The Easy Way To Manage Temporary User Access

Published by Macy Sears on September 5, 2021

Temporary employees help in many ways. 

Heading into a peak period? You’re likely looking to bring on additional staff members for assistance. Or, maybe the company wants to outsource a task to a skilled, external resource. Whichever the reason, hiring short-term or contract workers can help fill a vital gap, but managing temporary user access is crucial.

The Weight of A Security Admin

The job of a security administrator comes with a laundry list of access management tasks. They bear responsibility for monitoring permissions for new hires, current users, and terminated employees. But, what about the ones who come and go or those who gain temporary user access to the system? It’s a common occurrence in many businesses, but more often than not, proper security measures fall by the wayside due to efficiency.  

So, what’s the trick? For starters, there are a few best practices to follow when it comes to temporary user access. However, exploring an automation tool, like Sentinel, enables admins to save time and improve accuracy when administering temporary user access in PeopleSoft.

Reasons for Granting Temporary User Access

Temporary user access is given to employees for a number of reasons. Current employees may require additional privileges in order to cover a vacation or leave of absence. These permissions should always be revoked when the coverage period ends. 

Break-glass access is another common reason for assigning temporary permissions. This applies when a user gains high-level access in the event of a critical emergency. Access to these files or information should only be obtained as necessary and requires extra security. Break-glass access should have a time limitation and be monitored until completion. Failure to deprovision break-glass access is a high data security risk.

The value of an organization’s permanent team goes unmatched, but short-term workers are beneficial. When optimal staffing levels aren’t feasible, it can be a great time to bring on provisional support. Temporary employees can be cost-effective, save time, and provide more flexibility to a company. The type of temporary employment an organization should seek can depend on the project or situation at stake. 

Like all positions, temporary user access isn’t determined by an individual’s type of employment. You’ll find some seasonal staff members only receive limited permissions, such as the ability to view their paycheck. Whereas other contract workers are permitted access to the entire database. 

Employment Types That Receive Temporary User Access

Insider Threats

60% of security breaches are linked back to internal employees. An insider threat incident can have a lasting effect on an organization. Temporary employees pose a high risk as they’re often less invested in the business. The hiring process of a short-term worker is also known to be more relaxed and expedited in order to meet demand. 

Best Practices for Managing Temporary User Access

User access management is the foundation of a good security policy. Best practice initiatives serve as guidelines on how to secure, control, and manage permissions. The framework for managing temporary user access follows guidelines for all users but includes a few key steps: 

  • Define Time Period Conditions – Specify the window of time allotted for a short-term employee to have access. 
  • Apply the Principle of Least Privilege – Always grant employees the minimum access necessary to perform their job duties. 
  • Deploy Preventative Controls – Take extra precautions by supervising the actions of newcomers.
  • Immediately Deprovision Accounts – Revoke temporary user access immediately after they’ve completed employment or a project.

How Sentinel Helps Manage Temporary User Access

Establishing best practice policies should always be done, but not all strategies are optimal for security and efficiency. Sentinel fills this gap by providing automation features for simplifying managing user access. 

Automating a process is useful for saving time and reducing human errors – two vital aspects for administrators.  

Using Sentinel’s Temporary Access feature, admins can automatically assign Roles between a given Start and End period. This saves time and negates the need for an administrator to manually deprovision access in PeopleSoft at the end of a contract or project. Assigning automatic temporary user access for Roles can even repeat on a monthly basis. The application keeps a log of all changes, including when access starts and is removed.  

Sentinel also has the ability to automatically provision and deprovision Roles based on job information. This feature in Sentinel is called Dynamic Security. It plays into the importance of the principle of least privilege. Administrators can predetermine the necessary Roles for users based on the job, ensuring they’re receiving only what they need. 

Temporary Access and Dynamic Security are just two ways Sentinel saves administrators time managing PeopleSoft security. To learn more about the application features, please contact a member of our team.

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