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What is converged Identity and Access Management (IAM)?

IAM is a broad term that covers various identity security techniques and solutions. Access Management (AM) enforces granular authorization policies, Privileged Access Management (PAM) secures privileged accounts and Identity Governance and Administration (IGA) is used to create and manage identities. Converged IAM unifies all these solutions under one comprehensive framework.

Modern IT infrastructures are complex, spanning multiple cloud and on-premise environments, and hosting both legacy and cloud-native applications. To provide and govern secure access to these infrastructures, a consolidated IAM approach is needed.

Many IAM solutions are siloed, meaning different IAM components are implemented and managed independently. This approach leads to a fragmented view of user identities, access rights and policies across different applications and environments. It also makes it challenging to enforce consistent policies and maintain compliance.

Converged IAM is designed to address all these challenges. It offers a more holistic approach to identity security by consolidating features for identity governance, Access Management, identity lifecycle management and identity analytics into a single application.

This enables organizations to streamline their identity management processes, reduce manual effort and improve consistency. Additionally, converged IAM solutions decrease total cost of ownership by eliminating the need to purchase multiple IAM tools.

What is converged Identity and Access Management (IAM)?

How does converged identity work?

Converged identity enables administrators to configure security controls for all applications and environments from a central location. To understand just how beneficial this can be, let’s consider an example.

Imagine an infrastructure in which some applications are hosted on AWS EC2 instances, whereas others are running on a legacy IBM server. Most databases are deployed on Google Cloud, but a few are also running on private cloud servers. There is an Active Directory (AD) network that manages some sensitive applications and devices. The company has a global workforce and partners who need access to different parts of the environment.

To manage the authentication and authorization of their infrastructure, the company utilizes a suite of identity tools. They use a PAM tool to secure privileged access but are unable to integrate it with their legacy applications. This forces them to create local root users on the legacy app server.

For managing AWS identities, they use the AWS IAM service. To govern access to the databases hosted on the private cloud, they use the provider's proprietary tool. A standalone management tool is used to protect AD resources from unauthorized access.

As you can imagine, operating different tools for security and compliance requires ongoing effort and can be a hassle. A converged identity platform significantly reduces the required effort by offering a single administration dashboard.

Administrators don’t have to switch between different tools to add security controls for various applications and environments. They can simply log in to the converged identity dashboard and secure all areas of their infrastructure.

For instance, they can use the same dashboard to manage privileged users, govern access to EC2 instances and manage AD user groups. Moreover, the dashboard presents a comprehensive view of the entire security landscape, allowing administrators to make informed decisions and quickly respond to potential threats.

Why is converged identity the future of identity security?

As organizations continue to adopt cloud computing, hybrid IT and other modern technologies, the traditional perimeter-based security model is becoming less and less effective. Firewalls, VPNs and localized security controls are no longer enough to prevent bad actors from infiltrating a system. Even siloed identity tools fail to protect against increasingly sophisticated threats, as they can’t provide a holistic view of all identities in an infrastructure.

Converged identity is considered the future of identity security because it enforces security at the identity level across the entire infrastructure. By converging all IAM solutions into one platform, an organization can reduce its attack surface, gain better visibility into its overall security landscape and eliminate the complexities of using different IAM tools for hybrid environments.

A converged identity solution empowers an organization to:

  • Implement the principle of least privilege and enforce role-based, fine-grained access control for all identities, including normal users, privileged accounts and external users
  • Perform centralized authentication and authorization of all applications and systems, irrespective of the environment they run on or the protocol they use
  • Ensure compliance with industry standards and frameworks by applying consistent security configurations throughout the entire infrastructure
  • Streamline the processes of identity governance, lifecycle management and privileged access control
  • Mitigate the threat of cyberattacks, such as ransomware, privilege escalation and data breaches, by implementing centralized security controls


A converged identity solution is a viable, future-proof investment for organizations looking to streamline their Identity and Access Management process. It enhances security posture, reduces maintenance costs, improves efficiency and provides a single point of control for governing access to the entire infrastructure.

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