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What is identity and access certification and attestation?

Identity and access attestation is a process that involves verifying and validating the identity of individuals and managing their access to systems, applications or resources within an organization. It ensures that only authorized individuals have appropriate access privileges based on their roles and responsibilities.

In today's cyber-vulnerable world, having a strong security posture is crucial. With the ever-increasing sophistication of cyber threats, organizations must be proactive in safeguarding their digital assets. A fundamental step in building a robust security foundation is knowing where you stand. This means understanding your assets, risks, vulnerabilities and controls as part of your holistic identity and access management strategy.

How identity and access attestation work in practice

How identity and access attestation works in practice

 Here's an overview of the typical steps involved in an identity and access attestation process:

  1. Identity Provisioning: The process begins with identity provisioning, where an individual's identity is created within the organization's identity management system. This involves capturing and storing relevant information, such as name, contact details, job title and department. The identity is assigned a unique identifier, often in the form of a username or employee ID.
  2. Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) Design: RBAC is a common approach used to manage access privileges based on job roles. The organization defines different roles and associated permissions that individuals can be assigned. This step involves analyzing job functions, responsibilities and access requirements to establish appropriate role definitions.
  3. Access Request and Approval: When an individual joins the organization or changes roles, they may need access to specific systems or resources. In this step, the individual submits an access request specifying the required access rights. The request is typically routed to the appropriate manager or supervisor for review and approval. The manager evaluates the access request against the individual's job responsibilities and approves or denies access accordingly.
  4. Access Provisioning: Once access is approved, the authorized user is granted access to the requested systems or resources. This involves provisioning the necessary user accounts, granting appropriate permissions and configuring access controls accordingly. The individual is provided with login credentials and instructions on how to access the authorized systems.
  5. Periodic Access Reviews: To maintain a secure access environment, periodic access reviews are conducted. These reviews involve evaluating the access privileges of individuals to ensure they align with their current roles and responsibilities. Managers or system administrators review the access rights assigned to each user and determine whether any adjustments or revocations are necessary. This helps identify and mitigate any excessive or inappropriate access privileges that may have been granted over time.
  6. Access Attestation: Access attestation is the process of verifying and confirming the access privileges assigned to individuals. It involves conducting formal reviews or audits to validate that access rights are accurate, necessary and compliant with organizational policies and regulations. Managers or supervisors review the access privileges of their team members and provide attestations or certifications that confirm the appropriateness of the assigned access.
  7. Revocation and De-Provisioning: When individuals change roles, leave the organization or no longer require access to certain systems, their access privileges should be revoked. Revocation and de-provisioning involve removing or disabling user accounts, terminating access rights and ensuring that individuals no longer have access to sensitive data or resources.

By following these steps, organizations can establish a structured process for identity and access attestation and certification, ensuring that only authorized individuals have appropriate access to systems and resources while minimizing the risk of unauthorized access or data breaches.


As the key to any organization’s information security, identity governance allows organizations to issue secure digital identities for users, who can be authorized to access certain resources necessary for their role in the organization. For example, when an employee is hired, their digital identity gives them access to the information and data they need to complete their duties. As the employee’s role within the organization changes and they need access to previously inaccessible resources, attestation and identity governance ensure that they can continue performing their job through changes in their authorization to access information, data and resources.

By employing identity governance methods of attestation review cycles, organizations can enhance and strengthen the security of their data and protect their business. As the systems companies use to store data and resources evolve, so do the threats to their information. With the rise of remote working, cloud-based systems and more complex work lifecycles, identity governance has increased in its importance. By assigning permissions to users based on the stage of the employee lifecycle they are in, identity governance can protect from data breaches. When sensitive information is restricted to only those who are authorized, organizations can ensure that their data isn’t getting into the wrong hands.

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