Identity and access management has always been a crucial aspect of the internal IT management processes of organizations but it is now extending its importance to external business engagements. Many organizations interact with external users on the web and therefore have to be conscious of those users. This can enable the businesses to control access to their applications and manage their relationships with the users. For a business to cope with IT security concerns, it has to scale up its identity access management system. This process ensures that the information stored in the system is secure and holds real business value.
How to Manage External Users and Boost IT Security
External users exist in two distinct constituencies: business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B). The type of user involved determines the type of system that needs to be deployed. That is, B2B necessitates an extension of the existing identity access management system to manage access while B2C needs a whole new approach. However, there are more ideas offered by IAM systems suppliers. Most of the suppliers have noted the growing demand for external user access management potential from prospects and customers across all the industry sectors. The suppliers focus on large enterprises and mid-market though some offer a hand to smaller businesses hence making it possible for all business to access enterprise-class technology.
There are a lot of information system security challenges associated with external users accessing business information (such as legal software). Every challenge identified can only be eliminated or controlled by putting in place specific measures to restrict external users` access and boost IT security. Some of the security challenges an IT department has to consider to manage external users access to business information include:
- Use of Personal Devices
Various personnel and partners can bring in their personal devices to connect to a corporate network for personal and professional reasons. The challenge posed here is whether the IT team is able to promptly protect its organization’s business assets. A strategy that can enable quick, easy and secure access for only authorised personnel to corporate applications and mobile devices can help.
- Easy Access Applications
Software as a Service (SaaS) and cloud-based applications enable users to access critical business apps such as Office 365 and Salesforce from any device at any time and place. However, this also increases the complexity with which user identities are managed for the applications. A dedicated IAM solution can help the IT administrators to control and ease access privileges.
- Distributed Workforce
Organizations need to offer flexible work environment for their employees in order to boost productivity and reduce expenses. Despite this, an IT team will find it hard to maintain a steady experience for employees trying to connect to the corporate resources while at the same time maintaining security. IT teams can hardly see and control employees work practices, but this can be controlled through a centrally managed and comprehensive IAM solution.
- Authentication and Access Control
Proof that a user has access credentials to access a system does not mean that they have access to all the information. Access control has to be put in place to ensure that users only access the appropriate resources.