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Discovering Roles for IdentityIQ

Role Discovery, part of Access Modeling, identifies user access patterns and determines potential roles, or bundles of access, that accurately align with what users actually do in an organization.

To discover potential roles, SailPoint uses a patented network graph analysis. Entitlement-based similarities are found among the identities in an organization, and identities are organized into cluster communities, or peer groups, with similar access. This network graph enables SailPoint to detect and discover roles with least-privileged access for groups of very similar identities.

After potential roles have been discovered, IdentityIQ users can:

Role Discovery for IdentityIQ Prerequisites

  • IdentityIQ customers with Access Modeling must follow the directions in Configuring IdentityIQ for Access Modeling to access Role Discovery.

  • If the role-discovery-plugin.zip plugin file was previously installed, make sure to install the updated access-modeling-plugin.zip plugin file available here.

Designating Existing IdentityIQ Roles as Common Access

IdentityIQ users can designate an existing role as common access using the IAI Common Access API.

Bundling common, or birthright, access into roles that can be assigned to large groups of employees improves your access model by enabling:

  • Faster and more efficient onboarding
  • Fewer access requests and certifications of non-risky items

Role Discovery Process Overview

Each process overview step is described in detail in the sections that follow.

  1. Define a group of identities and launch Role Discovery.

  2. Work with the potential role results and save the role discovery session to work on later.

  3. Explore potential roles.

  4. Refine the entitlements for a potential role and save the role as a draft to work on later.

  5. Export the potential role data to a ZIP file for evaluating offline and manually creating new roles.

  6. Automatically create a new role from a potential role.

Discovering Potential Roles for IdentityIQ

After successfully configuring IdentityIQ for Access Modeling, complete the following steps in IdentityIQ to start discovering roles:

  1. Select Intelligence > Advanced Analytics, and run a search query for identities.

    For more information about queries in Advanced Analytics, refer to the IdentityIQ Product Guides or the IdentityIQ online help.

    Note

    We recommend using targeted, specific search queries to narrow down the identities to groups that you want to have shared entitlements through roles.

    When searching on *(all), there is a limit of 25,000 identities returned. We do not recommend searching on *(all).

  2. Use the checkbox to Select Everything or select a subset of identities.

  3. Select Role Discovery to discover potential roles based on the optimal role granularity derived from our AI algorithms.

    This redirects you to the Potential Roles page on your IdentityNow tenant. If you are not already logged in to IdentityNow, you will have to enter admin credentials and authenticate first.

Working with Potential Roles Results

The Potential Role Results page lists the potential role results from the role discovery session.

Some of the discovered roles may have a High Impact label . High-impact roles are unique with similar access among identities and will improve your organization’s access model the most. The Potential Role Results list can be sorted by role impact, identity access similarity, number of identities, or number of entitlements.

From the Potential Role Results page, you can work with the potential roles list in the following ways:

The potential role results can be sorted by role impact, identity access similarity, number of identities, or number of entitlements.

High-impact roles are listed at the top of the screen along with the percentage of identities in the potential role that have similar access. High-impact roles with similar access among identities are prioritized and will improve your organization’s access model the most. The potential role results can be sorted by role impact, identity access similarity, number of identities, or number of entitlements.

Viewing Session Criteria

Select Session Criteria at the top of the Potential Role Results page to view the session settings and identity filters applied to the session.

To change the identity filters, select Start a New Session to return to the Define a Group of Identities page and begin a new session.

To edit the session settings, close the Session Criteria window and then select Settings on the Potential Role Results page.

Editing Session Settings

Select the Settings icon to modify the potential roles displayed in the list:

  1. Use the Role Granularity slider to adjust the size and specialization of the potential roles. The orange pin on the slider represents the smart default value that our AI algorithms used to discover the initial set of potential roles displayed.

    A lower role granularity percentage displays potential roles with broader access. The potential roles discovered will each include higher numbers of identities with less entitlement similarity. In general, the included identities are less similar to each other. The roles are easier to manage, but it is possible that some identities might gain access that isn’t completely essential to their job function.

    A higher role granularity percentage displays potential roles with more specialized access. The potential roles discovered will each include fewer identities with more entitlement similarity. It can take longer to evaluate and maintain a large number of potential roles with higher specialization. However, the potential roles will have a higher level of relative security due to more entitlement similarity.

  2. Adjust the Minimum Number of Identities to display only the potential roles that include at least that number of identities.

  3. Select Apply to update the list of potential roles based on your changes.

Exploring Potential Roles

You can explore the properties and attributes of a potential role as follows:

  1. Select Attributes for any potential role to quickly view the role’s top 3 job titles, departments, and locations (by percentage) shared among the included identities. It is possible to add a fourth identity attribute with help from Professional Services.

    Note the following conditions for how attributes are displayed:

    • If none of the identities in the potential role have attributes for job title, department, or location, another attribute is displayed.

    • The attributes available depend on the way the mapping from your source is configured by the solution architect during the onboarding process.

    • If the job title, department, and location attributes show Not Applicable, it means those attributes were not mapped for any identities included in the potential role. For example, this could be the case for a potential role that includes contract workers not assigned job titles or departments.

  2. To see detailed information for a potential role, select the potential role name or Work On This Role in the Attributes view. The Composition screen for the potential role displays the role’s entitlements along with their % Popularity.

    If desired, select X to close the popularity threshold visualization at the top of the page.

  3. Select the Identity Overview tab to display a list of all identities in the potential role and their job title, department, and location attributes. You can also select Show Chart to see distribution graphs for these identity attributes. The Identity Overview tab reflects only the identities in the original potential role discovered and does not update based on entitlement changes made in the Composition tab.

