Vikash Jha - Mar 31, 2020

5 reasons to deploy Identity & Access Management (IAM) solution for remote workforce

The Covid-19 outbreak and the resulting enforcement of remote work have tested several organizations to their limits. With an unprecedented number of people logging in from their home and mobile networks, enterprises need to address the security implications of granting remote access. Therefore, now is the time to revisit your organization’s Identity and Access Management (IAM) framework, or implement one, to manage user identities and data security efficiently. 

Besides gaining comprehensive visibility of all users connected to the enterprise network and applications, here are five key benefits of a centralized IAM solution: 

  1. Enhanced Data Security

The demand for secure access for a diverse landscape of users across numerous disparate applications poses a serious challenge to IT professionals. There are several daily scenarios that require modifications to access permissions. For example, new hires need their accesses provisioned quickly during their onboarding process. Existing users who leave an organization must have their accesses revoked. At the same time, other users may change roles within an enterprise because of transfers and promotions. This requires updates to their existing rights to reflect their new positions, while restricting permissions they no longer require.

To meet these demands across a variety of on-premise and cloud applications, organizations require agile and flexible IAM solutions. These IAM products must be able to handle access rights for different categories of individuals & devices to access different data and workloads. Access control systems must be able to integrate with a wide variety of existing and future information systems, allowing users access to the information they need, wherever it is stored. IAM solutions also significantly reduce the security risks arising from weak individual user passwords or sharing of passwords. IT administrators can easily manage and govern workforce identity lifecycles–from onboarding and provisioning, to off-boarding—across the complex IT environments with dynamic protocols and permission levels.

  1. Quick & easy access to data

A centralized IAM solution uses technologies such as single sign-on (SSO), two-factor authentication (2FA), multi-factor authentication (MFA), etc., which allow users to access applications and data from remote or mobile devices such as desktops, laptops, and smartphones. These security controls also help limit the number of passwords employees need to handle for various applications. 

  1. Handling third-party vendors & partners

It’s more important now than ever to manage accesses for third-party vendors and partners, who are connected to your enterprise network through SaaS, devices, or as contractors working on your systems. Traditional solutions, based on IP addresses, are difficult to manage, especially when multiple users are logged in simultaneously to the same server. The solution is to enforce security policies based on user identities rather than IP addresses. That way, each user group will have policies defined for entry, thereby providing specific accesses to user groups or individuals, and blocking them from moving any further. 

Since access is controlled at the endpoint, the IT team can enforce control of users between workloads, even within the same segmented section on the network. Policies take effect immediately, for both new and active sessions, allowing you to act quickly and incisively in case of a security gap. 

  1. Managing BYOD (Bring-your-own-device)

To manage or not to manage—is not really the question anymore for today’s enterprises. In the age of remote workforce, employees, contractors, partners, etc. are bound to use personal devices to connect to the corporate network for professional and personal reasons. In such a scenario, your IT team must be able to react quickly to protect the organization’s business assets—without disrupting productivity while offering freedom of choice. Most companies have some kind of BYOD policy which allows users to access secure resources from their personal devices. However, accessing internal and SaaS applications on a mobile device is more cumbersome compared to a networked laptop or desktop workstation. In addition to that, the IT staff may struggle with managing access privileges to corporate data and devices being using to access it. A centralized IAM solution powered with technologies such as SSO can go a log way in aiding your IT teams in managing and enforcing BYOD policies.

  1. Efficient Auditing and Reporting

Consolidating user identities and passwords creates clear data access and audit trails. This enables IT departments to track devices and user credentials compromised in the event of breach, find out what data have been accessed, and take necessary steps for recovery. 

With Cymmetri’s Zero Trust Access Gateway, you can enable greater flexibility for your remote teams and ensure productivity, without compromising on data security. Click here to find out how it can help you empower your remote workforce in these trying times.

Written by Vikash Jha