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IT managers constantly handle multiple tasks and responsibilities to ensure the smooth operation of your organization. One of the most critical tasks is managing user access to multiple applications, systems, and data.

This is where access provisioning comes into play. It guarantees that only authorized users have appropriate access to sensitive data and critical systems.

In this article, we’ll explore the concept of access provisioning, its types, benefits, and best practices. We’ll also share some tips when choosing the best user provisioning tool for your company.

What Is Access Provisioning?

Access provisioning is the process of granting and managing access to your organization’s resources. These include computer systems, software applications, and data.

Think of it as a digital key that grants users access to multiple resources.

Access provisioning provides appropriate permissions to the right users, typically employees. Thanks to these user permissions, individuals can perform their job duties. At the same time, IT managers can maintain the security and integrity of their organization’s sensitive data.

For example, when an employee joins a company, they need access to user accounts, the HR portal, and other relevant systems to do their job well. Access provisioning automates this process to make it efficient and secure against data breaches.

Types of Access Provisioning

It’s important to understand the various types of access provisioning. Then, you can easily choose the best solution for your needs.

Discretionary Access Provisioning

As its name suggests, discretionary access provisioning involves granting access to specific users or groups based on the discretion of the IT department.

With this user provisioning solution, employees can create their user accounts and passwords.

It is ideal for small to mid-sized companies or in situations that require custom access.

However, this type of access provisioning lacks security measures against data breaches and cyber threats.

Self-Service Access Provisioning

Self-service access provisioning allows users to request and manage access controls to resources.

For example, employees can manage and reset passwords without the help of IT administrators. This not only reduces IT tickets but also saves users valuable time.

This type of access provisioning is popular among large organizations, with employees needing access to similar systems or applications.

Workflow-Based Access Provisioning

Workflow-based access provisioning follows a pre-defined workflow. That means employees cannot easily see sensitive data without a designated approver providing user privileges.

For example, an accountant must request approval from the chief financial officer before they receive temporary access to certain financial records.

This type of access provisioning works for companies with complex security requirements. It is also ideal for situations where multiple stakeholders are involved in identity and access management.

Automated Account Provisioning for Efficient User Access

Automated account provisioning involves automatically creating and managing user accounts.

Thanks to this automation, IT teams can speed up the user provisioning process. They can also enjoy an emptier schedule while controlling user access remotely.

Plus, this type of access provisioning can protect corporate data and prevent unauthorized access. It is a great choice for both small and large organizations looking to streamline access management and the user provisioning process.

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What Are the Benefits of Automated Access Provisioning?

Automating access provisioning brings several advantages to your organization’s IT infrastructure. Here’s how automated provisioning can benefit your company:

Simplified IT Operations and Reduced Administrative Burdens

Automated access provisioning simplifies IT operations. There’s no need to grant and update permissions manually.

Thanks to this reduced administrative burden, IT teams can focus on more strategic initiatives.

The automation also helps in minimizing errors and saving time. That’s because automated provisioning can process access requests much faster and more precisely than humans.

Improved Security and Compliance

Access provisioning is a critical component of your organization’s security strategy.

Since it allows you to control user access, you can reduce the risk of unauthorized access and data breaches.

Automated systems also ensure that your organization consistently applies access policies. These help you meet regulatory requirements and industry standards.

Enhanced User Productivity and Experience

With automated access provisioning, users can gain access to the necessary resources at the right time. This means they can be more productive and satisfied at work.

Some automated systems also include self-service portals. Thanks to this functionality, users can request access without waiting for IT approval based on predefined rules. This reduces frustration and improves the user experience.

Increased Cost Savings

Automated access provisioning can lead to cost savings by reducing labor costs. There’s no need to hire additional IT staff because of fewer workloads.

Additionally, faster access provisioning means less downtime for new employees.

Plus, by following consistent access policies, automated systems help you avoid costly security incidents and potential non-compliance fines. 

Better Visibility and Auditing

Another significant benefit of automated access provisioning is better visibility and auditing.

IT managers can see who has access to which resources. Identifying security threats and issues is easier than ever, thanks to real-time monitoring.

Automated provisioning can also generate detailed reports. Armed with this information, IT teams can accurately conduct audits and compliance reviews.

How Does Access Provisioning Work?

Understanding how access provisioning works is important if you want to reap its full benefits. Below are the steps involved in the access provisioning process:

  • User profile creation: The process begins by creating a comprehensive profile for each user within the organization. An IT admin gathers basic information like name, department, and role. Having a well-defined profile makes it easier to provide the right access later.
  • Access rights and restrictions: This step involves determining which access rights and restrictions the user needs based on their role. It guarantees that users get only the permissions they require to perform their tasks.
  • User access request: Users can submit a formal request to the access provisioning system. This request must specify the resources or applications they need to access.
  • Profile-resource security check: The system performs a security check to match the user profile with the requested resources. It ensures that the request aligns with the user’s role and security policies.
  • Permission verification: After checking the profile, the system verifies the requested permissions. It checks whether the user’s request is valid and complies with company policies.
  • Access denial: If the request doesn’t meet the security criteria or company policies, the system automatically denies user access. It also provides clear reasons for this decision.
  • Access notification: Once permission is granted, access provisioning can notify users in real-time.
  • Access monitoring and auditing: The system will continuously monitor and audit user access. Thanks to these regular reviews, users maintain appropriate access and any changes are updated accordingly.

