Since the pandemic has shoved many of us into remote work for more than a year now, the issue of corporate security is top of mind for leaders and IT managers. Weak passwords and less-than-secure wireless connections while off-site are issues that are out of your control, but nonetheless can affect your entire system. Identity management software is an efficient security solution that will provide you with peace of mind while your workforce is remote and even when they return to the office.
What is identity management software? In short, it’s a system that manages your software users’ identity information in order to protect your company assets. The tool itself should both improve security, and provide the users—your employees—with a seamless and productivity-enhancing experience.
For both employees and IT teams, having multiple apps, passwords, and policies to manage user identities doesn’t streamline work—it increases tasks, while potentially jeopardizing security. And with so many applications in the cloud, your network’s best defence is a good offence.
Here are some of the benefits of identity management software, and how it can save your business time and money while safeguarding corporate security.
Allow access to apps with single sign-on
Setting up and creating profiles with all of the apps your company uses isn’t the most productive use of time for an employee. Single sign-on creates one-click access to everything members of your team need to get started.
When onboarding, identity management software allows you to configure smart rules to determine who gets access to a service, automating access based on department or role, and updating access should an employee’s role change. You can also configure when access is granted, so onboarding is set up before an employee’s first day, but permissions are withheld until their start date.
When they begin work, they’ll work from a centralized dashboard of all the apps they need and have permission for once they securely log in. Localizing all the tools your workers need behind one lock and key improves overall security of your system, for new and existing employees, especially when remote work is the norm.
Manage passwords securely
Weak passwords undermine corporate security regularly, but it’s not just the strength of the password, it’s how you store that information. According to a survey, “53% of information workers store their passwords insecurely,” and weak or compromised passwords are the most common cause of data breaches. Increasing the number of apps and tools your employees use increases the chances they’ll reuse passwords across systems, making their information (and your networks) more vulnerable.
Identity management software helps combat this pain point in a few ways:
- It provides self-help for employees: By guiding them to generate strong passwords with parameters that must be met, you’re starting security off on the right foot. This way, you know every password created by an employee meets a minimum security standard.
- It helps them to store those passwords safely in a zero-knowledge vault: This kind of password storage is accessible only by the end-user—no more forgetting which app goes with which password, or scrambling to find the scrap of paper where you noted it down.
- You can enable multi-factor authentication for cloud services: Remote work has made cloud-based services all the more popular, especially when it comes to collaborating from afar. But because cloud services take users off a secure network, it can render secure information vulnerable. Through identity management software, you can automatically enable multi-factor authentication even for cloud services that don’t offer the feature on their own. This additional barrier is in your best interests when it comes to securing your information.
- You can enable autofill: A survey by Transmit Security found that “more than 87% have been locked out of an online account because of an error-ridden password process,” a frustrating experience that leaves an employee less likely to return to that app in the future. Working from home requires employees to troubleshoot many of their own issues, so taking some of the guesswork out of log-ins just makes sense.
Taking something we know causes issues for employees, and potential disasters for networks, and making it as simple as one-click will reduce issues that clog up IT’s time and slow down your employees’ days.
Feel confident in what your employees are doing
Ensuring that access to apps remains in the right hands requires a level of oversight that has become more difficult during remote work. One feature of identity management software that can help in this realm is an activity stream which enables you to see app usage in real time.
If there’s a breach of security, this tool shows you who was logged in to which app from which location in order to help you best determine the cause of a breach and ensure that the user's information is updated.
You can also use this feature to determine which users really need access to which apps by tracking log-ins per user. Minimizing access to more secure information is always best practice, so if a user with access hasn’t logged on in the last six months, it’s possible that access is no longer necessary. This way, you’re able to tighten up security wherever needed, and you have the data to support your actions.
With a dashboard view of your entire directory’s account activity, you’ll be able to identify abnormal behavior as it’s happening, not when it’s too late. This level of oversight also makes collecting security analytics for compliance audits simple, and gives you results in real time.
Give and revoke access while maintaining security
Sharing account information, passwords, and log-in credentials when giving access to your network and systems has its own vulnerabilities, specifically when workers are logging in from their own networks. That’s why identity management software protects your data through encryption. Multiple, regularly-rotated keys, and end-to-end encryption ensure that when the doors are open to let someone in, your data is protected.
Of course revoking access, whether on a per-app basis or in an offboarding situation, must also be a smooth system, especially during this period of remote work. Identity management allows for automatic de-provisioning of an employee’s accounts and app access. The centralized view ensures you won’t need to remember which apps an employee engaged with, and you won’t need to go step by step removing permissions, or change existing passwords for the remaining team members.
Get the best software for identity management
If you’re looking to take over the management of your staff’s account security, choosing the best identity management software will take a lot of the work off your plate. With Rippling’s app management tool, a centralized, easy to navigate dashboard makes granting and revoking access as easy as possible. Built-in systems ensure employee passwords hit a security standard, and single sign-on capabilities reduce the chance of a security breach due to compromised passwords.
Bank-grade encryption gives you peace of mind when updating permissions from a remote workspace, and you’ll be able to track any suspicious behavior from wherever you’re working. Learn more about how to efficiently and securely manage your company’s and employees’ information with Rippling’s app management tool.