IT and security professionals have more responsibilities than ever, particularly at SMBs. Competing priorities from the helpdesk to network maintenance to managing user access and securing employee identities are made all the more complicated by the variety of apps and devices in use across a company. Getting visibility into who is accessing what, when, and where — and then controlling it — can sometimes seem like a Herculean task. And while numerous identity and access management (IAM) solutions exist, most SMBs have the added challenge of balancing ease of use for employees with security.
As an IT professional at an SMB, you may find yourself in any number of different positions with regards to your identity program. According to our recent research, ninety-nine percent of you believe that managing user access is important to the overall security of your organization. However, 92 percent of you also say you are experiencing at least one challenge when it comes to identity. Perhaps you’ve invested in one IAM technology and are wondering how to add others — from SSO and password managers to MFA, adaptive authentication and biometrics. Perhaps your organization has long used all of them but are finding your existing solutions no longer support the business. Or, perhaps your business has no identity program in place — in which case we recommend you start by understanding:
- The problems you’re trying to solve: Is managing user access a hurdle? Are employees securely managing passwords? Is too much security impacting employee productivity?
- Your requirements for solving those problems: What type of identity solution meets the challenge you’re facing? Is there a unified solution that can meet all of those challenges in one?
- The technologies you currently use to meet those requirements: Are you using password management? Single sign-on? Multifactor authentication?
- Current gaps in the technologies you’re using: Are you using specific IAM technologies in isolation?
- Additional technologies that may help address those gaps: How can you complement your existing IAM solutions to securely manage user identity?
Any technology that is tedious to use or slows down a user’s workflow will be a hindrance, and adoption will suffer. That’s why it’s critical to choose identity solutions that are easy for employees to use and adopt, while still increasing the overall security of the organization. SMBs need an identity-as-a-service solution that reduces friction with a simple deployment that unifies employee access and authentication into a centralized view — making user experience and security top priorities. In fact, 93 percent of IT professionals agree that implementing a better approach to IAM could increase employee efficiency. To realize those benefits, it’s crucial to invest in a holistic solution that balances user experience with security.
You also need to consider to what extent tools will integrate with current and future resources and applications, as well as your definition of identity governance, asking who should have access to what and under which circumstances.
By clarifying your current identity position, you can research and evaluate identity technologies with greater focus and intent. Careful planning and decision-making can ensure that an investment in IAM solutions brings the maximum productivity and security benefits.
A holistic solution that brings the benefits of each IAM technology together is the best option for SMBs. An all-in-one solution that offers unified visibility and control across every access point, with an end user experience that is easy to learn and use, is the most likely to lead to a successful identity management program. With unified visibility into user access and authentication across the business, SMBs can reap the rewards of balancing user experience and increased security.
Republished by permission. Original here.
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