Unraveling the 6Ws of Identity Security with ObserveID

6ws of Identity Security

In today’s digital age, the security of our identities and personal information has never been more critical. With an ever-expanding array of threats and vulnerabilities, it’s essential to understand the 6Ws of Identity Security. But there’s a game-changer in the world of identity security – ObserveID, which takes it a step further.

Who has Access?

The first of the 6Ws, “Who has Access,” is a fundamental element of identity security that focuses on identifying and verifying the individuals or entities that possess access rights within an organization’s systems and resources. This aspect involves defining and managing user identities, roles, and privileges to ensure that only authorized personnel can interact with specific data, applications, or physical locations. One popular way to properly address the “Who” entails robust user authentication and authorization processes, including techniques like multi-factor authentication and role-based access control. It’s crucial for organizations to maintain a clear and up-to-date record of who has access, as well as regularly review and adjust these access permissions to align with roles and responsibilities, thereby reducing the risk of unauthorized access and enhancing overall security.

Who has What Access?

The second “W,” “Who has what access,” is a critical aspect of identity security that delves into the granular details of user privileges within an organization’s systems. It involves precisely defining and managing the roles and permissions assigned to individuals or entities, ensuring that they possess only the access rights necessary to carry out their specific job functions. This level of precision is essential for minimizing the risk of over-privileged accounts or unauthorized access, which can be exploited by malicious actors.

By accurately mapping out “Who” has access to “What,” organizations can tailor their access control measures with precision, optimizing security while also ensuring operational efficiency. This level of specificity is fundamental in maintaining a robust defense against security threats and is often achieved through methods like role-based access control (RBAC) and continuous monitoring of access permissions.

Why Do They Have Access?

The “Why” of identity security is fundamental for safeguarding organizations and their assets. It encompasses the motivation behind robust identity protection, focusing on the prevention of unauthorized access to sensitive systems, data, and resources. This security measure is essential to safeguard confidential information, ensure regulatory compliance, maintain business continuity, and mitigate cybersecurity risks. It’s also crucial in countering insider threats and preventing data loss, which could lead to financial losses and reputational damage.

Additionally, identity security is instrumental in earning and maintaining customer trust by demonstrating a commitment to the privacy and security of customer data. Finally, it enables secure remote work, allowing organizations to operate efficiently and securely in today’s digital landscape, where remote access is the norm.

When Do They Have Access?

The “When” aspect in the context of the 6Ws of identity security pertains to the timing of identity-related actions and safeguards. It encompasses the critical need to implement identity security measures and protocols continuously and in a timely manner. Identity management should commence during the onboarding of individuals and entities within an organization, ensuring that proper access is granted from the start.

Subsequently, it’s crucial to regularly review and update user access as roles change, employees leave, or new individuals join, thereby preventing lingering access rights that could be exploited. Continuous monitoring is essential to promptly detect and respond to any suspicious activities or breaches, making the “When” an ongoing, real-time consideration in the realm of identity security.

From Where are they Connecting?

The “Where” aspect in the context of the 6Ws of identity security pertains to the locations, environments, and systems where identity management and security measures are applied. Identity security is relevant across a diverse range of locations, encompassing physical spaces, such as corporate offices and data centers, as well as virtual spaces, like cloud platforms and remote work environments. It involves ensuring that identities are protected not only within the organization’s internal networks but also in external access points, including mobile devices and remote connections.

The “Where” underscores the necessity for a holistic approach to identity security that covers all relevant physical and digital locations to effectively safeguard an organization’s assets and data.

What Action do They Perform?

The final “W” in the 6Ws of identity security, “What Action do They Perform?” delves into the specific activities and actions associated with user identities. This dimension focuses on understanding the exact roles, responsibilities, and permissions assigned to individuals or entities within an organization. By comprehending what actions each identity is authorized to perform, organizations can tailor access control and security measures accordingly.

This information guides the assignment of appropriate privileges, ensuring that users can only execute actions that are essential for their job functions while mitigating the risk of unauthorized or malicious actions. The “What Action” dimension is pivotal in tailoring identity security to align with an organization’s operational requirements, ultimately fostering a more secure and efficient environment.

ObserveID’s Comprehensive Approach

Traditionally, identity security has primarily focused on addressing three of the six Ws – Who, What, and Why. However, ObserveID takes identity security to the next level by delving into the When’s, the Where’s, and the What’s. By considering not just “Who” has access and “What” actions they perform, but also “When” these actions occur and “Where” they take place, ObserveID employs a comprehensive approach that significantly reduces the surface attack area and enhances overall security. This thorough examination of the timing, location, and specific activities associated with user identities enables a more precise and dynamic implementation of access control and monitoring, strengthening an organization’s defenses against both external and internal threats, and ensuring a more resilient and adaptive security posture.


In a world where our identities are constantly under threat, it’s comforting to know that solutions like ObserveID exist. By unraveling the 6Ws and more, they ensure that your identity remains safe and secure. As technology advances, so do the threats, and it’s crucial to have advanced solutions like ObserveID to stay one step ahead. Don’t settle for just the basics; protect your identity comprehensively in the digital age.

Axay Desai

Axay Desai

Axay has more than 25 years of industry experience both as a successful entrepreneur and industry veteran. His career began as a Senior Oracle Professional for nearly 15 years where he developed a strong reputation amongst industry peers and colleagues. Following that, Axay decided to focus on his passion for using his knowledge and experience to create and launch start-ups.

About ObserveID:

ObserveID is a cloud-native workforce identity security platform that maximizes productivity without compromising identity security. With ObserveID you can enforce the right level of access to the right identities and resources at the right time just with a click of a button—matching the scale, velocity, and changing needs of enterprises that operate in hybrid, multi cloud environments.

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