Identity And Access Management – Remote Work Necessity

IAM

Remote work—a necessity in today’s time. With the COVID-19 pandemic, it is crucial that people stay in as much as possible. This means as much as possible, businesses must run remotely. Remote work brings in a lot of challenges in itself if a company is not prepared enough. A lot of companies are apprehensive about it, but sometimes it isn’t an option, such as now where something has been declared a pandemic. Cybersecurity, productivity, collaboration—the challenges can give your IT team a headache. But it can be made easier. Certain solutions like identity and access management have evolved to address such needs of businesses.

One too many applications – one login with single sign-on

Most organizations now have a combination of on-prem as well as cloud applications. Each application has its own unique login credentials. Imagine the frustration of an employee when he/she has to login to each one of these, separately. Then, there are web applications, as well. Logging in to each of these applications is a time-consuming process. With single sign-on, employees can log in just once, with a set of credentials. This means that every time a user tries to use one application, he/she must know the master credential, securing all the applications. This is especially helpful with remote work, where the employees cannot reach out to the IT team as quickly, and IT cannot track each application.

Too many passwords

This is a secondary effect of having too many applications. Users may write passwords on notebooks, sticky notes, store in an excel sheet without passwords. Someone with a bad intention could easily take advantage of such habits. The passwords of web applications are usually stored in the browser. This practice could very easily enable a hacker to steal right under your nose when you download something off the internet, which contains malware. Not only is it a security issue, but it curtails productivity as well. More so, when someone forgets a password, it might take a considerable amount of time before he/she could reset with the help of IT.  Some applications, as a policy, require a change of password every month. Executing this for every application is a loss of time.

This is how SSO and password management go hand in hand—helping the users to store their passwords in a fool-proof password solution and logging in with one credential.

The many benefits of a password management tool

An enterprise-level, password management solution, helps you with security as well. Although SSO is a productivity tool, one password login can also be used against the user. As the hacker, now, has to get hold of only one password. To curb this, multi-factor authentication can be implemented. Here it takes more than a password to log in. The user’s attributes with regards to something you know (personal information), something you have(OTP and device), something you are (biometric), somewhere you are (location), something you do (behavioral attributes) can all be used to ensure the user is who he/she claims to be.

When a remote employee tries to login in, MFA is a great tool to ensure security.

Provide access while maintaining the security

Access provisioning can be challenging in remote work. But, in IAM, roles are predefined. An employee gets the access he/she is entitled to. These are mapped closely by the HR and the manager. When an employee needs additional accesses, several workflows are in place for approval. All these access can also be revoked in a timely manner. All of these accesses can be viewed in a single dashboard. Now, employees need not wait for long to obtain access, neither would the security be in jeopardy due to lack of residual accesses.

Cybersecurity is challenging with sophisticated attacks. Security solutions are also getting complicated. With remote work in place, IAM can help organizations with visibility and control, and employees with productivity and security.

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