Many hidden dangers are lurking around, these days. Although these may appear innocent, it is a genuine threat. Most higher-education professionals are still using “home-produced” IAM solutions. Most of these solutions are built around scripts. These scripts are actually a series of individual commands utilized towards executing a specific task.
Scripts are very helpful in systematizing repetitive actions. These actions may include automatic copying information from information system of a student into a text file. Thereafter, that file is uploaded into a different downstream system. These are fast ways to get something done. However, these are not a workable replacement for a contemporary and comprehensive IAM solution.
Here are some reasons you should not try DIY identity & access management solutions:
- The Problem with Scripts
Most colleges and schools are in a habit of using scripts as a substitute for identity management jobs as a standard; web-based single-sign-on service cannot meet the requisite lifecycle management requirements. These days, most institutions still scripts due to the concerns related to the challenges of implementing a full IAM solution. These may be quite expensive for their smaller teams and budgets.
- No Identity Knowledge
Most schools and colleges may have experienced script builders with a detailed understanding of IT and scriptwriting. However, their knowledge related to the complex, identity management procedure can be limited. This may lead to several problems. These script builders may not be well acquainted with the best practices of identity management and security. There are also chances that they lack the requisite knowledge to fully understand identity needs of their schools and colleges. These professionals are usually figure it out because they go along, leveraging IT knowledge they possess. Unfortunately, in this position they may cause more harm than good in future.
- Restricted Efficiency
Usually scripts are written by different individuals on contrasting platforms. These may be in different languages. Many steps must be undertaken to execute a single action. Each of these is focused on one piece of the overall assignment. Under certain circumstances, a third-party conversion tool may also be needed to allow scripts to establish a conversation with each other. These scripts get tangled up easily in a ball of notes. This also means you would be left with a cluttered orchestration problem having no central control at all.
When the school or college adds up new users, the inefficiency will become more apparent. Since a series of scripts is not efficient enough to follow a single design, these tend to become less efficient due to their incremental nature as a whole as compared to a single, unified Identity & Management product.
- Restricted Functionality
The scripts do not address the functionality that a school, college or institution truly requires. Since these are static and written to solve only a single problem, the scripts won’t progress with the change in IAM requirements.
Whenever a single feature of the system alters, you would require update existing scripts. Sometimes, it is also necessary to write new ones. For instance, the script builder may require writing a script for granting access to a specific group. However, this kind of approach is not workable. This means you will eventually reach a place where the IT team may not be able to anything in your IAM system simply because the process of scripting does not allow it.
Scripts are purpose-built. This also means these are not a part of a larger, wide-ranging solution. So when you rely on scripts, it does not only waste your time, the compelling script builder to continually chase the most up-to-date requirements, but also introduce potential security risks and vulnerabilities.