Within a complex modern corporate network, properly managing user identities is both a productivity challenge and an opportunity. The challenge is to meet that core security aim of securely managing user access while balancing that with providing the right people with the right access at the times they need it. This article describes the central role a robust identity and access management strategy and solution plays in balancing security with productivity.
Employees can work from their office, at home, in the local coffee shop, and pretty much anywhere else with an Internet connection. Corporate network resources include multi-cloud environments with important business applications accessible anywhere, from any device. Contractors and business partners come and go all the time.
In such a complex environment, there are clearly security risks that need to be controlled to avoid data breaches. However, introducing too many security controls will ultimately reduce productivity. An IAM strategy coupled with a flexible IAM solution simplifies this complexity and enhances rather than diminishes productivity.
Just-in-Time Access Provisioning
An IT environment that lacks a centralized IAM solution is bad news for new employees, contractors, and business partners. When depending on manual provisioning, it can take days to get timely access to the essential business applications and resources that people need to perform their jobs effectively.
Pretty much every office worker has experienced a situation where they started a new job and had to twiddle their thumbs for a day or two while waiting for proper access to the corporate network. In severe cases, this wait can stretch to a full week, which is a lot of lost productivity and frustration.
With an IAM solution, you can rapidly onboard new business users and provide them with the tools they need to quickly add value. Instead of taking days, it takes minutes to create a user account with a single set of credentials that can access a wide range of corporate applications. The morale boost to new users who quickly feel they’re contributing to the business is immeasurable.
Another important consideration is timely provisioning when existing employees need timely access to new applications or databases. The scope of work performed by many employees is extremely dynamic. As people work on temporary projects or have permanent role changes, identity management solutions can quickly scale with those changes and provide the access people need.
Single SIgn-On for Seamless Access
An extremely useful feature of IAM solutions is the ability to attach one set of credentials to one user and enable that user to access all relevant business applications and resources. This is known as single sign-on, and it’s a huge productivity enabler.
Time spent creating helpdesk tickets for IT departments for password resets is time wasted for both employees and the IT admin staff who need to handle those tickets. It’s pretty much a guarantee that employees who need to remember credentials for multiple business applications are going to forget their passwords from time to time. When a person only needs to remember a single password, the likelihood of needing to reset it dramatically reduces.
Single sign-on makes it far easier to remember and manage passwords and much quicker to log in to business applications. In fact, the very act of having to log in separately to multiple applications over the course of a working day is tedious and time-consuming. The type of seamless access to business services provided by SSO empowers people to focus on their actual job and improve their productivity.
In a world where IAM solutions exist, time spent by IT departments handling a slew of administrative tasks around resetting passwords and provisioning users for different applications is very much time wasted.
IT personnel provide the most value when they can focus on maintaining your critical IT infrastructure, not when they’re bogged down by manual tasks. And these types of menial manual tasks are susceptible to human error, so you get a double-whammy of operational inefficiencies and increased security risks.
An IAM solution effortlessly cuts down these operational efficiencies for IT teams through automation. Whether it’s automating provisioning and de-provisioning or reducing password reset requests with SSO, IAM’s core features can free up time for IT to let them focus on value-added tasks.
Flexible Access with Multi-Factor Authentication
It’s critical to enable flexible employee access to business services in a way that doesn’t hamper security. In a world where remote work isn’t going away, productivity is only maximized when secure access can be provided to business applications from employee laptops and mobile devices.
Simply allowing access with a username-password combination is a risky game. Many serious data breaches stem from a compromised set of user identity credentials. A persuasive phishing email can entice an employee to give up a password. Once on the network using this password, a hacker could wreak havoc using ransomware or other malware.
Multi-factor authentication provides flexible access to corporate resources without compromising security. Solutions can use behavioral analysis that takes security context into account, such as the time or location of a login attempt. This behavioral analysis can spot suspicious behavior and ask users to provide additional information to quickly verify who they are.
How Tuebora Helps
Tuebora’s self-service IAM solution provides everything you need to securely manage user identities while removing barriers to business productivity. From single sign-on to automated provisioning to smarter provisioning rules driven by machine learning, our suite of tools lets your business work smarter.