Managing User Access Is a Crucial Step in Securing Federal Organizations

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Agencies must make sure they leave no security gaps when employees join or leave.

In addition to the health concerns dominating headlines, we’ve also seen first-hand the major domino effects the coronavirus pandemic has had on our economy, businesses and the workforce. 

Federal agencies had to quickly pivot to new ways of operating under various localities' stay-at-home orders, new remote work arrangements and other employees in limbo. Pandemic or not, organizations also figuring out how to deal with employees leaving, while others—in order to fulfill new and unforeseen demands—are experiencing an urgent need to rapidly hire and shift responsibilities. In such instances, there’s a crucial step that must be taken to ensure the safety of the organization: provisioning and deprovisioning user access.

Why It’s Essential to Properly Manage Access 

In today’s modern workplace the number of applications required for employees to effectively do their jobs has grown exponentially. This makes granting and revoking access to appropriate systems a critical need for federal organizations and departments of all sizes. 

When employees leave or join the organization for any reason, it’s crucial that IT teams provision/deprovision their access to all corporate systems effectively to ensure there are no security holes to important systems and corporate information. When new employees join a team, it’s crucial they are only granted access to applications that they should be provisioned for, so that they cannot access corporate systems not required for their specific role. Similarly, IT teams must deprovision employee access if a team member leaves, otherwise the organization becomes more vulnerable to insider threats.

How an Identity Governance Solution Can Help

Managing user access can be extremely difficult without the right programs in place. However, identity governance solutions are simplifying the process. Leveraging an identity program, federal organizations and departments are able to understand who among their teams—contractors, partners and even bots—has access to what. With that oversight, IT teams are then able to control user access at scale, quickly adapting to any fluctuations dependent on role changes within the organization. 

Not only do identity governance solutions help reduce risk within an organization, but these types of programs help to increase IT efficiency through the use of automation and prevent human error based on compliance and security policies. This is especially critical to the federal sector looking to work quickly and remain compliant with various data protection laws.

What’s happening today is unprecedented and devastating. However, it’s vital that organizational leaders work to mitigate the risk potentially introduced by this situation to protect sensitive data. By leveraging an identity governance solution, federal organizations can do just that—quickly and efficiently, at scale.

Frank Briguglio is a public sector identity governance strategist at SailPoint.

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