We have all seen it before, the desk that has a million and one yellow sticky notes all over the monitor, or on the wall, or even all over the desk itself. These sticky’s contain the user name and password of all the systems and applications that end users need to log into in order to complete their daily tasks.
How many times do these passwords change when the end user least expects it? How many calls to the help desk are just for password resets? Or, I forgot my user name? These types of calls flood the helpdesk every single day. Now imagine how much worse it is when there’s a long weekend, time off, vacation, etc. These calls eat away an organizations most valuable resource, human capital and productivity.
It costs the helpdesk hours each day solving everyone’s resets; the end user that is calling the helpdesk can’t log into their computer or application so they are not able to start their day on time; the clients or project they are working on is now delayed, and their manager has to waste time dealing with an explanation as to why they missed the deadline for the Penskey file that you were supposed to finish up this morning.
If any of these scenarios sound familiar, then it’s time to implement a password management solution. Two solutions available are a Single Sign-On solution and an end user Self Service Password Reset solution. Single Sign-On (SSO) allows for ease of use by utilizing automatic login for each application the end user wants to use. This system allows them to login once typically using their Active Directory login information and they then are granted access to their applications. This system can be further enhanced with other authentication applications such as a two-factor authentication approach. What that will do is require the end user to login with both a smart card and PIN code that gets delivered via SMS or alternate e-mail. This keeps the system more secure and less likely for error logging in.
End user self-service password resetting works whether or not you have an SSO solution. Here you are allowing the end user to conduct a password reset themselves anytime and anywhere through clicking on a ‘forgot your password’ link on the login screen, the CTL-ALT-DEL command, or other various methods. Once they do so, they will answer secure, pre-defined questions to establish their identity thus reducing the risk of fraudulent requests for password resets. This saves time that the employee is locked out the network and alleviates the helpdesk call log.
With solutions like these there is no reason to have that employee’s desk be filled with Post-Its or for them to utilize an extremely repetitive or common password. Eliminate the security gaps, tighten the authentication process and most importantly increase the production time of your biggest asset, your labor force.