Implementing new business technologies often leads to a question of access. IT leaders have to evaluate who will use it, for how long, and why, and consider how it will impact security. Not long ago, this scenario created a fair amount of chaos and uncertainty around security for IT. Understandably, IT was reticent about implementing new technologies for these very reasons.
Today, identity management technologies and practices are helping IT build and automate identity lifecycles for all of their users. Below are 5 reasons why and how centralizing identity management helps IT become more efficient, maximizes security, and creates, overall, a better experience for everyone.
1. Safety First
Cybersecurity is top of mind for many organizations these days. As cyber defense evolves, cybercriminals are learning and maturing right along with it. There are many things to consider when deciding how to protect and organization’s data. centralized identity management is a smart, easy, and effective way to get started.
The “principle of least privilege” is based around the idea that users should only be given the bare minimum privileges possible to perform their job function. Having a centralized identity management system in place can ensure that user access policies are enforced across an organization to prevent users from unknowingly or unintentionally exposing the company’s data to potential cyber threats. It also provides an easy way to manage user rights to uphold the principle of least privilege. A unified, clean identity management system is not only safer but also easier for users.
2. Eliminate Identity Chaos
Identity chaos (also known as password chaos) is a premise that many are familiar with. Identity chaos is what happens when a user has a unique username and password for various applications, systems, and networks. Chaos, as the name infers, makes it difficult for users to track and manage their many credentials. This can be viewed as an innocuous commonality, but ultimately it leaves the company vulnerable and IT taking on extra work from inefficient password practices.
Centralized identity management removes identity chaos from the equation. And in practice, this is called single sign-on.
3. Single Sign-On
The quickest and easiest way to eliminate identity chaos is single sign-on. Leading identity management technologies like Okta serve as a proxy or gatekeeper of all the applications and systems of an organization. They use single sign-on to authenticate a user to give them access to myriad systems and applications. To get the most out of a platform like Okta, IT should consider integrating it with internal directories, configuring support for any device and OS, and automating onboarding and employee exit lifecycles. While many of these benefits may seem small, when combined they make life dramatically easier for IT and all users.
The immediate benefits of single sign-on are obvious: it makes life considerably easier for both IT and employees creating a better user experience. It also builds efficiency in the process of access and permissions where it might not have existed before. And there are more benefits to single sign-on.
Single sign-on allows for the easiest implementation of the principle for least privilege. As discussed before, it’s an enormous security benefit and an effective way to reduce the threat of cyber attacks. It also opens the door for more unified synchronization across platforms within an organization.
4. Synchronization Across Platforms
Having a system for identity and access management provides a framework that incorporates policies and technology for an effective identity management strategy. This allows for the potential to use federated identity, which permits a single digital identity to be authenticated and used across disparate applications and systems.
Allowing systems to interact with each other can create technology symbiosis that unites initiatives from all across the organization. It can make it easier to collect and analyze data, protect various systems from cyber threats, and also allows for users to have a holistic view of the access privileges necessary for them to perform their operational functions within an organization.
5. Reduce Overhead and Become More Agile
At the end of the day, centralized identity management reduces IT overhead while enabling leaner agile operations. It also helps IT enforce security protocols based on the principle of least privilege.