Home > Smart RBAC and SSO Implementation Improves Security, Management, and Workflow

Smart RBAC and SSO Implementation Improves Security, Management, and Workflow

SolarWinds® Database Performance Monitor's (DPM) recent introduction of two important product features—Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) and Single Sign-On (SSO)—gives us the opportunity to initiate a conversation about topics that are relatable to anybody at a modern-day company or organization: security, workflow, and effective management. How can a powerful monitoring solution improve the way an organization operates while also making the way it handles data safer? This week, we announced that RBAC and SSO are now available to all enterprise users of SolarWinds DPM. Though implementing these capabilities required a lot of planning on our end, their use by customers is streamlined and straightforward. For anybody unfamiliar with these terms, RBAC essentially allows organizations to divide users of SolarWinds DPM into customizable teams with roles, and then assign privileges to those teams to control what the team members are able to view or interact with in the app; SSO adds DPM to an ever-growing list of premier applications that can integrate with a central identity provider. This integration unifies individuals’ login information, securely—companies can now provision users with a single master credential that applies to all the separate systems those people need to access. Neither RBAC nor SSO is very complicated for customers to use—even casually savvy tech users can quickly understand how they work, especially in DPM’s intuitive UI. On the surface, some of the benefits of these features are clear. The security perks are obvious. SSO can also streamline productivity, as it gets rid of the hassle of juggling passwords. But beyond the most immediate upgrades, there are other, bigger implications that make RBAC and SSO truly noteworthy.

The Cloud Is Viable

Enterprise companies around the world prize security. That means they need to know who has access to what systems, at what time, from which terminals, etc. SAML-based SSO, now supported by DPM, is the best, cutting-edge solution to answer those questions. Along with RBAC, which provides assurances that even authorized users see and manipulate the correct information, SSO satisfies the highest security standards. With DPM, for the first time a SaaS platform offers enterprise organizations a cloud-hosted solution as the superior choice over on-premise alternatives. The benefits of a cloud-hosted solution are manifold. Organizations don’t need to dedicate servers, resources, and money to running the system themselves. There’s much less overhead. Life is simpler for operations departments. Scalability and growth are possible to a far greater degree. The system is in the hands of the experts who built it, who are focused on and dedicated to its upkeep and well-being. Database performance monitoring has now joined the collection of modern industries with a preferred cloud-based option, and the list of pluses—and possibilities—will only continue to grow.

Sharing and Deep Linking Are Bulletproof

One of DPM’s most popular features is also one that seems fairly minor at first. Deep linking refers to the ability of users to share views by simply copying and sending the URLs of the pages they’re looking at. Want to show a coworker across the country the readings generated by a complex filter? Just copy and paste. RBAC makes deep linking (and sharing information in general) safer than ever. If there was ever any liability involved in deep linking it lay in the fact that the very ease that made it possible also made it possible, in theory, for sensitive in-app views to make their way onto monitors where they shouldn’t be. RBAC adds a layer of protection to deep linking; if you click on a link to a view you shouldn’t see… you won’t see it! Beyond security, such improvements also foster collaboration and confidence, as users no longer need to worry about sensitive data contained in those links when sharing their findings in SolarWinds DPM.

Adoption of the App Is Faster and Easier

Using any new system requires a certain learning curve and investment. During that process, any source of friction, frustration, or lag is going to erode new users’ will power. Quite simply, RBAC and SSO make everything more streamlined, from logging into SolarWinds DPM, to sharing information (as discussed above), to making sure you’re focused in the part of the app most relevant to your responsibilities. In a platform as potentially complex as a sophisticated database monitoring system, new users are at risk of feeling overwhelmed—the focus and guardrails provided here should alleviate those problems at enterprise organizations, where large numbers of users will need to adopt quickly.

Education and Exploration Flourish

Security can work in two ways: it can keep people outside the system from breaking in, and it can keep people inside it from breaking the things they find around them. RBAC and SSO provide both benefits, and while the latter is often overlooked, it shouldn’t be. As role-based access is implemented, the “read-only” permission will frequently be assigned to prevent users from throwing a wrench in operations outside their areas of expertise. But the smartest organizations will use it a different way: they’ll give novices read-only access as a safe vehicle inside of which they can explore and learn, examining all the different parts of the system without any fear that they’ll push the wrong button or move a fatal dial and mess everything up. With extremely precise control, administrators can use RBAC as an educational device, providing sanitized and unbreakable views for new users to browse while familiarizing themselves with the system. And, of course, because it’s easy to change roles when necessary, when the novices are ready for “read-write,” it only takes a moment to disengage the training wheels and grant full access.

A New Era for SaaS Database Monitoring

For even the most specialized applications, smart design and mindfulness can offer benefits even bigger than the solution’s original purpose. In implementing RBAC and SSO, SolarWinds DPM recognizes the requirements of industry-leading enterprise businesses. By making systems both more secure and more streamlined, these features enable more users at these companies to access powerful technologies; companies can grow commensurately, and both tech providers and users can continue to address the difficult problems that require such innovation. We’re excited to see our users put these features to use. See SolarWinds DPM database management solutions here.
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