Best Practices for Efficient Access Provisioning

Now that we’ve covered how access provisioning works, let’s look at some best practices. These will help you manage user access smoothly and reduce potential risks.

Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) and Attribute-Based Access Control (ABAC)

Both RBAC and ABAC can make the access provisioning process efficient and secure.

Role-based access control assigns permissions based on user roles. This simplifies access management by grouping users with similar needs. For example, an employee with a “marketing” role can access marketing tools and data.

Meanwhile, attribute-based access control uses attributes, such as department, location, or job title, to grant access rights. Let’s say an employee is located overseas. The attribute for “remote employee” can restrict access to sensitive data.

User Lifecycle Management

Employee lifecycle management is easier with access provisioning systems.

These can automate the creation and deactivation of user accounts. Thanks to this automation, employees can quickly access resources when they join the company and lose access once they leave.

For better results, use software that integrates with HR systems. This integration automatically updates user statuses for increased efficiency and security.

Clear Access Policies

Want to know the secret to keeping everyone on the same page? Clearly document your access policies.

With this documentation, users can understand the rules for requesting and granting access. They can also be aware of the implications of violating access control policies.

If there are changes to the policies, make sure to send an email or organize a team meeting. Regular communication helps prevent confusion and maintain compliance.

Regular Access Reviews

It’s important to schedule regular access reviews. These can validate that employees only have the necessary access permissions for their roles—no more or no less.

With these reviews, you can update access permissions based on changes in job roles or responsibilities. You can ensure employees have the right level of access at all times.

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How to Choose the Right Access Provisioning Tool?

After discussing the best practices for efficient access provisioning, the next step is choosing the right tool to implement these practices. Follow the steps below to make the best choice.

1. Assess Your Needs

Determine what your organization needs from an access provisioning tool.

Consider factors like the number of users, the complexity of your IT environment, and specific security requirements.

Let’s say you have a large workforce. You likely need a tool that supports bulk user access management.

2. Evaluate Features

Once you’ve determined your needs, you can create a list of essential features, such as:

  • Automated user provisioning: It streamlines the onboarding process by giving new hires quick access to the necessary systems.
  • Self-service portals: They allow users to request access privileges without waiting for IT approval.
  • Role-based access control: It assigns access based on roles, which simplifies user management.
  • Multi-factor authentication: It requires users to enter more information besides the password to prevent security risks.

3. Review Integration Capabilities

Make sure the tool can integrate seamlessly with your current systems and software. Compatibility is key to avoiding disruptions.

For example, Workday to Active Directory integration automatically creates an AD account based on employee data in the HR platform.

4. Consider Security and Compliance

You must also check if the tool meets your organization’s security standards and complies with relevant regulations.

Features like strong encryption and multi-factor authentication are important. They protect sensitive data, prevent inappropriate employee access, and maintain compliance.

5. Research Vendor Reputation

Check the software vendor’s background in the industry. Do they have a reputable track record? Can you review their case studies?

Choose a reputable vendor because they are more likely to provide reliable and secure tools.

6. Read Customer Reviews

Don’t forget to read reviews from customers themselves.

Customer feedback can provide valuable insights into the tool’s strengths and weaknesses. They can also tell you if customer support is great or not. Having good customer support is important, especially when you’re facing issues with the tool.

Knowing these insights, you can make more informed decisions when selecting the right tool.

7. Review Cost and Return on Investment (ROI)

Finally, compare the costs of different tools.

Think beyond the initial subscription cost. You must also consider ongoing expenses, such as training IT employees and scaling as your business grows.

Then, evaluate the tool’s potential return on investment. Some vendors provide ROI calculators on their websites to make this task easier.

Automate Access Provisioning with ezOnboard

Seamless Onboarding Process Automation With ezOnboard

ezOnboard by CloudView Partners automates access provisioning by seamlessly integrating your existing HR system with Active Directory. Once connected, the software automatically provides access and controls permissions based on access management policies.

By automating these tasks, ezOnboard reduces the time and effort required for manual access provisioning. Your company can enjoy a smoother onboarding and offboarding experience.

To get started, request a demo today or check the ROI calculator to see how much money ezOnboard can save you.

FAQs About Access Provisioning

What is the difference between access provisioning and de-provisioning?

Access provisioning is all about granting users the necessary permissions to access various resources. De-provisioning is the exact opposite. It removes permissions when a user leaves the organization or no longer needs access.

Why is access provisioning needed?

Access provisioning is important to make sure users have the appropriate access to perform their tasks efficiently. It can also prevent unauthorized or malicious activities, which helps in enhancing security and meeting compliance.

What is the best access provisioning tool?

The best access provisioning tool depends on your specific needs and budget. Look for tools that offer automated user provisioning, integration capabilities, and strong security measures.


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