By Greg Keller Posted September 21, 2016
With the explosion of online services, the number of passwords that an individual needs to manage has dramatically increased. That number includes a password for their laptop or desktop, Google Apps or Microsoft Office 365, servers, various other online applications, VPN, and home and office WiFi networks… among many others.
Factor in that those systems and applications require a variety of different formats for their username too, and you have a headache on your hands. For IT admins, it’s not only a headache, but it also causes anxiety because all of those passwords pose security risks.
The goal for IT organizations is to reduce the number of passwords while also increasing security.
Perpendicular Concepts of Parallel Importance
Generally, reducing passwords and growing security are orthogonal concepts, and it is difficult to accomplish both. For end users, the level of friction that a wide variety of accounts and passwords create is significant. It is painful for them to manage all of that in their head. Consequently, they start taking shortcuts. They will use the same easy password for all of their systems and applications. That’s likely the worst-case scenario for IT organizations. Those passwords become the easiest to hack and then reuse across an array of different services. Just ask Mark Zuckerberg what happened with his Twitter password. It was used on his Instagram and Pinterest as well. Ouch.
Intersection of Reducing Passwords and Increasing Security
It doesn’t have to be this way. A unified directory service can help centralize all of an individual’s IT accounts, then layer on multi-factor authentication to protect those accounts. A centralized user management system connects employee identities to the IT systems, applications, and networks those users need. IT admins have control over provisioning, deprovisioning, and modifications of user accounts on servers, desktops/laptops, and critical online infrastructure, such as GApps and O365, as well as a myriad of other applications and networks. The key is that IT can control the password complexity and the need for MFA. Research has shown that long, complex passwords are much harder to break and when 2FA functionality is added, it greatly reduces the chances of a hacked account. IT gets the control they want while users get the simplicity of access they crave.
JumpCloudCovers User Management From Every Angle
If you would like to reduce the number of passwords your users have, drop us a note. We’d be happy to chat with you about our Directory-as-a-Service® platform. Achieve a lower number of passwords while increasing security with its central user management, virtual LDAP service, hosted RADIUS for WiFi authentication, device management, web application SSO, MFA, and other functions.
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