IBM has taken the wraps off security software designed to help small and midsize businesses automate identity management. The new application helps small companies thwart insider attacks and automate compliance by identifying "orphan accounts" and stopping unauthorized access to company data.
Called Tivoli Identity Manager Express, the software provides enterprise-class identity-management capabilities at a price geared toward smaller businesses' budgets and in a version that non-IT users can install and manage.
"Implementing identity management is really an issue in the small and midsize business market because smaller companies don't have the time or money to implement the existing identity-management solutions," says Steve Henning, manager of security and integration products at IBM Tivoli.
More than 70% of fraud cases that involve customer data are insider attacks, Henning says. "Companies spend a lot of money trying to keep the bad guys out. But the real problems are usually insiders, such as the disgruntled ex-employee whose account remained active when it should have been terminated," he says. Between 30% and 60% of small-business accounts are "orphans" that either belong to someone who no longer works for the organization or who no longer has responsibilities that require access, according to IBM.
Tivoli Identity Manager Express helps prevent insider attacks by blocking people from using user names and accounts that the company neglected to cancel. The software also simplifies compliance efforts for smaller businesses by cutting down the time it takes to compile information and prepare reports, automatically collecting and formatting information so that it's ready to be submitted to a compliance auditor. The software can also detect potential attempts to steal customers by indicating who has accessed sensitive sales information and who approved that access.
One of the big advantages of the software, Henning says, is its ability to help companies cut down on the cost of managing passwords. When employees forget or lose passwords, it typically costs a business $20 for each password reset request, according to IDC. IBM's new software enables employees to automatically get a new password on their own, in minutes.
Tivoli Identity Manager Express is listed at $24 per user, down from $32 per user for the enterprise version. The software is designed to run on a single server and can be deployed in about two hours.