7 User Provisioning Mistakes To Avoid

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min read time
February 4, 2024
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When a new employee joins, their top priority is typically gaining access to required SaaS tools. If this process is not streamlined, your IT teams will encounter a common issue: new employees lack access to essential SaaS applications upon logging into their workstations.

If employees encounter delays or difficulties accessing essential SaaS applications, it can hinder their productivity and create an undesirable working environment.

This is precisely why efficient user provisioning is essential. When you create an effective user provisioning system, it greatly impacts the organization's security, compliance, and operational excellence. However, despite its critical importance, user provisioning is often troubled with challenges and pitfalls.

You must enable proactive measures to avoid making user provisioning mistakes. If you don't take necessary actions, it leads to severe consequences like,

  • Unauthorized access to sensitive data and systems could potentially lead to breaches or cyberattacks.
  • Violation of regulatory requirements such as GDPR, HIPAA, or PCI-DSS may result in legal consequences and financial penalties.
  • Misconfigurations in user access can lead to unnecessary access permissions, causing inefficient resource allocation and increased risk exposure.
  • Rectifying user provisioning errors can incur additional costs, including IT support, system downtime, and remediation efforts.
  • Delays or inconsistencies in user access provisioning can hinder employee productivity and workflow efficiency, impacting overall business operations.
  • Poorly managed user provisioning can make tracking and auditing user activities challenging, complicating compliance reporting and regulatory audits.

You must understand and avoid these common pitfalls to maintain strong security measures and efficient operations. Keep reading this article to investigate and proactively prevent these user provisioning mistakes.

Why is automating user provisioning important?

Manual provisioning processes have many problems. It takes a long time to grant access, and your IT team cannot visit each application to grant access, which slows down productivity. Manual user provisioning is also prone to errors. Issues in granting permissions can make data less secure.

Even with Active Directory (AD), administrators often configure resources manually. Automating this process lets your team focus on more strategic initiatives and cybersecurity efforts.

  • Automating user provisioning streamlines the SaaS access granting process, reducing the time and effort required to onboard new users.
  • Whether setting up new employees or adjusting roles during mid-lifecycle change, IT teams can ensure secure resource access by creating accounts, setting privileges, and managing credentials using a user provisioning system.
  • It eliminates human error, ensuring user accounts are created with the correct permissions and configurations.
  • Automated provisioning facilitates the timely provisioning and deprovisioning of user accounts, reducing the risk of unauthorized access to sensitive data or systems.
  • Automation enforces consistent rules and standards for user provisioning, ensuring uniformity and minimizing access discrepancies across the organization.

As organizations get bigger, manual provisioning gets more complex to manage and wastes IT resources that could be used for essential projects. These challenges underscore the need for automated provisioning solutions, ensuring swift, accurate, and secure user onboarding and access management within dynamic business environments.

7 user provisioning mistakes to avoid

Lack of a centralized, automated user provisioning system

When an organization lacks an automated, centralized system for user provisioning, it can lead to operational chaos. Without such a system in place, managing user access becomes a tedious task. Conversely, a centralized system offers a streamlined solution. Imagine all user accounts and access permissions meticulously assigned and managed on a single platform.

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Manual updates are not only time-consuming but also prone to errors. With a centralized system in place, everything becomes streamlined. It's like having a control center where you can quickly grant or revoke access with just a few clicks.

This centralized approach ensures organizational efficiency and ease of administration. It fosters a structured and manageable environment for user access management. Without this central system, managing user access can become chaotic. You'd have to juggle multiple platforms and applications, which can quickly become messy and confusing.

Automation removes the hassle of manual updates and reduces the risk of errors. It handles tasks like account setup and updates automatically, reducing the risk of mistakes.

Inadequate role-based access control

Image showing role based access control

Inadequate role-based access control (RBAC) can be likened to distributing keys in a building without proper organization. With a well-established RBAC system, individuals may gain access to areas they should, leading to clarity and minimal security risks.

However, with a robust RBAC framework, roles are clearly defined, and access permissions are meticulously assigned based on job responsibilities.

Here's a concise table illustrating the benefits of a robust RBAC framework:

Image of table showing RBAC framework

Poor authentication protocols

Poor authentication protocols leave systems vulnerable to hackers. Robust authentication methods, like multi-factor authentication, act as solid barriers, making unauthorized access significantly more challenging.

You must enable solid authentication protocols in your organization to bolster system security and stay protected against malicious attacks.

Image of table showing poor authentication protocols

Over-provisioning and under-provisioning

Over-provisioning occurs when IT resources are allocated more than what is actually required. This practice is wasteful and can result in confusion and inefficiency. Also, it might put you at the risk of contract breach.

Conversely, under-provisioning entails insufficient allocation of resources, similar to providing just a hammer when a complete SaaS stack is necessary. It leaves individuals without the required tools to perform their tasks effectively.

