For businesses with large numbers of employees, where people are constantly joining, leaving and moving within the organization, it can often prove difficult to control who has access to which applications.
This was the challenge facing Haier Group, as Xinwen Liu, Project Manager, said: “Managing access is absolutely essential for security. When an employee leaves the company, we need to ensure we cancel their access rights to all our systems.”
Previously, access to applications was handled separately; for every system an employee needed to use, they had to be manually provisioned. Likewise, when someone left the company they would need to be deleted from each system individually.
Xinwen Liu said: “Not only was this manual approach excessively time-consuming, but also there was the risk that a past employee could retain access to our business systems.”
Another consequence was that employees needed to remember a different set of log-in details for each application. Logging in separately was a nuisance for users, and it was not uncommon for users to forget their passwords.
Haier evaluated a number of different vendors and solutions, and determined that NetIQ Identity Manager and NetIQ Access Manager offered the best price-performance ratio and were also the easiest to configure and maintain.
“Using Identity Manager and Access Manager, we are creating a framework for adaptive identity governance,” said Xinwen Liu. “This combination of solutions enables us to manage access rights for different types of users easily and transparently.”
The automation delivered by Identity Manager empowers HR staff to take full control, and makes administration considerably faster. When an employee joins, leaves or moves within the business, HR can now easily grant or revoke the appropriate access rights.
Additionally, the NetIQ solution enables Haier to manage access for partners, ensuring they can see only the internal information necessary for the business arrangement. As soon as the engagement is complete, HR can easily cancel all of the partner’s access rights, strengthening security.
Finally, with Access Manager, Haier has been able to provide its employees with a single sign-on facility for all systems integrated into Identity Manager. “Users only need to remember one password for everything,” said Xinwen Liu. “Even better, they only need to log in once to the Access Manager web portal to access all their applications. Because it’s online, employees can use cloud-based applications even if they’re out of the office.”
With its new adaptive identity governance solution in place, Haier has significantly streamlined identity management and is realizing substantial cost savings as a result of the reduced administration workload.
“We’ve been able to completely free our IT staff from the repetitive manual tasks of provisioning and deprovisioning users,” said Xinwen Liu. “Now they can use their time more effectively and add value to the company.
“Thanks to the consolidation and automation provided by the Micro Focus solution, identity management has become a tool for business enablement rather than a chore. HR staff can track all of an employee’s access rights from a single platform and modify them at the push of a button – control and security have never been tighter.”
With identity management centralized in one solution, Haier is also making savings in maintenance costs, as departments no longer need to run their own management platforms.
The single sign-on feature of the solution has been well received by Haier’s employees. “Entering just one password saves users time and effort,” explains Xinwen Liu. “And it has cut the number of calls to the IT helpdesk, since it is far rarer for anyone to forget their login details.”