User provisioning software is essential for managing user accounts in an organization, allowing for the automation of creating, modifying, and deleting user accounts. However, it is crucial to have data visibility for every minor and major change made to a user account across multiple systems. This blog will discuss the importance of logging data or attribute changes to a user account and how this information can be used to audit and troubleshoot your user provisioning software.
The Importance of Knowing Why a Change Was Made
When managing user accounts, understanding why a change was made is just as important as knowing what change was made. By having visibility into why a change was made, organizations can troubleshoot potential issues and ensure that user accounts are properly managed. This all starts with “having the data.” Your user provisioning software should log every step in a typical user lifecycle and retain the information as long as possible. This information will provide detailed data awareness that can be used to drill down and answer “Why” something happened.
Here are some typical “Why” user account management questions that IT departments are challenged with:
- Why was Mr. Smith’s mobile phone number changed in Active Directory?
- Why were Mrs. Adam’s username and the full name changed in Azure AD?
- Why doesn’t Mr. Jones have access to the accounting share anymore?
- Why does everyone now have access to the marketing share?
- Why are all of Mrs. Peterson’s accounts disabled?
When your manual or automated user provisioning software does not provide granular data visibility, it’s incredibly challenging to answer the “Why.” Understanding the “Why” is critical to determining whether the change was made correctly or incorrectly and possibly creating a security risk.
Let’s take a look at the same questions but from an angle of having granular data visibility within your user provisioning software.
- Why was Mr. Smith’s mobile phone number changed in Active Directory? During a scheduled source (HR) and targets (AD, Azure, Google Workspace, etc.) data evaluation, the user provisioning software determined the phone number for Mr. Smith was different in the source system compared to the target systems. This resulted in the source data being synchronized to the target systems to guarantee the source and target systems matched.
- Why were Mrs. Adam’s username and the full name changed in Azure AD? The user provisioning system detected a name change in the source HR system. This initiated an update user process for Mrs. Adam. The current design of the update user process results in a new username and full name generated and updated in Azure AD.
- Why doesn’t Mr. Jones have access to the accounting share anymore? During a scheduled evaluation, the user provisioning software determined Mr. Jones’s job position and title were updated in the source HR system. This initiated an evaluation of the permission role model. As a result, the user provisioning software determined that Mr. Jones no longer required access to the accounting share.
- Why does everyone now have access to the marketing share? The user provisioning software logs show that the permission role model was edited and recently activated. If this was done in error, you can restore the previous role model or update the current role model. Either way, an impact analysis should be performed before activating the role model.
- Why are all of Mrs. Peterson’s accounts disabled? During a scheduled evaluation, the user provisioning software determined that Mrs. Peterson’s source HR system record was deactivated. This triggered an offboarding process within the user provisioning software. As designed, the offboarding process disabled all downstream users accounted for Mrs. Peterson and notified her manager. Additionally, reports are available to review Mrs. Peterson’s user accounts. These reports will scour the user provisioning audit logs to present all changes to Mrs. Peterson’s accounts from the day the account was created.
As seen in the above scenarios having proper user account data visibility is key to answering “Why.” This is accomplished by utilizing your data awareness to help audit and troubleshoot why user account information changes.
The Importance of Auditing and Troubleshooting Your User Provisioning Software
Data visibility is essential for auditing and troubleshooting your user provisioning process. With granular level data visibility, organizations can identify potential issues and effectively troubleshoot problems before they escalate. To achieve this, organizations must adopt tools that provide data visibility for user account management. These tools should track every minor and major change made to a user account across multiple systems and provide insights into why changes were made. For example, if a user’s account was created with incorrect attributes, auditing the user provisioning software can help identify the cause of the issue. Was it a source HR data error or a misconfiguration issue with the user provisioning software?
Having granular data visibility is essential for troubleshooting and auditing your user provisioning software. It enables organizations to identify and proactively address potential issues, audit and monitor their systems, and maintain compliance with policies and regulations. Implementing tools that provide proper data visibility for user account management is critical for organizations to leverage HR data for these purposes effectively.
Data visibility is crucial for effective user account management, troubleshooting, and auditing of your user provisioning software. Understanding why a change was made is just as important as knowing what change was made. By having granular data visibility, organizations can effectively troubleshoot potential issues with their user provisioning software and audit their user provisioning process. To achieve data visibility, organizations must implement tools that provide granular level data visibility for user account management and implement policies and procedures to ensure that changes made to user accounts are properly tracked and audited. With data visibility, organizations can effectively manage user accounts, identify potential issues, and ensure their user provisioning software works correctly.
Are you interested in granular-level data visibility? Read how NIM, our NexGen Identity Management solution, can collect and analyze user data from various systems. Giving you the data awareness you need to understand “Why” something happened in your user provisioning ecosystem. Data is King!