Identity management once meant simply knowing who the users accessing your enterprise systems were and what access their security role in the organization required. But identity management has gotten much more complex as organizations use a host of different applications both on premise and in the cloud.
Not only are processes for access management labor intensive, time consuming, inefficient and error-prone, they are not scalable and are difficult to secure and audit.
Increasingly, HR and the HCM system are called on to define the access requirements for each role and in some cases, automate the business process surrounding identity management and assignment.
The opportunity to create a secure organization
With rising data security threats around the world, compliance for regulations such as HIPAA or SOX, are no longer the only motivation to have proper identity and access management procedures in place in an organization. HR has a vast repository of personnel data and are often the best resources to identify the user privileges required to get work done and automate the assignment and revocation of access privileges.
The Federation Explosion
Federation and federated single sign-on (SSO) is now the standard mechanism to provide access across multiple application domains. A federation is comprised of any number of affiliated and/or independent organizations. Federated organizations are completely independent of each other but can operate across the federation to complete particular tasks or requests and only require one set of username and password credentials to login to federated/connected applications.
The Single sign on market is estimated to be at $845.6 million and is predicted to grow to $1599.6 million by 2021 according to analysts at MarketsandMarkets . There are 3 main reasons Single Sign On is being increasingly demanded:
The convenience and ease of use offered by SSO to manage multiple application domains while requiring users to only remember one set of username and password credentials
Productivity boosts resulting from a reduction of username/password requests to IT as well as reducing the time users spend searching for their credentials and/or requesting new credentials
Overall reduction of the workload for IT departments and administrators managing multiple security protocols and rules for a variety of applications and network access points
Businesses of all size are investing in identity management initiatives to increase operational efficiency and reinforce security. Identity management systems are available as standalone, from providers as add-on applications that stand in front of other applications and control access and authentication. But these become yet more systems that have to be managed and maintained by IT.
HCM systems already have job descriptions and positions and roles outlined in detail. An HCM such as StarGarden can utilize that information and control user privileges through business process and task mapping. Users would only access a system in the capacity required by the tasks they are assigned . The user accesses one task list, one user interface. The by-product of using a workflowed task lists is a stricter user access control and elimination of the need for users to sign on and off multiple applications. It is a different way of looking at access within an organization and shifts responsibility from IT to HR. But in an organization that gives security a priority, your job responsibilities and the competencies that you hold should anyways dictate what systems you access. Authority and competency are largely the domain of HR and HR will increasingly be called upon to play a more active role in securing the organization.
HR’s role in organization in constantly evolving and one of the new areas that can use their expertise is Security. Find out how HR can play a more active role in securing organizations.
About the Author:
Marnie Larson is the CEO of StarGarden Corporation and oversees its operations in Canada, US and New Zealand. She has over 20 years’ experience in the software industry and specializes in HCM, Business process automation and Workflow technology.