Cloud-Based Access Governance: Organizational Continuity Achieved

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Dean Wiech

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As an IT expert, you know that browser-based apps have no software to deploy, patch and support, meaning there is a great deal less time and hassle to put said system in place. Most CRM systems are browser-based, HR solutions have followed along and even most accounting systems have web-based front ends. Major changes to technology in a very short period of time.

These changes have paved the way for many cloud providers. This is no longer a trend that needs to be taken to a “next level” – it is already at the next level and things are being done in the cloud. Hosted solutions are now the norm. These solutions are having a wide impact on the mobility of workforces. No longer is a connection via secure VPN into the office to access data remotely a requirement, all that is needed now is a URL for the hosted application along with a username and password.

It’s supposed to be an easy solution. That is not always the case. This is where the fun starts -- with the username and password and their use in hosted solutions. For example, how many hosted applications do I need to access; how many of these applications have login credentials controlled by company policy; and how many do I have to create myself?

This means the creation of a multitude of username algorithms and password complexity scenarios. From a user’s perspective, this can be daunting and lead to passwords being forgotten, meaning the “hassle-free” cloud applications have just created a host of issues for the service desk. Alternately, your users store their credentials in a non-secure way, like writing down passwords on a note pad and leaving them around a work desk.

Cloud-based access governance solutions can help solve this problem.

Cloud-based access governance can pull up a portal listing your web-based applications, whether they are hosted in the cloud or running locally within the organization, and can authenticate in the network. Cloud-based single sign-on can handle all logon requests to these applications, entering usernames and passwords on the user’s behalf.

Additionally, with web-based single sign-on, employees outside the corporate network (those working from home or while travelling) can access cloud applications with any device (PC, tablet or smartphone) with one single password and username. No need to remember multiple passwords and user names or the need to write them down. In BYOD environments, employees also are able to enjoy the same features as those on corporate devices.

Traditionally, SSO has been easier to offer in the network, but once outside of it, doing so was problematic. That’s not the case anymore. Current web SSO technology is based on an intelligent browser plug-in that processes various logins for cloud applications automatically. For the login details, the solutions communicates with the SSO service in the company’s own network; those login details remain stored in the network and are not accessible at an unknown location in the “cloud.” For the user, the plug-in is transparent and can be used from any device and from any location. 

In so doing, users receive the same continuity that they have come to rely upon from their employer’s network and those connections are available anytime that your organization’s network provides, and from anywhere you happen to be.

About the author: Dean Wiech is managing director of Tools4ever US.

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