Access Management Doesn’t Need To Be Technical, Aggravating Or Complicated

In a traditional work environment, most employees worked onsite, in the office. While this is still common today, many also work remotely — either on the road or from their homes. This is also true in the education industry. One of the biggest trends in higher education is completing online courses and degrees. Often, going to a physical campus to complete classes is not feasible, especially if you are an adult who is working full time and wanting to complete a degree. You need to be able to take classes on a flexible schedule and from wherever you are. This is why online colleges have become extremely popular.

With these two situations, though, there needs to be solutions in place to ensure that the end user is successful and can work efficiently. There are many common issues that remote workers and students have because of needing to work from any location at any time. Getting technical help can be a bit more of a challenge, so the school or organization can easily use a few solutions to assist.

You are most likely aware of identity and access management (IAM) solutions on the market. Are you aware that many of these IAM solutions easily work for remote employees as well? IAM solutions have adapted over the years so that they can benefit both employees in house, and users who are working remotely.

 Common Technical Issues for Remote Users

The first common issue is remote end users often need to access several different systems and applications to complete their work. These are often cloud applications which they need to login to each day. These users need an easy way to access everything they need, as they may be working from a coffee shop, on their phones, in a train station, etc. Logging into each application is an annoyance and requires the user to remember several sets of complex credentials.

So how can this be made easier? A web single sign-on solution (SSO) allows remote users to access what they need from one simple portal. The end user simply enters a single set of credentials to access the portal where all of their applications are kept. Thereafter, they can open any of their authorized applications and are automatically authenticated. This allows them to quickly open their portal and complete their work or classes wherever they are, on whatever devices they may be utilizing.

 Aggravation of simple passwords

Another common aggravation is simple password issues, such as password resets that require users to contact the helpdesk to resolve. Since remote workers and students cannot easily get help from the helpdesk, they need to have a simple way to resolve their own password issues. For example, students who are completing an online degree, might be completing classes after they get home from work at night. The helpdesk typically only work a typical nine-to-five schedule so they are out of luck for the night. The user might not even be in the same time zone as the helpdesk, as they may be traveling for work or even taking classes from a different state.

So if they have any issues with their password, how are they supposed to get them resolved? A very simple solution for this is self-service password reset software. This solution allows the end users to securely reset their own password after correctly answering security questions, which they previously provided answers to. They can then reset their password and continue with their work without needing any interaction with the helpdesk. Since these applications do not require human intervention, they are available 24x7x365.

 Correct access rights

Still another issue is ensuring that the end user has the correct access rights. What if you’re a remote user and you need access to an additional application? You probably need to email someone at your company try to get the rights created. Then you often need to continue to follow up with them to make sure it is getting completed. If you are on the go, or working different hours than your office, this can present an issue.

The advent of automated account management solutions, with workflow management, provides a secure solution to this type of situation. Users simply access a portal where they can easily request anything that is needed, such as access to shares, groups or even additional applications. The employee simply submits their request and it is routed to the correct person for approval. Once approved, the change is automatically carried out in the network. The employee can also easily check on the status of the request without needing to contact the helpdesk for an update.

When you are working remotely, things need to be very convenient, otherwise it becomes a huge aggravation of dealing with technical issues before you can get anything for work or school completed. Account and password management solutions ensure that users can focus on getting their work completed whenever and wherever they are, so that they can be just as productive as users who are attending the school on campus or employees working in the office.

About Dean Wiech
Dean-WiechDean Wiech is managing director of Tools4ever, a global provider of identity and access management solutions. Dean has worked with businesses for more than 10 years, helping them identify solutions that make their businesses more secure, efficient and easier to manage. He is responsible for Tools4ever’s U.S. operations and has written dozens of articles about identity and access management, security, IT audits, BYOD, the cloud and managing IT for small businesses to enterprise systems. Follow him on Twitter.
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