How Identity Management Interacts with Human Resources (HR)

How Identity Management Interacts with Human Resources (HR)

How does identity management interact with human resources (HR)?

Normally, IT decision-makers consider identity management a stand-alone technology. After all, it contributes to businesses’ cybersecurity posture, securing the new digital perimeter. But the question of what it could provide for other departments often goes unasked. 

Yet identity management not only contributes to HR processes, but it also works optimally when operating in collaboration with HR. It creates a two-way street of contributing to work processes and security processes. Here’s why. 

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Identity Management, HR, and Onboarding/Offboarding

Identity management helps HR and vice versa through automated and monitored onboarding, offboarding, and privilege management. 

With identity management, human resources must take time to onboard incoming employees; they must get IT up to speed to make an account and fit it with appropriate privileges. Employees must wait to start in their roles, which ultimately eats into your business’ bottom line. Additionally, IT might also give employees the wrong permissions, which takes time to identify and to correct; it could even interfere with work processes. 

However, with identity management working with it, HR can automate the onboarding process; it can simply place new employees into set “roles” with matching network permissions. This enables employees to hit the ground running on their first day, without waiting for IT to catch up. Therefore, your business can turn your new hire into a profitable contribution to the bottom line faster than ever. Also, it ensures employees only have the permissions they need, helping maintain security.     

Meanwhile, the opposite problem can occur when HR can’t automate the offboarding process. Removing an employee’s account could take days, if not weeks—time which hackers could use against your business. An embittered former employee might use lingering credentials to initiate an insider attack in revenge. 

Thus, identity management helps HR transition employees away from your company through automation. Letting an employee go can now automatically trigger the removal of their accounts, preventing exploitation. Further, this helps your IT team manage employees without dealing with clutter from abandoned or orphaned accounts.

Identity Security and Preventing Privilege Creep 

Identity management also prevents employees from accidentally or deliberately interfering with the activities of other employees via privilege creep. Privilege creep occurs when accounts start acquiring permissions beyond the scope of their everyday work roles. These accounts become bloated and thus ideal targets for hackers and other external threat actors. Preventing privilege creep becomes a critical part of modern cybersecurity.  

By working with identity security, HR also ensures employees “stay in their lane;” they cannot interfere with others’ works unless specifically invited. This prevents both overstepping workers and workers who might accidentally use an incorrect database. In other words, it limits the dangers of human error.         

When considering your identity security solution, you must think not just about cybersecurity (though that is important). Instead, think about how it can work with, not against, the rest of your enterprise.

Ben Canner

Ben Canner is an enterprise technology writer and analyst covering Identity Management, SIEM, Endpoint Protection, and Cybersecurity writ large. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from Clark University in Worcester, MA. He previously worked as a corporate blogger and ghost writer. You can reach him via Twitter and LinkedIn.
Ben Canner