How Hybrid Identity Can Improve Productivity & Security
In today’s hybrid work environment, not only are employees working both at the office and at home, but they’re also working in the cloud and on-premises systems.
A big part of working in all those systems is needing to log in and authenticate as a user. It’s estimated that U.S. employees switch between an average of 13 different apps 30 times per day.
The need to create a unique login for each of those applications causes employees to adopt poor password habits that leave their companies at a higher risk for a data breach or malware infection.
When employees must keep up with so many different credentials some of the risky behavior they adopt includes:
- Using weak passwords
- Reusing passwords across multiple accounts
- Storing passwords in unsecured documents
- Never changing passwords
The problem with passwords has become huge, with credential theft now being the number one cause of data breaches globally.
Another problem with having to switch between so many different applications is that keeping up with authorization credentials for each one can be a drag on productivity. Research indicates that approximately 30% of the workweek is wasted waiting on password resets.
The way to solve the complication of so many different user credentials to keep up with is to consolidate them into a single user identity that all systems recognize. This is exactly what Microsoft’s Hybrid Identity does.
Hybrid Identity with Azure Active Directory (AD)
Hybrid identity in Azure AD offers a solution for a single user login that is recognized across a company’s IT environment – on-premises and cloud-based. This common username and password combination is synced across all platforms, so if a password is updated in one place, it’s updated everywhere.
The solution uses one of three methods of authentication to enable this “one for all” approach. Either of these can be used, depending upon your organization’s needs. They include:
- Password hash synchronization: The simplest way to enable authentication for on-premises directory objects in Azure AD.
- Pass-through authentication: Provides password validation by using a software agent that runs on one or more on-premises servers.
- Federation: Azure AD hands off the authentication process to a separate trusted authentication system, such as Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS)
Leverage These Advantages of Hybrid Identity
One of the best ways to block password compromise is to use multi-factor authentication (MFA). But employees may resist this additional step in their workflow as slowing them down because of the number of apps they need to log into each day.
The inconvenience is what 7 out of 8 people who’ve adopted MFA and then stopped using it say is the reason why.
Hybrid identity in Azure AD enables a single sign-on (SSO), which means that employees only have to log in once to have access to all their apps and tools (on-premises and cloud).
Improved Account Security
As we mentioned, credential theft is now the main cause of data breaches. It can be difficult for an organization to keep up with all those different employee logins, some of which have higher-level administrative access to systems.
When identity management is boiled down to one hybrid identity for each user that will be used across everything, it simplifies account security and management.
One security policy for identity authorization can be used that is applied across the entire application environment. Monitoring for suspicious login activity is also consolidated, so security administrators can see a full picture of their account activity across all cloud and on-premises environments.
With a single hybrid identity, employees no longer must spend time logging into multiple apps per day or waiting on password resets. They can manage just a single strong password that grants them access to all their work tools.
So instead of being a barrier, the login process gets out of the way and lets employees get to work, reducing frustration and lost time.
See a Full Picture of Security-Related Events
It can be challenging to look at security reports across multiple applications, and near impossible to get a full picture of related events that impact more than one system.
The consolidation of all logins into one through hybrid identity gives you a single place to see auditing and logging of security-related events. This includes the ability to see suspicious activities easily across your different applications and set up alerts that can signal a potential internal attack.
Simplifying this monitoring process improves security and allows an organization to respond faster to head off a potential account breach.
U.S. employees switch between an average of 13 different apps 30 times per day.
The way to solve user credentials issues is to use a single user identity that all systems recognize.
This is exactly what Microsoft’s Hybrid Identity does.
Hybrid identity in Azure AD creates a single user login that is recognized across a company’s IT environment.
Leverage These Advantages of Hybrid Identity
- Single Sign-On
- Improved Account Security
- Improved Productivity
- See a Full Picture of Security-Related Events
Let X-Centric Help You Get a Handle on Your Identity Management
X-Centric IT Solutions can help your business improve password security and identity management to significantly reduce your risk of a data breach and improve productivity.