Learn about identity and access management for the office

Discover our safe data practices and secure technology partners today
HqO Hero Image

The Identity and Access Management Guide for the Office

The logistics around where, when, and how people work have changed drastically within the past year. To triumph over modern workplace models and evolving health and safety regulations, commercial landlords and property teams have to navigate uncertain waters and ensure that buildings remain a safe workplace environment, as well as discover new and unique ways to retain and attract talent by focusing directly on the needs of their building occupants. A huge part of new-age building safety needs revolves around identity and access management systems, which not only increase any organization’s ability to manage user access and important organizational information but also contribute to smart building trends by creating frictionless workplace experiences.

With over 8,000 proptech companies now available for the office sector — offering technology solutions ranging from building access management systems to mobile food ordering to even digital amenities — property teams face the challenge of discerning exactly which partners best fit the needs of their portfolio. When it comes to implementing the best security for your office building, you can’t skimp out on the details. In the next section, we dive into identity and access management systems and what they can achieve for any portfolio.

What is Identity and Access Management?

According to CloudFlare.com, identity and access management (IAM) is simply “a way to tell who a user is and what they are allowed to do. IAM is like the bouncer at the door of a nightclub with a list of who is allowed in, who isn’t allowed in, and who is able to access the VIP area.”

This means several important things for property teams. An identity and access management system can provide services to manage a given set of users’ digital identities and the assigned privileges associated with these identities. These identity and access management concepts are all terms used to cover any number of different products that fulfill the same function. For a company, it can be a single product, or even a combination of protocols, softwares, cloud services, and physical hardware that allow system administrators the visibility and control needed over organizational data that end-users have access to. 

TechTarget.com describes IAM by its most fundamental functions:

  • How individuals are identified in a system (understand the difference between identity management and authentication);
  • How roles are identified in a system and how they are assigned to individuals;
  • Adding, removing, and updating individuals and their roles in a system;
  • Assigning levels of access to individuals or groups of individuals; and
  • Protecting the sensitive data within the system and securing the system itself.

To visualize what this might look like in the office, the various components of identity and access management systems may take the form of two-factor authentication forms, single sign-on systems, privileged access management, and multifactor authentication. Not only do these technologies help protect important data, but they also store it: they can gather and preserve identity and profile data, as well as provide data governance capabilities to ensure that end-users can only access the data that is necessary and relevant to their individual functions.

The Importance of Identity and Access Management

Now more than ever, commercial real estate (CRE) leaders and teams are put under a lot of pressure to protect access to their corporate resources. With the integration of new technology systems, — which all contribute to touchless, frictionless workplace experiences as well as modern environments to attract and retain talent — property teams now have to implement heightened identity and access management solutions to protect all of the data that these technology systems produce and collect. 

TechTarget continues on to explain the importance of identity and access management protocols: “IAM, which has an ever-increasing list of features — including biometrics, behavior analytics and AI — is well suited to the rigors of the new security landscape. For example, IAM’s tight control of resource access in highly distributed and dynamic environments aligns with the industry’s transition from firewalls to zero-trust models and with the security requirements of IoT. For more information on the future of IoT security, check out this video. While IT professionals might think IAM is for larger organizations with bigger budgets, in reality, the technology is accessible for companies of all sizes.”

The benefits of identity and access management technologies are endless. They can be leveraged to seamlessly automate processes that initiate, manage, capture, and record user identities. Such automation means that companies and organizations benefit in five key ways:

  • All individuals and services are properly authenticated, authorized, and audited — and there is peace of mind because access privileges are automatically granted according to policy.
  • It gives companies greater control of user access, thus greatly reducing the risk of data breaches.
  • Businesses can operate more efficiently and save effort, time, and money that is associated with manually managing access to company networks.
  • An identity and access management framework makes it easier to enforce policies such as user authentication, validation and privileges, and to address privilege issues.
  • Such systems help businesses better comply with government regulations since they can prove that corporate information is not being mishandled or used. Companies can also produce important data that is required for auditing with ease and speed.

When it comes to the question, “Why do we need identity and access management?” it’s clear: any organization that is adapting to the modern, tech-enabled CRE landscape will require the digital protection to accompany it.

