Managed service providers (MSPs) are companies that provide computing platforms that remotely manage their customers’ IT infrastructures. In other words, you can hire an MSP for your business, and they’ll be able to monitor your servers and firewalls to ensure that your services remain up and running around the clock and that all your sensitive information is secure.
MSPs are often ideal for small to medium-sized businesses that don’t likely have the capital to invest in their own infrastructures or to hire technicians. They’re also great for enterprise-level organizations since MSP password management allows all end user accounts to be provisioned and managed from a single console by an MSP administrator. Here are some of the most important functions a password management solution can help with.
Whenever a new employee joins your organization, they’ll need to be provided login credentials to access the proper resources they’ll need to perform their job. This will naturally include a username and a secure password, and with role-based access control (RBAC), new employees can automatically be assigned an appropriate role and level of access for their duties.
With predetermined roles (viewer, manager, administrator, etc.), you can ensure that each employee is given the minimum amount of access they need to complete their work. When roles change, employees can receive additional provisioning or deprovisioning as needed.
Deprovisioning is the process of removing access for a digital identity. This is most frequently done when an employee leaves the company and is meant to seal any security risks that could be left open if an ex-employee with ill intent still had access.
The most important job of a password manager is to authenticate digital identities when they attempt to access resources or sensitive data. There are a few systems that can be used to authenticate and authorize users.
Single Sign-On: SSO requires users to simply enter a single login ID and password to access all apps, data, and other resources that they’re authorized for. There are many benefits of SSO, and while it may seem like a single login would leave systems open to cyberattacks, passwords in SSO systems tend to be complex and frequently changed. SSO is popular with cloud services, which generally have excellent data encryption as well.
Two-factor Authentication: This is any system that requires at least two forms of identification before access is granted. It’s easy to add a second factor, like a smart card, to an SSO system, and this makes it significantly more secure. A common example of a two-factor authentication process is when you have to insert your debit card and enter your PIN to withdraw from an ATM.
Privileged Access Management: This is the role-based system that keeps access to sensitive information, such as a business’s privileged passwords of their customers, to a minimum. This system can essentially be combined with any other authentication methods.
One of the greatest benefits of MSPs, aside from the security, is the fact that platforms can offer a standardized documentation process and single database for any files, passwords, or procedures technicians may need to provide quick and effective service. If your business has a network issue, either with connectivity or security, you need your MSP to act fast when providing a solution. Having an easy way to track information and a convenient database for all resources means technicians can start fixing the issue immediately instead of having to search for answers across multiple disparate systems.
Different MSPs will have their own ways of doing things, but following best practices for documentation ensures that customer information is always kept safe and that proper procedures are always followed regardless of technician turnover.