How to Support a Remote Workforce at Scale
To mitigate the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus), organizations across the globe are taking unprecedented actions. Universities and schools are temporarily closing, and businesses are setting work-from-home mandates. At ForgeRock, we have curtailed business travel, and employees are now working from home. This sudden worldwide shift to online everything (work, study, play, shop, etc.) will have effects that are yet to be seen for all organizations.
Gartner analyst Saikat Chatterjee summed it up well. “We’re being forced into the world’s largest work-from-home experiment and, so far, it hasn’t been easy for a lot of organizations to implement.” He went on to share that a staggering 91% of HR leaders recently polled said the biggest challenge they face stems from the lack of technology infrastructure to support this new way of working.
In the face of these challenges, global business leaders are asking what steps they need to take to keep their employees productive and their operations running smoothly. As organizations implement work-from-home mandates, many will be testing the limits of their identity and access management (IAM) systems. Key questions they should be considering include:
- Will my IAM support larger-than-normal volumes of online sessions without breaking?
- How do I ensure that users requesting remote access are indeed who they say they are?
- Can our system secure all the personal devices employees are using to access work apps and systems from home?
- What will it take to ensure business continuity, including onboarding and securing new users?
Supporting a Remote Workforce Requires Modern IAM
Identity and access management (IAM) systems are part of the invisible plumbing that secures and manages the digital identities of people and things while enabling access to applications and systems so they can do their work from anywhere, anytime. For example, when employees use their corporate and personal devices to log in for work, IAM systems determine who can access what while keeping bad actors out.
Legacy IAM was originally designed for people doing work on site. Now, with large numbers of remote users logging in from various locations and devices, legacy IAM systems will be pushed to their limits. They simply can’t handle the scale and complexity of a work-from-anywhere-with-any-device model, nor can they ensure the security (such as Zero Trust and continuous adaptive risk and trust assessment [CARTA]) required in today’s cybercrime-filled world. The potential for breaches rises with increased mobile working. This makes modernizing IAM all the more critical and is a reason to launch an IAM modernization initiative.
To securely support today’s trends and scale for sudden spikes in demand caused the escalating needs of a remote workforce in the face of coronavirus, legacy IAM systems must be modernized.
To learn more about the top workforce trends and IAM capabilities needed to support them, read Modernize Employee IAM: Why It’s Time to Extend or Gradually Replace Legacy Identity and Access Management.