AI in the COVID-19 era pt. 2: Staying connected with remote access
Element AI Element AI
April 15 5 min

AI in the COVID-19 era pt. 2: Staying connected with remote access

This blog is the second of a series of three articles entitled “AI in the coronavirus era”. We explore how AI has the power to help businesses, organizations and individuals to keep their everyday processes and tasks running smoothly in the context of today’s novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. In this blog, we discuss staying connected, and ensuring that everyone has access to the right tools and information, when they need them, while working in new locations or from different devices.

The coronavirus outbreak has resulted in unprecedented levels of remote working, all around the world. Companies that for years avoided adapting to emerging business practices have had to adapt at record speeds. But in the rush to adapt to the new normal, it’s easy for some things to slip between the cracks. Governing remote access permissions is one such example. Businesses need to be cognizant that access must still be appropriate, adequate, and secure. In this blog, we explain how AI can help.

The trouble with remote access permissions

Guaranteeing the right levels of access has been a problem for businesses long before this period of mass remote working began. IT admins have to make top-down decisions about permissions that affect large groups of people at a time.

Doing this in such a way that ensures the right people have access to the right documents and folders, and that others don’t, is a difficult balancing act. Being too lenient poses a security risk by giving the wrong people access to sensitive information. But being too strict hinders productivity across the organization, as too many people have to leap over cumbersome security obstacles to complete their everyday tasks.

Remote working makes the situation even more complicated. It’s much more difficult to manage these permissions when users aren’t tied to a physical location or shared IT environment. And when you throw users’ own devices into the mix, you have an added cybersecurity risk to manage. Now, with the novel coronavirus outbreak, companies are need to find the solution to these problems in a matter of days.

How AI can help

The challenges of access permissions, whether on-premises or remotely, is essentially one of scale. In most situations, an IT admin can judge which access permissions an employee needs in a few minutes or less. The problem is, in companies of hundreds, thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of employees, a few minutes per employee adds up to far more time than is feasible. And unless you want your entire IT team to spend most of their working life painstakingly assigning users’ permissions on a case by case basis, you have to make your peace with errors and difficulties.

At least, that was the case before AI access governance began to offer a better alternative. AI can transform identity management, by learning how to assign permissions at the individual level, and then scaling that up over the entire company.

An AI-powered access governor can analyze the available data to recommend roles and predict changes. By continuously analyzing patterns and changes, it can take much of the strain away from IT staff, allowing them to turn their focus to prioritizing critical requests.

Using an AI access governance solution, the benefits are twofold: firstly, creating efficiencies for the IT team, and secondly by increasing the accuracy of access permissions across the whole company. All in all, it can draw an end to the unpalatable trade-off between user experience and security.

Access Governor: The Element AI approach

The problems with remote access permissions are now suddenly acute for a great swathe of organizations. With entire companies now operating remotely, many for the first time, the problem has become more acute. IT admins are now finding that they have to manage vast amounts of new devices in their IT environment, signing in from new locations, all of which need to be kept safe and secure.

Element AI Access Governor was developed to help businesses keep on top of their permissions governance, without wasting excessive time. The system creates real efficiencies in the governance process by analyzing your existing permissions and creating concrete recommendations based on this data. It does this by comparing data points related to an employee’s role, department, location, and the kind of work they’re likely to do on a daily basis.

As well as this, Access Governor is crucial during the onboarding process, whether the employee joins remotely or on-site. It provides recommendations as new licenses are created, which enable IT admins to accelerate the onboarding process and increase accuracy, while maintaining a clear and comprehensive audit trail.

The unprecedented era of mass remote working we now find ourselves in brings up a whole host of new challenges and difficulties for companies and employees alike. There’s not much that AI can do to help employees find the mute button on remote calls, or reduce cabin fever from being inside for weeks on end – but it can certainly help companies with acute security challenges like governing remote access permissions. The rest is down to the strength of your employees and the company culture they all play a vital part in.


In the third part of this series, we’ll cover task management in the remote working era, and consider how work can not only continue, but can thrive as smoothly and efficiently as ever. If you want to find out more about how AI can help your company, both now and when you’re back in the office, get in touch with our team today to find out more.