Identity and Access Management Training

There are many identity and access management training opportunities available to professionals in the industry, helping to make your organization’s identity and access management jobs that much easier (and that much more automated). Popular platforms such as Solutions Review offer and aggregate several courses for professionals to achieve their goals. One list reveals the top 10 resources that will enhance any identity and access management career path. Check them out below:

  • Security Fundamentals by Christopher Rees
  • Identity and Access Management on AWS by Brian Eiler
  • Identity Theft: Data Security for Employers by David A. Cole
  • Third Party Risk Management by Eric Duelfer, Tanya Hughes, and Mike Parrinello
  • Implementing Multi-Factor Authentication by Ethan Ballinger
  • Identity and Access Management Course by Cyber Courses
  • AWS Identity Access Management Practical Applications by Brian Choi
  • Identity and Access Management by Rassoul Zadeh
  • Identity and Access Management: Learn LDAP, SAML, OAuth, OPENID by Varinder K
  • Identity Access Management and Security Assessment and Testing by CISSP Educator

These courses can also be complemented by official identity and access management certification courses, such as the ones offered by the Identity Management Institute. As you consider modernizing and refining this very necessary skillset, you’ll be able to add to your company’s identity and access management job description. Additionally, companies can leverage these resources to train employees on IAM protocols as part of their daily work processes.

The Best Identity and Access Management Tools

When it comes to identity and access management tools, Gartner knows how to aggregate experts in the space through conferences and events, as well as provide important IAM consulting services. They can provide solutions across many categories, such as: auditing and risk, communications, customer service and support, finance, human resources, IT, innovation and strategy, legal and compliance, and much more. Though Gartner is a more robust IAM resource and provider, there are many identity and access control tools available in the market. 

As you embark on your journey to find the best IAM practices for your organization, how can you trust the quality of the partners you find while ensuring that they can work alongside your existing systems within your building? The solution resides in HqO’s marketplace of pre-vetted systems and amenity providers. By leveraging the HqOS™ Marketplace to procure new partners, commercial office owners can shop for technologies they know will be interoperable with the overall platform, and whose business relationships and deal structures are already in place. 

Additionally, landlords and property teams can trust that each HqO partner, as well as HqO’s dedicated team of technology experts, follows the latest safety protocols to ensure that each technology is the best fit for your business. Below are just a few of protocols that HqO takes to ensure safe information and access management practices for any corporation’s information:

  • Technology leadership reviews user access on a quarterly basis. Logical Access is modified on an as-needed basis dependent on the results of the access review consistent with the Access Management policy.
  • Customer access is reviewed on at least an annual basis. Logical Access is modified on an as needed basis dependent on the results of the access review consistent with the HqO Access Management policy. HqO is a multi-tenanted architecture model that segregates customer data programmatically from each other.
  • In the HqO platform, a role/permission-based permissioning scheme is used to limit user, customer and staff access to view and interface with the data they should have access to. Resources are protected through the use of native system security that identify and authenticate users and validate access requests against the users’ authorized roles. Pre-defined security groups are utilized to assign role-based access privileges to the in-scope systems.
  • Passwords are an important part of HqO’s efforts to protect its technology systems and information assets by helping ensure that only approved individuals can access these systems and assets.For staff access to high-risk systems, additional authentication methods that provide higher levels of assurance and accountability than passwords are used, like two-factor authentication. For these systems,  passwords must be a minimum of 12 characters and must be updated quarterly.
  • HqO users and customers sign-up to HqO’s Platform using their work email address and a password. Before completing their sign-up, a user must check that they have read and agree to HqO’s Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.
  • When a staff member is onboarded, the access they are granted is determined by their job function. A checklist that the staff member has received the correct access is documented. When a staff member requires a different level of access, the staff member must submit a form to the Information Security Team. The request is logged, audited and executed by a member of the Information Security Team.

Our team of experts can also help consult across tech stack implementation and interoperability; third party assessment, procurement, and management; evolving compliance frameworks; data capture and transparency; and building access and facility management systems. Not only can our product improve upon workplace environments and make them more desirable for building occupants, but it can also resolve safety concerns relating to data and information.

To learn more about how we heighten your company’s security, as well as improve your building’s technology systems, schedule a free demo today.

Access a world of trusted, best-in-class technology partners:

The best tenant experiences are built with HqO

Create smart spaces
where people want to work

The pandemic has dramatically changed where, when, and how people work. Your properties need to be more than just a space, but a community that offers real value to the workforce. HqO helps landlords enhance physical spaces with digital experiences and provides the data they need to make informed decisions about their buildings.

Solve the 3 major commercial real estate challenges – attraction, fragmentation, and differentiation – with HqOS™

HqOS — the tenant experience operating system for commercial office buildings — enhances physical spaces with digital experiences, accelerates the implementation of innovative asset strategies, and enables data-driven decision making

  • Create rich digital experiences for the people who occupy your buildings with the Tenant Experience Platform
  • Find and manage apps in one place with the Marketplace
  • Capture & structure all data on how people use your buildings with the Digital Grid™
  • Deploy your tenant experience strategy with Headquarters
Tenant Experience App