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Controlling User Admin Costs in Higher Ed without Compromising Security and Compliance

By Fastpath


3min read

Controlling User Admin Costs in Higher Ed without Compromising Security and Compliance

While higher education institutions must maintain a high level of security and compliance, they face increased challenges due to rising costs and decreasing budgets. In addition, a combination of external and internal threats means that they must control access to their applications more than ever before to prevent data breaches and compliance risks.

Many higher education institutions have deployed an Identity Governance and Administration (IGA) solution to ensure they maintain a highly secure and compliant environment cost-effectively.

What is Identity Governance and Administration (IGA)?

An IGA solution helps organizations automate the management of user identities and the resources they are entitled to use. To be effective, an IGA solution must allow higher education administrators to automate the join-move-leave process so that they grant students and employees the right levels of access when they join the institution, change courses or jobs and when they finish their studies or leave their jobs. In addition, the solution should make granting more access and resetting passwords quick and efficient – in most cases, without any IT intervention.

Benefits of IGA for Higher Education Institutions

Deploying an IGA solution provides the following benefits to higher education institutions:

  • Improves security – Granting access based on pre-defined roles and responsibilities reduces the chances of IT granting access to the wrong systems because of human error. Institutions can automate the process of granting access further by linking the IGA solution to an authoritative source, such as a student record database or employee database. These authoritative sources provide a single-source-of-truth regarding when users join, move and leave. This helps to reduce the risk of data breaches and ensures that sensitive information is only accessible to authorized users.
  • Improves compliance – Having a structured set of automated processes helps higher education institutions comply with data protection regulations such as the Family Educational Right and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
  • Reduces IT administration requirements – Automating the process of granting and revoking user access (typically using an authoritative source mentioned above) means that the IT team can focus on more valuable assignments rather than on mundane tasks.
  • Improve student experience – By helping IT departments become more efficient, IGA solutions help higher education institutions improve the student experience by ensuring that they have the right access to the right systems from day one and that they can quickly request and be granted additional access due to changing course requirements.

Implementing IGA in Higher Education Institutions

Implementing IGA in higher education institutions is a complex process that requires careful planning and attention to detail. Here are some key steps for implementing IGA in higher education institutions:

  1. Higher education institutions should assess their security practices, regulatory requirements and user access to sensitive information. Doing this will ensure that the final IGA implementation meets the institution’s needs.
  2. Higher education institutions should develop an implementation plan for IGA. This should include a timeline for implementation, a budget, and a clear understanding of the resources required to implement IGA. IT can use this plan to set expectations with the rest of the organization and help anticipate blockers to the project before they become critical.
  3. In addition to implementing the IGA solution, higher education institutions should ensure that they have a plan for integrating with existing authoritative sources and target systems and how they will train users and administrators on how to use the solution.


Higher education institutions are facing increased pressure to control costs while ensuring the security and privacy of sensitive information. An Identity Governance and Administration solution can effectively control costs while maintaining a high level of security and compliance. By implementing an IGA solution, a higher education institution can reduce the administrative overheads and costs associated with managing user access and improve their overall efficiency without compromising security and compliance.

To learn more about how Fastpath Identity can help with your IGA project, check out our recent webinar: https://www.gofastpath.com/reduce-your-it-workload-with-iga-on-demand