CASE STUDYcentertopFERC Compliance and Identity ManagementUsing Identity Management technology to automate compliance with...
Case Study: FERC & IDM
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Case Study: FERC & IDM


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Using Identity Management to Fulfill FERC Regulations

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Case Study: FERC & IDM

  1. 1. CASE STUDYcentertopFERC Compliance and Identity ManagementUsing Identity Management technology to automate compliance with FERC regulationsWilliams Companies (NYSE: WMB) is an integrated natural gas company with interests across the US and abroad. As with many large corporations, managing the movement of people across the company presents serious challenges to their business units and IT staff in safeguarding their IT assets. Williams has been successful in following best practices in business processes and technology to implement IT security controls across their organization.A major factor in the complexity of managing IT security within Williams is the necessity to comply with the mandates of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Williams chose Partners Consulting for our extensive experience in rationalizing vision and objectives and fusing identity management technology with business processes to solve challenges with regulatory compliance and operational efficiency.ChallengesOne major challenge is in ensuring accounts are properly managed as they move in and out of regulated and non-regulated business units. To prevent conflicts of interest and opportunity for fraudulent activities, FERC regulations forbid individuals from occupying positions or accessing systems in both business units at the same time.As employees and contractors move across the organization, proper record keeping of transactions and approvals for access granted must be maintained as well as the account histories for each system account assigned to an individual. In the event those users return to an area of the business they once belonged to, the ideal scenario is to re-enable previous accounts. Manual efforts to manage a workforce in this way with thousands of people are typically ineffective.SolutionPrior to the transition to an Identity Management system, Williams relied on manual account management and help desk call centers to assist users with routine account management functions. With Partners’ assistance, Williams was able to convert their business processes into an automated system and integrate with key systems for automated account management. Williams leveraged Partners to take on the difficult challenge of mapping out the processes that result from changes within their ERP system and how they affect key enterprise systems and network accounts. The team then used those processes as the baseline for optimization and integration to the automated account management system.ResultsImplementation of the Identity Management (IdM) system has enabled Williams to put in place a scalable infrastructure platform to address many of their challenges in managing accounts across their enterprise. This best practice approach of leveraging our services has resulted in the following benefits:Compliance with FERC mandates as it relates to account management is now built into the automated processes; End user productivity is no longer affected by efforts to ensure compliance with separation of concernsAll activities such as account movement, access assignment, and manager approvals are logged and an audit trail is created to document each transaction for recordkeeping and retrievalWilliams greatly reduces the opportunity for human error by relying on rules, workflows, and configurations to accurately execute their business processes and requirements for account managementFor the parts of the organization that serve the others, SLA’s are important for both goal setting and customer satisfaction. Williams has been able to eliminate many of their SLA’s by virtue of some processes being instantaneous rather than taking several days before their Identity Management system was in placeHelp desk calls for password resets and account lockouts previously made up 30% of their calls and have been significantly reduced for all systems now integrated into the platformEspecially important to the regulated business units is the new Identity Management system provides the ability for Williams to be able to lock down accounts immediatelyAccount manipulations directly on systems and outside the IdM system are easily identified and notifications are sent to IT security for immediate investigation; thus enabling prevention of accidental system misuse or intentional security attacks.About UsPartners delivers this level of value with all of our clients using our experience and knowledge of the domain as well as our proven 5DMethodology™ for ensuring success. We are recognized leaders in the Identity and Access Governance space with service offerings that range from defining a corporate vision to full implementation to supporting an operational program.For more information visit our website: | 1(866) 736.5500 <br />