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Develop a User Management Strategy

Users are the number one security risk. Since you can't operate without them, you'd best be able to control them.

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Contributors

  • Corporation of the City of London, Ontario
  • Empowered Networks
  • Brockville General Hospital
  • Ecology & Environment, Inc.
  • Acosta, Inc.

Your Challenge

  • Users are not hired to be security or compliance experts, but their daily actions can have significant ramifications on enterprise security and compliance efforts. Enterprises simply can't afford these headaches.
  • User Management technologies include a wide range of solutions, with new niches opening up and new players entering the market all the time. Keeping current with all these offerings can overwhelm even the most seasoned IT professionals.
  • Ensuring solid security and compliance means building a comprehensive and well-thought out User Management strategy, and doing it without breaking the bank.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Identity & Access Management is the pinnacle of User Management technologies as it rolls up the functionality of most other tools. If your enterprise is considering implementing at least two dedicated User Management tools (Single Sign-On, Automated Provisioning, Activity Monitoring and Reporting) you may realize cost savings with a dedicated IAM solution instead.
  • Though not strictly a solution to manage users per se, Multi-Factor Authentication integrates well with most User Management solutions, particularly those that are focused on user access (Password Management and Single Sign-On), ensuring a higher level of assurance that authenticating users are who they say they are.
  • Tools are all well and good, but at the end of the day, they support the policies and procedures that you put in place; you must take the time to establish these process aspects of your User Management strategy, or the tools you put in place will have nothing to enforce.

Impact and Result

  • User Management technologies often have overlapping capabilities, and don’t come cheap, in some cases costing into the hundreds of dollars per user. Understanding which capabilities are required and those which are not, can allow enterprises to achieve appropriate protection, without investing in duplicate or unnecessary capabilities.

Research & Tools

1. Get an overview of User Management

Understand the value of an investment in this key area of IT security.

2. Determine the difference between various UM technologies

Establish a UM investment strategy.

3. Identify vendors and solicit information

Conduct an apples-to-apples comparison of UM tools.

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