Helpdesks deluged by identity management problems

Identity management is putting a massive strain on company time and resources, according to a new survey.

Research carried out by information security company DNS found that on average, 24 per cent of help desk calls are related to password resetting and 15 per cent are user-provisioning calls to set up a new employee or alter their access levels.

The greater use of IT in all parts of a company's operations has resulted in increasing numbers of applications and systems that need to be accessed by multiple users, the study found. According to DNS, security and compliance implications are "huge, leading to increased company fallibility and mounting IT administration man-hours."

It said that many employees are still making poor password choices, making company infrastructures vulnerable to attack.

"It's very positive that companies are cottoning onto the security and compliance implications of employee access rights and poor password use, but this is clearly coming at a hefty price for businesses managing their identity management in-house," said Don Smith, identity management senior consultant at dns. "Companies need to ensure that confidential information is fully protected, but they would be wise to delve into the man hours that are being eaten up in their business purely from help desk enquiries."

"A single password does not provide adequate protection for company networks but the reality is that two factor authentication can be a nightmare to manage in-house," said Smith. "It can take two days to register a new employee and a managed service can cut this down to half a day."

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.