Get Started With Web Access Management Software
Teddy (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his partner Chuck (Mark Ruffalo) investigate the escape of a murderess, which brings them to Ashecliffe Hospital, a fortress-like insane asylum located on a remote, windswept island. The acting and storyline no doubt deserve a standing ovation, but let’s focus on the hospital itself for a minute here.
Spread across 900 acres this hospital was used for psychiatric rehabilitation. Built-in 1892, it included 58 buildings that housed doctors, nursing staff, security, housekeeping and countless other personnel along with 2,200 patients.
No wonder the institution needed automated security. How else would they differentiate between a doctor and an assassin pretending to be a doctor? By adding layers of security to every entry and exit point to authorize who can access parts of the island.
Access Management is of utmost importance here as it provides automated, cloud-based and/or on-premises capabilities for identity administration, governance, workforce identity management and authorization.
Similarly, online platforms that are our modern-day work arenas require identity identification to understand if a log-in was by the organization’s employee or a ransomware actor.
For this, we need a dynamic solution that understands various levels of authority, identity and intent. So, let’s understand Web Access Management and how it can be the gatekeeper your organization needs!
Most companies today focus on technology. What about us, you ask? Well, we love technology!
Not only because it’s cool but because it enables businesses to ease the end user's life. To be a true winning brand, you must identify the pain points of your consumer base and create the right solutions for them.
For instance, the enormous remote working led to a higher focus on login security during the pandemic. That got us wondering how we could make WFH (work-from-home) the norm without compromising on sensitive data and security strategies. After all, login authorization has limitations and can be an entry point for modern hackers. Yet, a solution came into the picture as our savior!
Today we’ll explore all about it – namely, Web Access Management Software and how you can leverage it to enhance your security needs.
What Is Web Access Management Software
Before diving into the software, let’s understand Web Access Management (WAM).
WAM is a form of Identity and Access Management (IAM) system. An IAM system controls access to business resources, databases, etc. While providing authentication management, policy-based authorizations, audit and reporting services. It also boasts single sign-on convenience and safety from impersonators trying to get into your systems.
Why do we need this?
Well, many individuals with different roles and purposes are required to log in to the same platform in enterprise settings. To define the layer of authorization for each employee, IAM tools provide the integration of identity and access management for web-based applications. This enables IT managers to guard the perimeter and assign access privileges for different assets – the financial apps will be limited to finance teams, CRM to sales teams and so on.
Web Access Management Software performs a similar role of identity and access management for online platforms and solutions. It does this by managing two aspects:
Web Access Management Software verifies a user's identity and ensures they are legitimate by involving a simple password access but can also include multi-factor authentication technology.
Web Access Management Software applies individual or role-based privileges to access specific apps or databases. Even if hackers gain access to your systems, they will have limited scope to roam across network assets.
Martin Scorsese created a sense of doubt about the present, past and even reality in Shutter Island. However, we love clarity, so let’s unfold the past of Web Access Management Software!
A Brief History Of Web Access Management Software
Ah, the World Wide Web – that was the era when Web Access Management first appeared. It was in the 1990s when people started using the World Wide Web that we needed access management solutions:
Originally built when smartphones did not even exist and most of the enterprise IT infrastructure resided on-premises. Security concerns were different at the time, internet connections were slower and employees typically worked from the office within a secure perimeter.
As internet speed increased, employees accessed work platforms from smartphones and applications moved to the cloud. We saw a shift from corporate offices to working from home, coffee shops, vacation homes, or shared work offices making network perimeter-based security less relevant. This required massive leaps in security enhancements, cloud operations, access management implementation and much more.
Legacy web access management tools were designed during the days of network perimeter-based security. However, modern access management solutions were designed in the age of the cloud when identity-driven security was the focus.
As you may have guessed, today a workforce of millions can log in to their organization’s network and work remotely all thanks to advancements in IAM and tools like Web Access Management Software.
Well, all said and done – let’s come back to the present!
How Does Web Access Management Software Work?
Let’s recap – Web Access Management Software is part of authentication management which is the process of determining a user’s (or application’s) identity. As access to online resources becomes commonplace in workplaces, Web Access Management Software makes it possible to control access to critical data sources and applications.
Authentication and authorization systems keep out illegitimate external actors but allow genuine users to access workloads and services. This is normally done by prompting for a username and a password. Additional methods of authentication can also include access tokens (which generate one-time passwords) and digital certificates.
