The Role Of User Provisioning Automation In Enhancing Organization Security
User provisioning is rapidly gaining traction in cyberspaces as an effective and reliable method to ensure organizational security.
Many organizations have moved to automated user provisioning, which is the systematic method of creating and managing user data in relation to a user’s ability to access the resources they use.
Let’s take a look at the role of user provisioning automation in organizational security and how you’ll be able to make the most of it at your organization.
The role of User Provisioning Automation in enhancing organization security
Cybersecurity is the need of the hour in the time of the digital revolution. As we progress with technology, the threat of online fraud increases. In that, user-related frauds are the most insidious as they harm the privacy of the users that use a digital solution.
47% of Americans have had their personal information made public against their will by cybercriminals. User provisioning automation has emerged as a way for organizations to protect their user base from cyber frauds such as DDoS and the stealing of information.
Automated user provisioning allows organizations to regulate the access they grant to users, restricting it to only the necessary applications. This helps prevent unnecessary access and minimizes the chances of cyber fraud.
- Understanding user provisioning
Before we look at how user provisioning boosts the cybersecurity of an organization, we first need to understand what user provisioning is. The main users of an organization’s data are its customers and employees.
Both use the data and information assets in very different ways. Customers use it to resolve their problems and make use of the organization’s products. Whereas employees use it to perform their day-to-day tasks to contribute to the organization’s operations.
As every user’s use of organizational information differs, it becomes important to regulate their access to the information assets, restricting to only the applications that are necessary for their use. Doing this manually will be too time-consuming, especially for bigger organizations.
This is where user provisioning automation comes in. Organizations use user provisioning tools to regulate the access users get to their information stores to ensure security and enhanced managed usage.
This article by Zluri.com detailed the top user provisioning tools and software organizations use for smooth management of user provisioning and enhanced organization-wide security of their information assets.
- User provisioning and deprovisioning
Also known as user account provisioning, user provisioning is the process of creating user accounts and giving them specific access to organizational resources relevant to the needs of the user.
Automated user provisioning creates and manages user accounts of an organization by deploying automation techniques. This means that it monitors the user’s lifecycle with the organization without manual input.
When the user’s purpose is completed with the organization, their account is deactivated and deleted. This is called the user deprovisioning process. The access permissions the user had are withdrawn and they’re offboarded from the organization successfully.
- How does user provisioning automation enhance organizational security
The purpose of user provisioning is to take care of user access and through it, maintain organizational security. It performs a variety of functions that contribute toward organizational safety in the long run.
The core of the various processes is to restrict user access to the absolute necessity of the user to not allow room for compromising the security of the organization’s resources. No one other than the authorized user shall be able to enter an application.
Similarly, even the authorized user shall not be able to stay on an application for more than the allotted time or upon the completion of the desired task. The goal is to give no room for malicious presences to operate in any way.
Additionally, it reduces the amount of time needed to set up accounts or system access controls. You’ll be able to update access permissions quickly. These permissions include allowing users into an application or suspending their access temporarily or permanently.
User provisioning provides the following functions that contribute to organizational security:
- Onboarding and Offboarding
New employees and customers need to have their profiles set up with your organization to be able to perform their roles. Automated user provisioning helps create their profiles according to their roles and grants them access to the resources they need.
Similarly, when an employee or client leaves the enterprise their account needs to be disabled as quickly as possible. After a set period, the disabled account shall be deleted or removed from the system completely.
There has been discussion about granting access to organizational resources to past employees, clients, and associates. However, doing so can seriously put your company’s security at risk and it is not advised.
It’s better to clear all dues and accounts of your employee or client at once when their relationship ends with you. Make it clear to them that they cannot revisit their account in the future so they make sure to take every important bit from it.
- Providing one-off access
Other than managing long-term engagement, user provisioning also helps with one-off encounters with associates and contractors. If you’re going to work with people temporarily, they need to be granted only temporary access to your resources.
For this, you basically perform provisioning to grant and maintain their access permissions during the course of the one-off event, followed by a quick deprovisioning to immediately restrict their access once the event is over.
Make sure the user understands that they’ll only receive temporary access to the resource and treat it as such. And see that every other formality is taken care of quickly before you restrict their access as part of the deprovisioning process.
- Supports technical issues
Systematic access to organizational resources automatically catalogs vital user information. This neat cataloging comes in handy in times of technical difficulties. You’ll be able to track user activity easily to support technical issues.
For example, if a user forgot their password, you shall deprovisioning their account and create a new one to prevent any misuse. You’ll need to take these actions quickly to prevent any misuse or cause a breach in the organization’s defenses.
As cybercriminals look to take advantage of technical issues to breach organizational security and break into the system, being able to quickly resolve technical issues gives them no time to execute any fraudulent activities.
- Facilitates auditing and compliance
As mentioned above, user provisioning automation activities catalog user information in a centralized repository. It contains information about user access as well as active users and inactive users.
This efficient store of information helps you create reports needed for audit easily. These reports can be used by legal authorities to conduct audits. It takes less time when the information is clearly organized.
- Streamlines user management
Companies often use user provisioning as a part of their identity and access management (IAM) program to cater to the needs of individual users efficiently. The flip side of being strict about user access is the risk of providing insufficient access at times.
This is why user provisioning takes into consideration the needs of the user to provide them with the right amount of access. And automation of the process streamlines user management on the organizational scale.
It imports users from the Active Directory and other apps such as Lightweight Directory Access Protocol. Automation helps you continuously regulate user-profiles and ensure that your system has the latest updates regarding regulation.
- Integration with SSO
Your user provisioning systems can be easily integrated with Single Sign-on (SSO) if both have the same vendor. Integrating both with one another saves your team the separate security administration it’ll need to otherwise perform.
It also reduces manual errors as well as time. Moreover, having user provisioning integrated with SSO helps create a seamless flow of operations. Your administration team will be spared the task of working on two platforms separately.
- Improves overall efficiency
User provisioning automation has an organization-wide impact on operational efficiency. As you automate user access on your own, your helpdesk will not be flooded with a large number of access requests.
Users will already know the resources they have access to. So, they’ll not need to ping the helpdesk to get access. There will not be a delay in the work they perform as they don’t have to wait for access. And the helpdesk will be able to cater to other requests.
Implementing user provisioning to enhance organizational security
Privacy protection and user security are rising concerns in the rapidly evolving digital world of today. User provisioning provides an effective solution to regulate user access and safeguard your organizational resources.
Create user profiles and manage their access across the organization’s information assets. Users only having access to resources they strictly need minimizes the risk of threat and misuse.
You might decide to give long-term or temporary access depending on the role a user will perform for the organization. Automating the process also helps reduce time and costs.
Let us know in the comments how user provisioning automation helps enhance organizational security.
Atreyee Chowdhury is a freelance content writer with more than 10+ years of professional experience. She is passionate about helping SMBs and enterprises achieve their content marketing goals with her carefully crafted and compelling content. She loves to read, travel, and experiment with different cuisines in her free time. You can follow her on LinkedIn.