What is IAM for education and how can it be improved?

Identity and access management (IAM) is the security discipline that enables the correct individuals to access the right resources at the right times for the right reasons. Great. What does that mean for your school though?

IAM is a function that occurs in all schools and universities but is usually a tedious, manual process at best. Most schools use a manual processes to change user access based on their role within the school, job title (staff,) and/or graduation date (students). This means that an employee at the school has to manually provision user accounts each semester, make changes, and then manually de-provision the user once they leave or graduate.

Here is a prime example of why this technology is so important in education:

Meet Jim. Jim is a student at University X, who has recently graduated, and is continuing on to graduate school at the same university. Jim will now need different access to some of the schools systems and applications.  Jim is unique in that most of his classmates’ Active Directory accounts are set to simply be deleted one year after graduating. He will also need to be added to some systems for which he is not currently a user.

University X does not have an Automated Identity and Access Management solution. Yikes! This means that someone will have to spend hours manually changing Jim’s access for each system that he will utilize as a graduate student. It is an unnecessary waste of man hours, which equals an unnecessary waste of money.

If University X had a proper IAM solution, all of this would have been automated. By simply changing Jim’s status in Active Directory, he would have been granted access to the new systems that he needed, with zero downtime, and zero wasted IT hours.

Don’t be like University X.

Read more about Identity and Access Management in education.

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