We mean, don’t you get annoyed when you log into your email account and it asks you to verify your identity? Well, it’s all for YOUR safety!
Firstly, the Web Access Management Software controls access by requesting user credentials and access is granted when users provide the correct combination of username and password. Security teams can then add extra authentication factors to this like OTPs or temporary tokens.
Once the identity is verified, Web Access Management Software’s policy-based authorization matches the user's set of permissions that define the level of access, control and resources available to the user.
Quite easy, right? Now that we are on the same page, let’s understand the types of Web Access Management Software.
Types Of Web Access Management Software
We can agree (or agree to disagree!) that in Shutter Island, Andrew Laeddis and Teddy Daniel were completely different from each other. While we save that debate for another day, one thing we can agree on is the three different types of architectures when it comes to Web Access Management Tools. Let’s dig into each of these:
Plug-ins are installed on every web/application server, register with those servers and are called at every request for a web page. This allows you to restrict access based on identity, membership and a range of conditions such as authentication chain or module used, authentication level, realm, session properties, IP address, DNS name or time zone. They intercept the request and communicate with an external policy server to make policy decisions. This can be made highly customized for the organization’s unique needs.
In this all the web requests are routed through the proxy server to the back-end web/ application servers. A proxy-based model eliminates the need for installing agents on each server and as an alternative route for access requests through a centralized server that leverages standard communication protocols, such as HTTP or HTTPS.
Here a user receives a token that can be used to directly access the back-end web/application servers. Token-based authentication works by ensuring that each request to a server is accompanied by a signed token which the server verifies for authenticity and only then responds to the request.
The different types of Web Access Management Software will help your business based on your organizational goals and requirements. Let’s explore how!
Key Benefits Of Web Access Management Software
There are vital benefits to Web Access Management Software that can help you expand your business, create flexible work opportunities and enhance business security and productivity, including:
Better User Experiences
Did you know that the average response time to a customer help desk ticket is more than 7 hours? Employees locked out of their accounts waiting for a resolution from the help desk can lead to thousands of dollars worth of loss in productivity. Features such as single sign-on (SSO) can help users access their systems or databases using a one-time unique authentication - regardless of where they are or what device they are using.
Saves Administration Time
A robust Access Management Tool can help an organization create privileged groups, edit access settings and ease the user registration process, helping businesses establish application processes, user approval and access customization quickly according to needs.
Simplifies Processes For Security Teams
This solution significantly reduces time spent by security teams as they can grant access to users based on their predefined roles and significantly cut down user onboarding and offboarding times.
Improves Overall Security Posture
It provides better security through careful control over access rights related to user accounts and applications with more flexibility. Companies can set up two-step verification, password change policies or multi-factor Authentication (MFA), which constantly upgrades your security strategy.
Maintains Regulatory Compliance
Many regulations need businesses to have data security, privacy and protection as a mandate. During compliance audit, Web Access Management Tools help IT admins know where, when and how user credentials were used.
Reduces IT Costs
On average, 30% to 50% of help desk calls are for password resets and the average password reset costs an organization $70. Tools like Web Access Management can drastically help reduce time and expense that can be spent on high-priority tasks instead.
While these were some of the many benefits of having robust Web Access Management Software, let’s understand what benefits we are likely to see in the future.
Future Of Web Access Management
Rapid improvements in technology have enabled a new breed of modern identity and access management solutions. In the future, business needs will dictate the need for a successor to Web Access Management Software as some products already have official end-of-life dates. Other providers will explore a patch-and-fix model.
Modern access management solutions continue to innovate and make use of new technologies, such as GPS-based geo-tracking on mobile devices to provide context-based access policies. Soon, users will get access on-premises, on the cloud or via SaaS from any device and any location as Web Access Management solutions will work across endpoints. Future IAM solutions will have a broader scope than legacy tools and offer centralized administration for large enterprise IT systems.
In the near future, we will see improved user experiences, enhanced security and more scalable access and authorization than current WAM solutions. We’re excited!
Today, Web Access Management is becoming a legacy infrastructure. With centralized Identity Access Management tools and privileged access management systems coming to the fore, modern solutions will need to scale faster to meet the ever-evolving technological needs.
To scale your business while ensuring security, you need Web Access Management Software to protect your most valuable assets (user credentials and sensitive data). If your business is scaling up and you're relying on software applications and APIs, you must secure sensitive data with Web Access Management Software – unless you work on premises on Shutter Island!
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