It is October, and with Halloween just around the corner, people are watching horror movies this month more than ever. But there's a year-round event that scares HR teams to their core…managing the growing number of external third parties such as contractors, vendors, partners, affiliates, guests, and interns. While there are many benefits compelling organizations to utilize these non-employee types, this population of outsiders creates a new set of business challenges, including hidden costs and unmeasured risks.
These non-employees can feel like the plot line of a zombie movie where a seemingly minor event, that appears easy to overcome, cascades quickly into a full outbreak and soon turns the entire landscape into an apocalyptic nightmare.
While this identity analogy may seem like a dramatic Hollywood scene, it's more common than you'd think. At the core of this story is the HR team tasked with the material challenge of managing third-party non-employees. This exercise is challenging to perform because, unlike with full-time employees, non-employee data must be collected collaboratively from sources inside and outside of the organization before access to networks and platforms is granted.
Rarely does the HR team have sufficient resources and systems in place for the timely and effective collection, processing, and operationalization of non-employee information. As a result, shortcuts are taken and mistakes occur. At first, this doesn't feel like a big deal. A contractor gets more access than he should, or an intern's identity isn't terminated at the end of the summer. A small oversight. But then, a cybercriminal exploits the oversight and gains access. To what? Your data, your systems, your network, your customers…everything. Cue the zombies.
Our Hot Take? HR does not want to manage your non-employees or your third parties or your guests.
And nor should they! Instead, their superpowers (and time) should be dedicated to, and specifically focused on, managing the primary asset for any business – its employees. Their area of expertise in delivering core business functions such as talent acquisition, payroll, benefits, training, and career development is vital to the success of the company.
With the global shift to a "Gig Economy," many organizations started leveraging more non-employees and, for some organizations, these external users vastly outnumber employees. In turn, this zombie army – which increases daily in number – requires a cure before the HR team’s bandwidth is dedicated solely to the perpetual effort of managing non-employees.
Just when things begin to look the bleakest for your HR team – less time to focus on employees, increasing costs for licensing non-employees in the HR system, and limited visibility to the timing for on and off-boarding – cue the sun rising in the background to shine a light on a new day…there is a cure and resources that can help!
There is a clear path forward to reduce risk from a security-related incident, improve compliance with your regulatory requirements, create quick and easy processes to onboard, off-board, and revalidate your non-employees, as well as provide increased control for access assigned to your third-party resources.
SecZetta can help organizations reduce the cost, time to value, and risk of using non-employees by providing organizations with the ability to delegate administration to both internal and external sponsors, transforming manual steps into automated workflows, and by using similar workflow configurations as your HR systems so no special training is required.
As a leading partner of SecZetta, Cirrus Cyber creates a line of defense for each client by reviewing the business processes necessary to support managing third-party resources and tailors SecZetta for your business to isolate the tasks required to properly track, on- and off-board, and bring visibility to the forgotten non-employee zombies in your organization.
Not only can the HR team regain their focus on the employees, but the Hiring Managers and the Security, Compliance, and Procurement teams in your company will be happy campers again. They won't live in constant fear of a non-employee zombie apocalypse.