Under-provisioning will also lead to productivity hassles, decreased ROI, and wasted spend.

Finding the optimal balance between over-provisioning and under-provisioning ensures that resources are allocated efficiently, meeting users' needs without unnecessary waste or inadequacy.

Not using the principle of least privilege for access control

Overlooking the principle of least privilege involves granting individuals excessive access beyond their requirements, while adhering to this principle entails providing them with precisely the access necessary for their job roles. Not following the principle of least privilege for access control can lead to several security risks and vulnerabilities, like,

  • Increased Attack Surface: Granting unnecessary access increases attackers' potential points of entry. If a user account with broad access privileges is compromised, the attacker gains extensive control over the system or network.
  • Data Breaches: Users with excessive access may inadvertently or intentionally access sensitive data they don't need for their tasks. It increases the risk of data breaches or leaks, which can have severe consequences for organizations, including legal liabilities and reputational damage.
  • Misuse of Resources: Users with excessive privileges might consume more resources than necessary, leading to system slowdowns, overloads, or even crashes. It can disrupt operations and impact productivity.
  • Insider Threats: Employees with more access than required may abuse their privileges for personal gain, sabotage, or steal the data. This insider threat can be challenging to detect and mitigate, especially if proper access controls and monitoring mechanisms are not in place.
  • Compliance Violations: Many regulatory standards and industry best practices require organizations to adhere to the principle of least privilege. Failure to do so can result in non-compliance penalties, fines, or legal action.

Adhering to the principle of least privilege is crucial for maintaining a secure and resilient IT environment. It minimizes the potential damage that can result from security incidents and helps organizations control their systems, data, and resources.

Lack of visibility on shadow IT

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Many organizations struggle with visibility into shadow IT during user provisioning processes.

Shadow IT is the practice of using applications without IT approval. Your IT team wouldn’t know these applications exist in your system.

This lack of visibility can lead to various security risks and compliance issues. New employees may inadvertently access unauthorized applications or services without comprehensive, posing significant data security and privacy threats.

Here's a table for understanding the impact of shadow IT.

Image showing a table to understand the risk of shadow IT

A robust SaaS management platform is essential to tackle this issue effectively and foster a robust security environment. Such a platform helps deter and eliminate shadow IT while contributing to a more organized and secure digital infrastructure for your organization.

Lack of collaboration between IT, HR, and Security Teams

The absence of collaboration between IT, HR, and Security Teams presents a significant obstacle to efficient user provisioning processes. Similarly, user access management becomes disjointed and vulnerable when these teams fail to collaborate effectively.

However, when IT, HR, and Security Teams collaborate, they form a cohesive unit capable of aligning user access with business requirements, adhering to regulatory mandates, and fortifying defenses against potential security threats.

Here's a table to understand the consequences of a lack of collaboration between IT, HR, and Security teams.

Image showing a table of consquences of disjointed process

Automate User Provisioning with CloudEagle

Auto-provisioning workflows: CloudEagle's auto-provisioning workflows offer customizable solutions to automate user provisioning within your organization. You can set up these workflows to provide automated SaaS tools access to new employees without much effort from the IT team, potentially saving up to 500+ hours annually.

Get new employees productive from day 1: CloudEagle's auto-provisioning workflows can be configured to suggest relevant applications when a new employee joins automatically. You can set rules based on his roles and departments, and CloudEagle will ensure the user gets the right access to applications.

Image showing auto provisioning rule

Automating user provisioning becomes increasingly crucial as organizations scale. Your IT team cannot manually visit each application to grant access, they need an automated tool like CloudEagle to streamline this repetitive process and focus on their strategy tasks.

User Provisioning and Deprovisioning Streamlining: CloudEagle optimizes the process of granting and revoking user access by seamlessly integrating with your Single Sign-On (SSO) and HRIS systems, consolidating all user data into a centralized location.

Efficient Management from a Single Dashboard: With CloudEagle, HR and IT teams can provision and deprovision users with just one click, eliminating the need to navigate multiple applications. This streamlined process saves valuable time.

Image of CloudEagle's dashboard

Centralized Identity and Access Management: CloudEagle is a centralized platform for managing user identities and access, eliminating reliance on spreadsheets and manual procedures. It enables your IT teams to handle user provisioning and deprovisioning tasks more efficiently.


Establishing an efficient user provisioning system can be complex, but understanding and avoiding common user provisioning mistakes can significantly enhance your organization's security posture and operational efficiency.

From ensuring proper role-based access control to implementing automation, you must do what is needed.

With these advanced proactive measures, you can mitigate security risks and streamline user access management.

By remaining vigilant and continuously improving user provisioning processes, you can safeguard your organization against security breaches, regulatory non-compliance, and unnecessary operational costs.

So, book a demo with CloudEagle to optimize the user provisioning process and enhance your organization's efficiency.

Written by
Joel Platini
Content Writer and Marketer, CloudEagle
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