Identity Life Cycle


The Identity Life Cycle is a concept within information security that describes the various stages an individual’s digital identity goes through during its existence. It typically includes identity creation, maintenance, usage, and eventual termination or deletion. The process ensures proper management and protection of digital identities, thereby reducing the risk of unauthorized access and maintaining the privacy of personal information.


The phonetics of the keyword “Identity Life Cycle” would be:/ɪˈdɛntɪti laɪf ˈsaɪkəl/Here is the breakdown:- Identity: /ɪˈdɛntɪti/- Life: /laɪf/- Cycle: /ˈsaɪkəl/

Key Takeaways

  1. Identity life cycle involves a series of stages, including identity creation, maintenance, and deletion, that are essential for managing user access to network resources and applications.
  2. Organizations should prioritize identity life cycle management to prevent unauthorized access, adhere to compliance standards, and maintain the effectiveness of user authentication and authorization processes.
  3. Effective identity life cycle management requires the proper utilization of tools, policies, and procedures, such as identity governance, identity synchronization, and risk-based authentication, to ensure comprehensive identity monitoring and control.


The technology term “Identity Life Cycle” is important because it represents the various stages in the management of an individual’s or an entity’s identity throughout its existence in a digital ecosystem.

It typically consists of identity creation, provisioning, authentication, authorization, monitoring, and deprovisioning.

Understandably, these stages play a vital role in ensuring that the right individuals or entities have access to the right resources at the right time, thus maintaining security, managing risk, and adhering to compliance protocols.

The Identity Life Cycle helps organizations prevent unauthorized access, protect sensitive data, and manage user accounts efficiently, culminating in a secured and well-organized digital environment.


The Identity Life Cycle is a comprehensive framework that governs how an organization manages digital identities throughout their existence. The primary purpose of the Identity Life Cycle is to ensure the successful alignment of an organization’s identity management processes with its security and operational needs.

This entails a sequence of different stages, laying the foundation for a structured approach that covers each aspect of identity management – from its creation and maintenance to its eventual retirement. One crucial application of the Identity Life Cycle is in providing a solid basis for robust access control and management.

As an organization grows, it becomes increasingly important to keep track of different user identities and their associated permissions and to regulate access to various resources within the system. The Identity Life Cycle allows organizations to create, modify, and monitor user privileges, ensuring that unauthorized access is minimized, sensitive data is protected, and compliance with regulatory requirements is maintained.

In essence, the Identity Life Cycle helps companies to bolster trust in the system, reduce potential vulnerabilities, and systematically manage operational risks.

Examples of Identity Life Cycle

The Identity Life Cycle refers to the series of stages involved in managing digital identities. The cycle includes the following stages: identity creation, identity verification, authorization, authentication, access management, and decommissioning. Here are three real-world examples illustrating these various stages in the technology industry:

Onboarding employees in a company:When a new employee joins a company, they are given an official email address and other credentials associated with their position. This creates their digital identity within the organization. Once their identity is established, the employee must verify their credentials to ensure accuracy and security. During this stage, the employee may need to provide additional documentation (such as a passport or driver’s license) for verification purposes. Access to specific software, databases, or internal applications is then granted based on their job responsibilities.

Online Banking:Online banking platforms require customers to create digital identities in the form of usernames, passwords, and sometimes, two-factor authentication methods. To verify one’s identity, customers may need to provide their Social Security Number or other sensitive personal data. Once verified, they are granted access to various online banking services, including checking account balances, transferring money, and paying bills. Banks have systems in place to manage access control and monitor unusual behavior, ensuring a secure online experience for their customers.

Social Media Platforms:Users on social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram must create digital identities through unique usernames, email addresses, and passwords. To verify their identities, platforms could ask for personal information like phone numbers and recent photographs. Once verified, users can access platform features, such as posting photos, sending messages, or commenting on others’ posts. Social media platforms constantly work on improving access management and security to ensure user information remains safe and secure.In all these examples, identity life cycle management is critical in maintaining a secure digital environment and ensuring that users have appropriate access based on their role or relationship with the service provider.

Identity Life Cycle FAQ

What is Identity Life Cycle?

Identity Life Cycle is the process of creating, managing, and retiring identities within an organization or system. It involves various stages, such as identity creation, identity validation and verification, access provisioning, access management, and identity termination. It is a crucial part of an organization’s identity and access management strategy.

Why is Identity Life Cycle important?

Identity Life Cycle is important to ensure that the right individuals have access to the appropriate resources and data within an organization. Proper management of identity life cycles helps maintain security, comply with industry regulations and standards, and protect sensitive information from unauthorized access. It also helps organizations track user activity and manage access efficiently.

What are the different stages of Identity Life Cycle?

The different stages of Identity Life Cycle include identity creation, identity validation and verification, access provisioning, access management, and identity termination. Each stage has its specific process and purpose to ensure that a user’s access is controlled and monitored throughout their time within an organization or system.

How does identity creation work in Identity Life Cycle?

Identity creation is the first step in the Identity Life Cycle, where a user’s identity is generated. This can involve collecting user information, such as name, email, and other required attributes. The information is then stored in the identity management system, and an identifier, such as a username or user ID, is linked to the new identity.

What is the difference between identity validation and identity verification?

Identity validation is the process of checking if the provided user information is accurate and follows predefined criteria, such as valid email format. Identity verification, on the other hand, is the process of confirming that the person presenting the identity is the legitimate holder of that identity. This process may involve presenting additional documents or data to prove their authenticity.

How does access provisioning work in Identity Life Cycle?

Access provisioning is the process of granting users access to resources based on their identity and role within an organization or system. This involves assigning permissions or roles to the identity, which determines the resources and actions the user can access. Access provisioning ensures that users only have access to the data and resources they need to perform their tasks.

What is access management in Identity Life Cycle?

Access management is the ongoing process of monitoring and regulating user access to resources, such as applications or data. This includes updating user access when roles change, monitoring for suspicious activity, and ensuring compliance with policies and regulations. Access management helps maintain a secure environment and track user activity throughout the Identity Life Cycle.

What happens during identity termination in Identity Life Cycle?

Identity termination is the final stage in the Identity Life Cycle, where a user’s access to resources is removed, and their identity is deactivated within an organization or system. This occurs when a user is no longer part of the organization or their access is no longer required. Identity termination is essential for maintaining security and ensuring that unauthorized access does not occur.

Related Technology Terms

  • Identity Provisioning
  • Authentication
  • Authorization
  • Identity Management
  • Identity De-provisioning

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