The Operational Benefits of Streamlining Authentication Management
A recent survey by Axiad and ESG found that 59% of respondents are confident that compromised accounts or credentials have led to a successful cyber-attack over the last 12 months. One of the biggest contributors to the vulnerability of credentials is weak passwords, as they can be easily phished, intercepted in transit, and stolen in a cyber-attack. Once a threat actor compromises a password and account credentials, they can easily gain access to an organization’s network and move laterally to disrupt business operations and steal intellectual property (IP), data, and money.
It’s never been more important for organizations to protect their business from this type of threat, but industry research shows traditional log-ins – i.e., usernames and passwords – simply aren’t the answer anymore – and the reality is, they haven’t been for some time.
Recognizing this, many organizations have implemented various tools – often in silos across multiple authentication methods, identity types, use cases, and existing IAM systems – in an attempt to strengthen their security posture. While the intentions behind these investments are good, for many, there has been a tradeoff: better security, but at the expense of an operational burden on IT and a productivity impact on end users.
Security at the Expense of Efficiency
Protecting your organization from credentials-based attacks requires rolling out strong authenticators. Traditionally, loaning appropriate credentials and managing these authenticators throughout their lifecycle, including account recovery and renewals, has been a major drain on IT resources. A good portion of their time each day is spent on resetting passwords, recovering accounts or issuing authenticators, taking time away from higher level projects that will drive the business.
On the other side of the house, end users often find switching between different software platforms to manage credentials to be confusing and difficult to track, and their productivity can be slowed while they wait for a password reset or account recovery.
This never ending battle between security and efficiency often results in friction between both parties, insecure workarounds by end users and organization-wide operational challenges.
It also can take a toll on your bottom line when employees have to take time out of their workday to call IT help desks to reset or manage their passwords, and IT has to spend their time managing all these requests.
Finding the Right Balance
Axiad Cloud, a holistic platform that delivers organization-wide passwordless orchestration to connect users and machines to data and applications from anywhere, was designed to help organizations overcome the challenges associated with traditional authentication management by empowering them to find the right balance between protection and usability.
With Axiad Cloud, organizations can operationalize authentication management like they would any other IT process by implementing end-user self-service for the entire authentication management lifecycle, including provisioning authenticators, enrolling credentials, and managing account recovery and renewals. It does this through three major features:
- AirLock: Ensures end users set up an authenticator before logging in and includes the following major functions: enrollment of authenticators and credentials such as certificates, enforcement to require enrollment before authentication into a device, and lifecycle prompts to take actions as necessary.
- MyCircle: Provides self-service account recovery, including credential and pin resets. A real-time response from a pre-authorized Circle of Trust member eliminates process delays and calls to the help desk.
- MyIdentities: Enables self-service authenticator lifecycle management. A window in Axiad’s unified portal, MyIdentities gives complete control to end users. It enables a full range of self-service operations, provides the status of authenticators and credentials, and expedites lifecycle tasks such as account recovery and renewal.
To see these three features in action, watch Axiad’s demo video here.
Operational Benefits Across the Board
Streamlining authentication management has positive outcomes across the board. IT professionals are freed from the burden of issuing credentials and managing authenticators, so they can focus on bolstering the company’s cybersecurity posture to defend against today’s cyber threats. End users have a single authentication platform to use, rather than managing credentials across multiple systems. They gain greater control over their authentication – reducing IT help-desk calls and authentication-related delays. And, they can easily access what they need, when they need it, without compromising security.
From a business perspective, these newfound capabilities translate to increased efficiency, productivity, and collaboration across the company as well as cost savings. In fact, on this latter point, Axiad customers report an average ROI of 6.9x, with savings coming from a variety of different avenues, including
- Moving on-premises authentication capabilities to the cloud, which frees up IT resources.
- Reducing departmental time and costs for things such as password resets with policy-driven emergency access instead of issuing temporary passwords.
- Automating processes and checklists (e.g., self-serving smart card setup) before an employee can gain full access to company systems.
- Streamlining authentication management of all digital certificates for every type of device or workload.
- Adding phishing resistance seamlessly across the entire environment without requiring upgrades or major modifications (or replacement of existing IAM ecosystems).
The bottom line is, with Axiad, it is possible to achieve security and usability while remaining cost-efficient. To learn more about how streamlining authentication management can help your organization, watch Axiad’s recent video. To find out how Axiad’s consolidated platform can enable your organization to overcome common challenges associated with traditional authentication management, reduce friction between employees and IT personnel, and increase security, contact us today.