Put the Right Access Controls in Place for Your Customers’ Changing Workforce
Digital transformation is changing the way your customers do business, but it’s also fundamentally transforming how their employees live and work. As increasing numbers of digital natives enter the workforce each year, competition for the best and brightest among them has intensified, and companies are looking for new and innovative technology solutions that will both enhance productivity and improve job satisfaction.
One way this is done is through accepting and even encouraging remote work in response to employees’ growing demand for workplace flexibility. According to researchers, remote workers are more productive than their in-office counterparts, take fewer sick days and have lower attrition rates. In addition, employers save on rent, office equipment and energy costs, and can recruit top talent more easily—even if it’s in short supply in the local area.
Risks That Come with the Changing Workforce
Though it brings many benefits, the rise of remote work also poses significant security challenges for your customers. Work-at-home employees have less immediate in-person access to technical support than workers in traditional office environments, which may leave them with fewer resources to call upon when their tools aren’t working as they should—or when they encounter malware or signs of a cyber attack. They’re far more likely to use personal devices for work. They’re also more likely to connect these devices via their home wireless networks, while being less likely to have the technical expertise necessary to properly configure and secure these devices and networks.
In addition, not all remote workers work from their own homes. Coworking spaces are growing in popularity, and up to one-quarter of remote workers prefer working in a public space like a café or library. This means they may be putting valuable business data or intellectual property at risk if they’re accessing company resources through insecure WiFi networks.
Remote Workforces Demand Resilient Identity and Access Management Solutions
In the past, your customers’ technology assets were located within office buildings, and employees visited specific sites to access those resources. Now that increasing numbers of customer workloads reside in the cloud, and many of their workers are mobile or remote, the policies and technologies that manage digital identities are becoming as essential to the security of their most critical business assets as the doors, locks and security guards limiting access to physical buildings once were.
Without proper identity and access management controls in place, employees may end up with broader access to more files, systems or applications than they need in order to fulfill their responsibilities. Or they may find themselves with greater degrees of administrative privilege than are strictly necessary. In this all-too-common scenario, the compromise of a single user’s password or device can result in a devastating data breach.
Outdated, poorly configured, or absent identity and access management controls can also make it more difficult for employees to access the applications they need to do their jobs. New hires may face excessive waiting periods before being granted access to necessary resources if each authorization must be granted and configured separately. If roles aren’t clearly defined, a great deal of system administrators’ time will be spent on authorization and approval procedures. This can keep IT support teams busy, as well.
What Your Customers Need in an Identity and Access Management Solution
For nearly every worker in every role in every organization, controlled access to business resources and assets is essential for doing their job. With this in mind, the ultimate goal of the authentication solutions offered to your customers should be to balance productivity enablement with risk management.
Historically, access management systems have relied on end users to enter a username and password combination to verify their identities, but passwords have long proven to be among the weakest links in organizations’ security strategies. Even the best-intentioned employees struggle to remember all the passwords they’re responsible for knowing, and their burden will only increase as more consumer devices are connected to the internet and require some type of administrative control.
When it’s too challenging to remember passwords, many employees will succumb to