Don’t Let the ‘I Quit’ Economy Slow Down Your Enterprise


A New Economic Reality 

Over the past year and half, we have been glued to our computers, attending back-to-back Zoom meetings and trying to find a “new” work-life balance at home. Blurring work-life boundaries have led to higher stress, isolation, and burn-out. As a result, people have had a lot of time to think and reflect on their lives. Prior to the pandemic, people made work the center of their lives and identities – a reality that has shifted. The new reality is people want a life that has purpose outside of work. Combined with the abundance of stimulus checks, unemployment benefits, and flexible remote work schedules, people have accelerated their need for change. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, a record 4 million people quit their jobs in April 2021 alone. And in a recent Prudential Pulse of the American Worker Survey, one in three millennials say they plan to look for a new job once the pandemic is over. Some 26% of all workers expect to change jobs when the health crisis has subsided. So how are organizations dealing with this new economic reality?

Manual Processes Plaguing Dynamic Organizations  

Of course organizational leaders focus on cultivating thriving cultures of internal mobility, prioritizing continuous learning, and developing robust benefits to support their workforce. But security and IT professionals must deal with a much different challenge, that includes orphaned accounts. When an employee quits, the clock starts ticking to deactivate their access to applications, systems, and the overall infrastructure. 

With the aggressive growth of cloud applications, services, and remote workforce access, security and IT departments are overwhelmed, unable to keep up with the sheer number of “remove access” requests in their legacy identity and access management (IAM) solutions. Traditional IAM solutions are slow and cumbersome and depend on manual processes. Because the disablement or removal of employee or contractor access is typically a manual or semi-automated process, taking eight hours per account on average, many accounts are easily missed or simply forgotten by security and IT teams, becoming orphaned accounts. With a growing backlog of “remove access” requests, organizations are exposed to outside threats until these accounts, often privileged, cloud, or VPN accounts, are disabled. Here’s a case in point: in the recent JBS ransomware attack, cybercriminals gained access to the company’s network via an orphaned VPN account, according to the current working theory. The cyberattack forced the world’s largest meat processor to shut down nine beef plants in the U.S., Australia, and Canada. JBS paid the equivalent of $11 million dollars in ransom to put an end to the cyberattack. Legacy IAM solutions and processes are not meeting the needs of dynamic organizations. 

Automation Is the Key to IAM Success 

Dynamic organizations require a new automated approach to IAM. Modern IAM solutions that can automate intelligence and proactively identify access risks, such as orphaned or outlier accounts, allowing security and IT professionals to keep pace with the tidal wave of “remove access” requests. Artificial intelligence (AI) is the key to a more automated IAM universe. By applying AI and machine learning (ML), organizations can add enterprise-wide visibility and context into their access landscape – the good, the bad, and the forgotten access. By proactively identifying access risks, security and IT teams can take immediate action to disable or remove a former employee or contractor’s access. With remediation recommendations, organizations can fully automate the employee and contractor de-provisioning process, turning off access the moment they are no longer a member of the company. 

The ForgeRock Approach to Modern IAM 

ForgeRock Autonomous Identity provides real-time, continuous enterprise-wide user access visibility that allows organizations to proactively manage employee and contractor access. By leveraging AI and ML techniques, ForgeRock collects and analyzes all identity data, such as accounts, roles, and entitlements, to identify risk and security access blind spots. The solution provides organizations with a complete user access landscape view: what good and bad access looks like across the entire organization. Combined with AI-driven remediation recommendations, ForgeRock Autonomous Identity allows organizations to proactively automate the disablement and removal of over-privileged access, excessive permissions, and orphaned accounts. 

To learn more about ForgeRock Autonomous Identity, read the Self-Driving Governance white paper.