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Poor user provisioning can threaten the IT security of K-12 schools—here's how you can 🛠 fix it

The K-12 education sector has an extreme churn rate with thousands of users removed and added to the environment every year. Also, they manage tens of thousands of faculty and student accounts and their rosters. To meet their unique needs, they require a robust user provisioning platform that can automate user provisioning and help integrate easily with cloud apps.

Challenges

Legacy IAM systems and limited resources

Lack of IT budgets and staff force schools to perform repetitive IT admin tasks using custom scripts that require frequent modification or in-house applications that are not always reliable. Legacy solutions lack the ability to integrate with AD and provide a seamless experience. They need to be updated manually every time a change is made in AD, increasing the burden on the IT admins.

Custom scripts, legacy solutions, and in-house applications are unsustainable due to security risks and lack of resources for maintenance. As the know-how of the admin operations using scripts or in-house apps is generally confined to only a few admins, the school will be in trouble if those admins leave the institution.

Time-consuming manual operations

Legacy systems lack the flexibility to sync data between on-premises IT systems and cloud apps, meaning IT admins have to spend hundreds of hours every year manually creating and modifying tens of thousands of user accounts, including making changes to students' names.

Learning losses for students

When user provisioning is handled manually by IT teams, teachers and students often have to wait weeks to get access to instructional material, which could have been easily granted by a teacher instead.

Security risks from undetected stale accounts

According to Microsoft, more than 10% of user accounts in Active Directory have been detected as stale. External attackers could use these accounts to infiltrate a K-12 institution's IT system and steal PII. Manually cleaning up dormant accounts can be difficult and error-prone.

Contingent workers and ad-hoc access requests

Schools often hire contingent faculty instead of full-time teachers. Most schools don't have a well-defined process for notifying the IT team about these resources. Additionally, there are temporary access requests made through email that may cause delays or errors in providing the right access to the instructional material, thereby leading to potential security risks.

Ensuring compliance with regulations like FERPA and COPPA

Compliance regulations like FERPA and COPPA require schools to ensure safety of student data, failing which might result in harsh penalties or loss of federal funding. Manual access provisioning creates issues with accountability, which is a critical requirement in most regulatory mandates.

Solution

Automated life cycle management

Manage the entire life cycle of your students and faculty with ADManager Plus by automating user creation, deletion, and modification through standardized, prepopulated templates.

Enterprise-ready integrations

Integrate your HCM solutions like UKG Pro, WorkDay, or others with API support, and databases like Microsoft SQL or Oracle with ADManager Plus to automatically provision student and teacher accounts in your AD and cloud platforms.

Role-based access control

Using ADManager Plus, schools can accurately provision users ensuring the implementation of the principle of least privilege. This ensures that parents, teachers, students, consultants, contractors, and even temporary users have only the access required to carry out their duties without compromising on data security.

Delegated administration

Using ADManager Plus, admins can delegate routine tasks like student and teacher data modification, password reset, and file permission access to class teachers and department heads. As a result, students and teachers will have shorter wait times when dealing with basic IT issues.

Just-in-time access

Admins can provide district-specific consultants, contractors, and temporary staff with permissions for a brief period of time as needed using ADManager Plus.

Enhanced security and compliance

Create workflow systems that allow technicians to submit requests for data creation, deletion, and modification, minimizing the possibility of undetected modifications. Audit trails can also be used to track modifications made by technicians. This enables the school to protect the data of its students and faculty.

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