MSP security must continue to transition as technology does. Today, one of the most important issues your clients will deal with in terms of security has to do with identity. For one thing, many businesses haven’t consolidated their systems such that a single identity defines employee access privileges. Usually, everything is disparate, which complicates matters.
Increased complication leads to more vulnerabilities. More vulnerabilities lead to an increased likelihood of security breach. Cybercriminals watch for that kind of thing. So in a strange way, the less secure your clients are, the more insecure they’ll become. This is especially true as technology continues to advance. The security measures of 10 years ago are essentially defunct, and the same will be true of today’s security measures in 2027. Many of your clients may think they’ve got this issue solved and not realize they become a bigger target every day.
But there are simple things you can do to sequentially transition clients into security operations. Identity Management Systems (IMS), also called Identity Access Management (IAM) is a great way to do that. These systems combine all points of access for numerous employees into a single identity profile. For example, if your clients’ employees worked with a database of systems which help them determine warranty entitlement, each of those databases likely has access passwords and identities. If all those identities can be managed in a single location, it can save employees lost productive time in password generation. Often a larger business will require a password reset every one to four weeks. That gets complicated quickly. With an IMS, this can be done more securely and expediently.
Individuals managed under IMS have what’s known as an “access cycle”. They’re given access to a system and throughout the “meat” of their access lifecycle, they’ll log onto and off of a system at intervals as well as change passwords. Eventually, they’ll be promoted or “retired”, meaning their access profile must be erased and a new one created for the employee who fills their spot. This is a lot more difficult if everything isn’t gathered in one spot, and liquidations will leave access points for disgruntled ex-employees.
IMS can expedite changes in access privileges. Clients can promote or demote employees as necessary with less difficulty and security vulnerability, as well as increased speed, leading to the reduction of unproductive operations.
With this in mind, it’s easy to see why common defining aspects of IMS commonly include:
- Tools For Password Management
- Provisioning Software
- Applications To Enforce Security Policies
- App Monitoring Solutions
- Repositories For Identities
- On-Premise ID Management Systems For On-Site And Cloud Networks
The ultimate goal of most IMS is to provide clients with the ability to manage users in a way that’s easily scalable and continuously consistent. IMS can be provided by your MSP security team and you can offer solutions for clients expanding their internal management who turn to you for troubleshooting needs.
In conjunction with other security management best practices, IMS can secure and optimize infrastructural operations. The best IMS will be supported by antivirus software, client education pertaining to best online practices, continuously updated modern firewalls, and proactive security management.
Proactive management is perhaps the most important additional aspect of client security. With an IMS, it’s best if an MSP provides monitoring, management, and support for clients. The truth is, human error makes complete impregnability ultimately impossible. But you can increase security systems so much so that it would take a virtual miracle (pun intended) for a hacker to make it through all of the security systems and gain access to your client’s core information. With cybercrime set to be a $2 trillion dollar industry by 2019, no measure’s too large. Your goal with MSP security is to make unauthorized access to client data such a hassle that hackers move on to a less protected target. IMS systems can help a great deal with this.