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Authorization management is a key concern for companies whose focus should always be to ensure the maximum protection of content and resources. At the same time, the processes and systems need to be as user-friendly as possible. Employees could otherwise try to circumvent the authorizations and, by doing so, create new security gaps. Transparent processes and information analysis can help raise awareness of this issue among users.
It happens all the time: A presentation refers to important documents that then need to be consulted. But if the user doesn’t have the necessary access rights, the link leads to nowhere. Now the long search begins for those responsible for granting the required authorization. These requests often end up in the IT department, where research is done to find out who can grant the approval and who is allowed to view the content. This results in an increased workload and irritated IT employees on the one hand. And irate users, unable to view the required content fast enough on the other. But in many companies, quick access to data and information is essential. If access to data is delayed or impossible, it could prevent employees from being able to serve their customers or acquire new customers. Or worse yet, the information could wind up in the wrong hands.
Authorization management: responsibilities and assignment of rights
A clear definition of responsibilities and the corresponding request mechanisms are needed to prevent security from becoming a stumbling block for the customer experience. Comprehensive authorization management should ensure seamless documentation in coordination with the processes. Classifications are useful in this context to control access to resources and information. The various levels indicate who has permission to access which content or sections. It is also important to maintain any exceptions. For example, a company’s printers can be available to all employees in general, while only the printers in the HR department are reserved for a restricted user group.
Another important factor in authorization management is to ensure the visibility of the approval managers so that they can be contacted. If all factors are known, the approval process follows, as well as the revocation of rights. The latter must not be neglected, otherwise it would prevent the removal of access rights in the event of a change of department, for example.
However, the entire process should not be created as a major, one-time effort. Instead, it should be repeated at clearly defined intervals, including regular rights reviews.
Authorization management: transparent workflows
A service management system can be used to document the people responsible for the approval processes and decisions. As a data hub, a lot of information from the entire company is already collected in this system that can be quickly and easily analyzed and linked. For example, if a user would like access to certain resources, he can request this through a self-service portal. The approval steps then follow the process mapped in the workflow and are automatically provided in the end. This gives users and managers transparency about the status of their active or submitted requests. The information can be provided at the click of a button at any time in the event of an audit.
For example, cyclical reviews can be planned and carried out through integrated change management, likewise with maximum transparency. Authorization management for software licenses can be handled in a similar way. If requests are combined with a corresponding license management in this scenario, reactive license management becomes proactive.
IT departmens highly value these systems. Based on the documented requirements, it can be determined immediately whether a user lacks access to certain resources because the request is missing or because an error has occurred. No longer the hunted, IT is now the one hunting for some added value. This ultimately has a positive impact on the entire user experience within the company.
Authorization management: application examples
A company in the automotive sector can use a service management system eg. to map the requirement, approval, and provision of local administration rights. This has the effect of reducing the workload of the IT department and securing the clients. Access to special finance software can also be controlled in the same way. A service management system is also the best solution for creating file shares, managing rights throughout the life cycle, and ultimately deciding whether to delete a folder. These processes are also automatically mapped via service management – without any intervention from the IT department.