Time’s Up on Legacy IAM Solutions in Higher Education

Bruce Macdonald

August 10, 2021

Colleges and universities around the world are steeped in tradition, with decades and even centuries of learning and history. As important as that heritage is, some aspects of higher education need to always be looking toward the future. Among those is identity and access management (IAM) — the framework of business processes, policies, and technologies that facilitates the management of digital identities.

Yet, so many schools are stuck using the same legacy solutions they’ve used for decades and are either unwilling or unable to make the switch to a modern, automated IAM solution. Whether it’s budget, approval from leadership, or trepidation about moving on from a familiar homegrown solution to the cloud holding them back, the risks are the same.

As cyberattacks continue to increase (both in volume and complexity) higher education is a frequent target and cannot put off this essential cybersecurity transformation any longer. It’s time for schools to reap the many benefits of a modern IAM solution.

Strengthen Ransomware Defenses With Automation

With ransomware attacks on the rise ( 26 colleges and universities were affected by ransomware attacks in 2020) colleges and universities have no room for mistakes in their most critical cybersecurity solutions and processes. Managing identities manually isn’t just costly and time-consuming, it's also prone to human error — leading to vulnerabilities and opportunities for cyberattacks. 

A modern IAM solution like Hitachi ID Bravura Identity can automate and protect the most sensitive identity processes (onboarding, offboarding, group management, governance, etc.) to ensure these imperative assets of the higher ed ecosystem remain unassailable.

Improve Process Knowledge Sharing

Legacy identity and access management solutions not only slow processes and increase vulnerabilities, they’re also often homegrown solutions. Because they’re built internally over time, processes are only fully understood by those who designed these systems. When team members move on or pass on, knowledge of these critical solutions exits with them as well. That’s a huge problem.

A move to a streamlined IAM solution enables higher ed IT departments to modernize processes and more easily share them across teams, as needed. That ensures continuity in the management of this critical technology (an essential piece of cybersecurity success for colleges and universities) keeping consistent processes in place to protect against system vulnerabilities. A strong IAM vendor will always ensure the latest threats are defended against and patches/upgrades applied in a timely manner.

Give Support Teams a Break

Manual solutions slow countless processes throughout identity and access management, but few are hit as hard as the support team handling repetitive tasks such as password resets. It may feel like a small detail, but implementing an IAM solution with self-service options for credential management, support teams can save significant amounts of time simply by eliminating this common end-user problem. Think of all of the strategic projects (system optimization, application development, and more) teams can now focus on by eliminating this one time-consuming task. This also allows schools to reallocate budgets to more innovative solutions to strengthen higher ed cybersecurity strategies.

Get (and Stay) Ahead of Vulnerabilities 

Tradition certainly has its place in higher education, but when it comes to cybersecurity and IAM, schools need to have their sights firmly focused on the future. It’s time to leave legacy and homegrown systems (and all of their vulnerabilities) behind and move forward with a modern IAM solution that can carry them securely into the future.

Take the first step toward your migration to a modern IAM solution with our free Access Management Assessment:

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