Identity & Access Management (IAM) for Shared Devices

    In our personal lives, sharing can mean a lot of different things. In professional and corporate setups, things go beyond just sharing food or work-life experiences. Organizations that operate round the clock often require employees to share devices among themselves. With fixed office perimeters of yesteryears, secure access to these shared devices wasn’t a huge concern. 

    But as workplaces evolved and security threats grew in severity, Identity & Access Management (IAM) has become prominent. And that applies to shared devices to ensure the right user accesses the right device at the right time from the right place. 

    While there are plenty of exclusive IAM solutions available today, some organizations might prefer IAM as part of a broader device or endpoint management technology, like Mobile Device Management (MDM) or Unified Endpoint Management (UEM). That’s exactly where an IAM feature like OneIdP, powered by Scalefusion UEM, comes to the fore.

    This blog intends to shed light on the importance of IAM for shared devices and how the OneIdP feature can be leveraged to achieve the same.

    Why Do Shared Devices Need IAM?

    Whether it’s communal workstations, shared tablets, or conference room smart devices, they facilitate seamless operations but, at the same time, pose significant security risks. Unrestricted access to shared devices can lead to unauthorized data exposure, compromises in confidentiality, and increased vulnerability to cyber threats. The primary challenge that organizations must address—the delicate balance between accessibility and security.

    Proliferation of Shared Devices

    The ubiquity of shared devices is evident in the diverse array of devices found within organizations. Shared workstations, laptops, tablets, and interactive displays are not just prevalent; they are essential for fostering teamwork, innovation, and adaptability. As organizations embrace flexible work arrangements, shared devices bridge gaps, enabling employees to perform their tasks seamlessly. Their proliferation makes shared devices’ identity and access management imperative for organizations. 

    Collaborative & 24×7 Work Environments

    The remarkable shift toward flexible and 24×7 work environments has redefined how teams operate. Some of it can be attributed to the outsourcing tide that paved the way for BPOs and KPOs in the services industry. Operational round the clock, these workplaces have desktop PCs (often Windows and sometimes Mac) shared between employees working in shifts. 

    The user-agnostic nature of Windows did the job, as admins could create different user profiles on the same device and assign passwords to each profile. It all worked well till the world of cybercriminals became more savage, making organizations realize the need for IAM, even for shared Windows devices.

    Diverse User Profiles

    Within organizations, users possess diverse roles and responsibilities, each requiring a unique set of permissions and access privileges. Shared devices cater to a multitude of users, ranging from frontline employees to senior executives, each with distinct needs. Even members from the same team might have to access different apps and content while sharing a device. Navigating this diversity in user profiles and their needs poses a considerable challenge when attempting to establish a secure and efficient access management system.

    Risks of Unrestricted Access

    Shared devices, if not properly managed, can become potential gateways for unauthorized access and cyberattacks. The inherent challenge lies in maintaining a delicate equilibrium—granting secured access while preventing security loopholes that could lead to data breaches, unauthorized modifications, or exploitation of vulnerabilities. Depending on just a single security layer (user ID + password) can cause a lot of damage when it’s compromised. Hence, two-factor authentication (2FA) and multi-factor authentication (MFA) have witnessed considerable growth in their adoption—both integral to IAM. 

    Benefits of Implementing IAM for Shared Devices

    Enhanced Security Posture

    The implementation of Identity and Access Management (IAM) on shared devices fundamentally elevates an organization’s security posture. IAM safeguards against unauthorized access attempts and fortifies the digital perimeter. By enforcing rigorous authentication processes and access controls, organizations can ensure only authenticated and authorized users gain entry, significantly reducing the risk of security breaches.

    The enhanced security posture extends beyond the traditional username-password paradigm. IAM solutions often incorporate advanced authentication methods such as MFA, biometrics, or token-based access, adding layers of complexity that deter malicious actors and bolster the overall security framework.

    Improved Productivity

    Contrary to the misconception that stringent security measures hinder productivity, IAM on shared devices can, in fact, be a catalyst for efficiency. By streamlining the authentication and authorization processes, IAM minimizes the time spent by users in gaining access to essential resources. This streamlined access contributes to a seamless workflow, allowing authorized users to focus on their tasks without unnecessary impediments.

    Additionally, IAM enables organizations to implement conditional access controls, ensuring each user has precisely the level of access required for their responsibilities. This precision in access management enhances security and prevents the inadvertent modification or deletion of critical data, contributing to a more productive and error-resistant work environment.

    Reduced Risk of Data Breaches

    One of the most pressing concerns in the contemporary workplace is the risk of data breaches. Shared devices, if not adequately protected, can serve as vulnerable entry points for cybercriminals seeking unauthorized access to sensitive information. IAM acts as a formidable defense mechanism, reducing the risk of data breaches by implementing strict controls over who can access what data and under what conditions.

    Scalefusion OneIdP: UEM-Integrated IAM Solution for Shared Devices

    Scalefusion OneIdP is an innovative identity and access management feature available within Scalefusion’s dashboard or management console. It can be leveraged for all enrolled devices under the purview of Scalefusion’s shared device management.

    The OneIdP IAM suite offers three essential features—directory services, access management, and single sign-on (SSO). Directory services act as the user management component where admins can create user IDs with the OneIdP domain or their own custom domain (if available). Once the domain gets created post-verification, admins can start adding users to it from the Scalefusion dashboard. OneIdP also allows organizations to track the log-in and log-off data of employees for shared devices (and individual corporate devices as well). 

    OneIdP takes user lifecycle management a notch above through conditional access management while offering custom UI options. Apart from the regular user ID and password verification, admins can use OneIdP to set up conditional log-in based on verified Wi-Fi SSID, user location and geofence, and day and time. Thus, shared device access is fully tight-knit and secure. 

    To eliminate the need for remembering multiple passwords, OneIdP provides SSO capabilities so users can access multiple apps with just one password. Admins can also revoke access to apps based on device compliance.

    For shared devices, admins can enforce a shared device policy that entails the requirements of the users and the organization. This includes enabling device sharing within a single user group or multiple groups. OneIdP ensures the shared device access is always in compliance with both user access and configuration policies. It can force a log-off when unauthorized users attempt to access any shared device. In essence, OneIdP comprehensively secures shared devices’ identity and access. 

    Explore IAM for Frontline Workers with OneIdP

    Manage Shared Device Identity and Access with Scalefusion OneIdP

    OneIdP, built into the Scalefusion UEM dashboard, lets organizations secure their shared devices without having to invest in a separate IAM tool. It is a simple yet very powerful feature that lets admins establish control over data and device security beyond the conventional UEM or MDM perspective.

    To get a deeper understanding of how Scalefusion OneIdP secures IAM for shared devices, schedule a demo with our experts. 

    Abhinandan Ghosh
    Abhinandan Ghosh
    Abhinandan is a Senior Content Editor at Scalefusion who is an enthusiast of all things tech and loves culinary and musical expeditions. With more than a decade of experience, he believes in delivering consummate, insightful content to readers.

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