Identity and access management (IAM) technologies securely connect the right employees to the right business resources at the right time. IAM protects the business while keeping employees securely connected, but were organizations prepared for their employees to work from anywhere LastPass ran a study with IT decision makers in partnership with IDG to discover the impacts of remote work to IAM and found that IAM is critical to securing a remote workforce, but almost all organizations have had to adjust their IAM strategy to securely enable employees to work from anywhere.

Findings include: 

  • Almost every business agrees that IAM is critical to securing their remote workforce: 98 percent of organizations surveyed depend on IAM solutions to keep their business secure in the work from anywhere era. IAM solutions such as single sign-on, multifactor authentication and password management help ensure employees have the secure access they need to stay productive, while IT has visibility and control over every login.
  • There is no one-size-fits all approach to IAM – businesses build their IAM strategies based on their organizational requirements and objectives. However, 96 percent of IT decision makers surveyed said that remote work has impacted their IAM strategy. Whether businesses weren’t prepared to accommodate secure remote work or needed to rethink how they centralized employee access and authentication, remote work has played a major impact on IAM further emphasizing how critical flexibility is to an IAM strategy. Organizations need the ability to quickly adapt, while keeping employees securely connected.
  • In terms of how businesses are securing their remote workforce, 62 percent believe multifactor authentication (MFA) is the most effective way to do so. MFA requires two or more authentication factors in the employee login experience prior to gaining access. Framed conceptually around something you know, something you have and something you are, MFA doubles the security of employee logins helping IT teams to ensure all logins are legitimate. In a time when phishing campaigns targeting remote workers are on the rise and the majority of data breaches are still caused by weak passwords, MFA helps thwart the risk of fraudulent logins. An additional layer of security is more critical now than ever, as IT teams have less oversight into which employees are logging into which resources from which device.
  • The highest priority of businesses implementing IAM strategies to secure their remote workforce is to facilitate secure access for employees. 35 percent of respondents ranked secure access as their most critical objective and 27 percent ranked as their second most critical objective. Secure access is closely followed by adding MFA across employee logins, where 23 percent of respondents ranked as their most critical and 23 percent ranked as their second most critical objective.
  • Secure access and authentication go hand-in-hand. Secure access ensures employees are connected to the resources required for their role to stay productive and authentication helps verify the login, says LastPass. For example, single sign-on enables IT teams to delegate access to applications and password management offers employees a secure location to store credentials. MFA adds an additional layer on top of both to help ensure those gaining access are who they say they are prior to logging in.
  • Looking at the next 12 months, 59 percent of IT decision makers strongly agree that increasing security for their remote workforce through IAM is a critical priority. We have now entered the work from anywhere era, and organizations will need to consider what their long-term IAM strategy is because remote work is the new normal, says the report. The majority of respondents (96 percent) had to adjust their IAM strategy to enable their employees to securely work from anywhere. Over the next year, the security industry can expect to see a large number of businesses adapting and optimizing their IAM strategies to accommodate their remote workforce, says LastPass.