    Reviewing the Identity Overview tab is a way to double-check that the initial identities in the potential role composition should have the included entitlements.

You can customize an individual potential role by refining the entitlements.

Refining Entitlements for a Potential Role

You can refine the entitlements for a potential role in the IdentityNow interface. Refining entitlements changes the contents of the potential role data you will export and the roles you can automatically create in IdentityIQ.

You should refine entitlements first in bulk and then individually.

Bulk Entitlement Exclusion

The first part of refining entitlements is to exclude all entitlements below a certain popularity threshold or all entitlements considered common access.

To exclude entitlements from a potential role in bulk:

  1. Select a potential role. The potential role opens on the Composition tab.

  2. Exclude entitlements below popularity threshold.

    This visualization allows you to see the popularity distribution of the entitlements in the potential role. Hover over different steps in the visualization to see how many entitlements fall above, at, and below different percentages of popularity.

    Note

    The steps in the visualization will change if you individually exclude all the entitlements in a step.

    Use the Popularity Threshold slider to select a popularity threshold, below which entitlements will be excluded from the potential role.

    Best Practice

    To avoid entitlement proliferation, SailPoint recommends removing low-popularity entitlements (< 70%) from your role definitions.

  3. Select Apply when you are finished. The Apply button becomes selectable only if you made changes.

  4. To hide the visualization section of the Composition tab, select the X icon. To display the visualization again, select Refine Entitlements.

    Caution

    If you select Back to Potential Roles to return to the initial Potential Roles screen before exporting or creating a new role, all applied changes for bulk entitlement exclusion will be lost and you’ll have to repeat the steps you took to refine the entitlements in bulk for a potential role.

    Individual entitlement exclusions are remembered if you select Back to Potential Roles.

    If you have made bulk entitlement exclusions, save the role as a draft to avoid losing your changes.

Individual Entitlement Exclusion

The next part of refining entitlements is to select specific entitlements to exclude from the potential role.

To exclude specific, individual entitlements from a potential role:

  1. On the Composition tab, select the checkboxes next to the entitlements you want to exclude, or select the checkbox in the table header to exclude all entitlements in the table.

  2. Select Exclude. The selected entitlements are removed from the Composition tab and are now listed on the Excluded Entitlements tab.

To add excluded entitlements to a potential role:

  1. On the Excluded Entitlements tab, select the checkboxes next to the entitlements you want to include, or select the checkbox in the table header to include all entitlements in the table.

  2. Select Include. The selected entitlements are removed from the Excluded Entitlements tab and are now listed on the Composition tab.

When you have finished adjusting the entitlements in the potential role, you are ready to export the potential role data or create a new role from the potential role.

Saving Role Discovery Sessions and Draft Roles

To allow time for thorough access model development and review, Role Discovery lets you save role discovery session results and draft roles to work on later. Saved sessions and draft roles are accessible in the left pane when you go to Admin > Access > Role Insights.

Saving Role Discovery Sessions

Saving a role discovery session allows you to return to the saved session at your convenience for further evaluation and modification.

To save a role discovery session:

  1. On the Potential Role Results page, select Save Session.
  2. Enter a session name and select Save.

To access your saved role discovery sessions, go to Admin > Access > Role Insights > Role Discovery Sessions. Each saved session is listed with the identity filters (search criteria) used for the session, the number of potential roles discovered, the total number of identities returned by the identity filters, who created the session, and the date created.

You can work with your saved sessions in the following ways:

Saving Draft Roles

Saving a potential role as a draft allows you to return to the draft role at your convenience for further refinement and evaluation before implementing it in your organization.

To save a draft role:

  1. On a potential role page, select Save Draft.
  2. Enter a Role Name and Description.
  3. If the draft role's session has not already been saved, Save Session is enabled an you will also need to enter a Session Name.
  4. Select Save.

To access your saved draft roles, go to Admin > Access > Role Insights > Draft Roles. You can work with your saved draft roles in the following ways:

  • View entitlements and identity attributes
  • Use the Popularity Threshold slider to exclude entitlements below the selected popularity threshold
  • Include and exclude individual entitlements
  • Edit role details such as role name and description
  • Create a new role from the saved draft role
  • Delete saved draft roles

Once a draft role has been saved, the draft stays in the saved session until deleted, even if the session settings are changed in such a way that the potential role would no longer be included in the session’s results.

Exporting and Using Potential Role Data

On the potential role page in IdentityNow, select the Export Data button to save the entitlements, identities, and identity distribution data for the potential role in a ZIP file.

Use the exported potential role data as a reference to add identities or membership criteria to existing roles, share with stakeholders, or evaluate your current roles.

Creating New Roles from Potential Roles

After you have explored a potential role and customized/refined it, you can automatically create a new role in IdentityIQ.

Note

Additional configuration is required to automatically create roles in IdentityIQ.

Complete the following steps:

  1. On the potential role page in IdentityNow, select Create Role. The Create a New Role dialog box appears.

  2. Fill in the information for the new role. The role name entered must be unique from other role names in your organization. If you enter an preexisting role name, you will not be able to create the role and will be prompted to choose another name.

  3. Select Create Role. A banner appears to inform you that the new role was successfully created.

At this point, a newly created IT role and corresponding business role are saved with your other roles in IdentityIQ (Role Management > Role Viewer) without identities. If you do not see the newly created roles, select Refresh.

You can add identities from previously exported potential role data. Verify that the new role is in your desired enabled/disabled state before adding identities.

For information about how to work with roles in IdentityIQ, refer to the IdentityIQ Product Guides or the IdentityIQ online help.