Identity management is a crucial aspect of information security, as it ensures that only authorized individuals and entities have access to sensitive data and resources. With the increasing use of technology in today’s organizations, identity management has expanded to include (but is not limited to) machine identities (anything other than human), such as device identities, digital identities, and workload identities. This whitepaper aims to define machine identities, explore their history and significance, and provide best practices for managing and governing the risks associated with them. The target audience for this whitepaper includes InfoSec professionals, risk office/owners, IT/ cybersecurity liaisons, technology/Site Reliability Engineers (SRE)/DevOps teams, business process owners, application developers, and government/regulatory bodies.
Identity management ensures that the right individuals, such as people or machines, have access to the right resources, at the right time, for the right length of time, and for the right reasons. This is vital for maintaining the security of an organization’s resources. With the advent of new technologies, identity management has evolved to include not only human identities, but also machine identities, such as devices, digital workloads, and robotic process automation (RPA) bots. This document aims to provide an understanding of machine identities and the implications of their use.