IAM for small businesses; is it necessary?

Are you a small/medium sized business owner? While often overlooked, smaller businesses, like large organizations, frequently have numerous identity and access management issues. These include ensuring security of systems and applications, as well as handling copious password issues. Unlike large organizations, though, small businesses often do not have the staff and resources readily available to easily handle these tasks so they either go unaddressed or require more time and money than is necessary.

The following are the top three IAM issues that small businesses face, and how to easily mitigate them:

  1. Password Security

Employees, no matter what the size of the organization, often have many sets of credentials they need to use when logging into their applications to perform their jobs. To remember multiple sets of credentials, they often write down their user names and passwords and store them somewhere near their desks causing a security risk.

An easy way for small business to reduce the headache of multiple passwords for their employees to manage, as well as to ensure the security of their systems, is with a single sign-on (SSO) application. With an SSO solution, employees only have to remember one set of credentials, allowing them to enter their single user name and password one time and, thereafter, are automatically sign into all applications and systems once they are opened.

  1. Ensuring Sensitive Data is Secure

Like larger organizations, small businesses often deal with sensitive data and information that needs to be kept secure. A single sign-on solution in combination with two-factor authentication can easily ensure that data is kept secure. This allows small businesses to add another layer of security to systems and applications. Two-factor authentication is used by requiring users to present a smart card, as well as a PIN code, to access certain systems. This ensures that the person logging in is who they claim to be.

  1. Efficient Password Resets

When an employee forgets his password, or is locked out of an application, he usually needs to go through the time-consuming process of resetting his passwords. In a small business, there may not be a 24×7 helpdesk to call to resolve this issue. If there is a helpdesk or IT department, focusing on password resets can take away from the department’s time of focusing on other issues.

self-service reset password solution allows end users to easily and securely reset passwords themselves. Users simply register by providing answers to a few personal questions, then when they need to reset their password they simply click the “forgot my password” button, provide the correct answers and are able to reset their password without having to contact anyone else at the company.

Overall, small businesses have many of the same issues that larger organizations deal with but often do not have the budget to deal with them. By implementing one or all of the solutions they are able to reduce the amount of time the IT staff spends dealing with these issues, and not need to have an employee working full time to handle them, thus drastically reducing their own administrative costs.