. Oracle Identity Analytics’ import engine supports complex entitlement feeds saved as either text files or XML. The imports can be scheduled on a periodic basis or triggered as needed. If the applications are synchronized with a user provisioning solution like Oracle Identity Manager, Oracle Identity Analytics has a seamless integration to pull in data from Oracle Identity Manager.

Q.  Can you provide a short summary of the new features in your latest release of Oracle Identity Analytics?

A. Oracle recently announced availability of enhanced Oracle Identity Analytics. This release focused on easing the certification process by offering risk analytics driven certification, advanced certification screens, business centric views and significant improvement in performance including 3X faster data imports, 3X faster certification campaign generation and advanced auto-certification features, that  will allow organizations to improve user productivity by up to 80%. Closed-loop risk feedback and IT policy monitoring with Oracle Identity Manager, a leading user provisioning solution, allows for more accurate certification reviews. And, OIA's improved performance enables customers to scale compliance initiatives supporting millions of user entitlements across thousands of applications, whether on premise or in the cloud, without compromising speed or integrity.

Q. Will ISACA grant a CPE credit for attending this ISACA-sponsored webinar today?

A. From ISACA: Hello and thank you for your interest in the 2011 ISACA Webinar Program!  Unfortunately, there are no CPEs offered for this program, archived or live.  We will be looking into the feasibility of offering them in the future. 

Q. Would you be able to use this to help manage licenses for software? That is to say - could it track software that is not used by a user, thus eliminating the software license?

A. OIA’s integration with Oracle Identity Manager, a leading user provisioning solution, allows organizations to detect ghost accounts or unused accounts via account reconciliation. Based on company’s policies, this could trigger an automated workflow for account deletion or asking for further investigation. Closed-loop feedback between the two solutions would then allow visibility into the complete audit trail of when the account was detected, the action taken, by whom, when and the current status.

Q. We have quarterly attestations and .xls mechanisms are not working. Once the identity data is correlated in Identity Analytics, do you then automate access certification?

A. OIA’s identity warehouse analyzes and correlates identity data across various resources that allows OIA to determine a user’s risk profile, who the access review request should go to, along with all the relevant access details of the user. The access certification manager gets notification on what to review, when and the relevant data is presented in a business friendly screen. Based on the result of the access certification process, actions are triggered and results recorded and archived. Access review managers have visual risk indicators that also allow them to prioritize access certification tasks and efforts.

Q. How does Oracle Identity Analytics work with Cloud Security?

A. For enterprises looking to build their own cloud(s), Oracle offers a set of security services that cloud developers can leverage including Oracle Identity Analytics.  For enterprises looking to manage their compliance requirements but without hosting those in-house and instead having a hosting provider offer managed Identity Management services to the organizations, Oracle Identity Analytics can be leveraged much the same way as you’d in an on-premise (within the enterprise) environment. In fact, organizations today are leveraging Oracle Identity Analytics to manage identity compliance in both these ways.

Q. Would you recommend this as a cost effective solution for a smaller organization with @ 2,500 users?

A. The key return-on-investment (ROI) on Oracle Identity Analytics is derived from automating compliance processes thereby eliminating administrative overhead, minimizing errors, maintaining cost- and time-effective sustainable compliance processes and minimizing audit exposures and penalties.  Of course, there are other tangible benefits that are derived from an Oracle Identity Analytics implementation as outlined in the webcast. For a quantitative analysis of your requirements and potential ROI calculation, we recommend you refer to the Forrester Study on Total Economic Impact of Oracle Identity Analytics. For an in-person discussion, please email Richard Caldwell.

Thursday Oct 27, 2011

Limting Audit Exposure and Managing Risk: A BNP Paribas, North America Success Story

Audits are not something we look forward to typically. Because audits mean we have to prepare for the exercise in addition to doing our daily jobs. Compliance mandates and company policies, however, have made access certification audits a necessary job function. In a large enterprise, that would mean, reviewing access for thousands of users across hundreds of applications in a dynamic environment i.e., where users change jobs, locations, move to and from projects, join or leave the company. The traditional spreadsheet model clearly can't work here. And even if you are somehow able to enforce access policies, how do you prove to your auditors the same? And hence, Audit Eye! If you haven't seen the video, you should check it out now.

 

BNP Paribas, North America took the access certification challenge head-on and triumphed. Are you looking at solving your complex access certification (attestation) challenges? Looking to make the the access certification process simpler, quicker and more reliable? Then, we invite you to come listen to Stuart Lincoln's presentation on a live ISACA webcast on how BNP Paribas, North America implemented well thought-out strategy and solution to make access certification review processes sustainable, convenient and streamlined and audits - a lot less painful. We look forward to a good conversation.

Live ISACA Webcast: Limiting Audit Exposure and Managing Risk with Metrics-Driven Identity Analytics
Thursday, November 10, 2011
9 a.m. PDT / 12 p.m. EDT
Register Here

About

Oracle Identity Management is a complete and integrated next-generation identity management platform that provides breakthrough scalability; enables organizations to achieve rapid compliance with regulatory mandates; secures sensitive applications and data regardless of whether they are hosted on-premise or in a cloud; and reduces operational costs. Oracle Identity Management enables secure user access to resources anytime on any device.

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