Our Security Wiki.
Knowledge is power.

What is On-Call Access Management?

On-call access management is a process or system that allows organizations to control and regulate access to their systems, data, and infrastructure on an as-needed basis. It typically involves providing certain employees or third-party service providers with temporary or conditional access rights to specific resources during designated on-call periods.

Here’s how on-call access management works:

  1. Access Requests: When someone requires access to a particular system or resource, they submit a request. This could be an employee, a contractor, or a support team member who needs access to resolve an issue or perform maintenance.
  2. Authorization: Access requests are reviewed and approved by an appropriate authority or system administrator. The authorization process ensures that only qualified individuals with a legitimate need can obtain access.
  3. On-Call Scheduling: In many cases, on-call access management is closely tied to an on-call schedule. Organizations maintain a schedule that designates specific times or days when particular individuals or teams are responsible for managing and maintaining systems. During their on-call periods, these individuals may require elevated access privileges.
  4. Temporary Access: On-call personnel are granted temporary access rights during their designated on-call periods. This access is often limited to only the resources and systems necessary for them to perform their duties.
  5. Monitoring and Auditing: Access is closely monitored and audited to ensure that it is used responsibly and that there are no unauthorized activities. This helps maintain security and accountability.
  6. Revocation: When the on-call period ends or the specific task is completed, access rights are typically revoked or reduced back to their regular levels.

On-call access management is particularly important in IT and cybersecurity contexts. It helps organizations strike a balance between providing necessary access to those who need it while maintaining security and reducing the risk of unauthorized access. It also helps ensure that employees and third-party vendors are held accountable for their actions while working on critical systems during on-call hours.


  • Who typically needs on-call access?

    On-call access is often needed by IT personnel, system administrators, support teams, and other professionals responsible for managing and maintaining critical systems. Third-party service providers or contractors may also require on-call access when providing services to an organization.

  • How is on-call access requested?

    On-call access is typically requested through a formal process, which may involve submitting a request to a designated authority or system administrator. The request should specify the reason for needing access, the systems or resources required, and the time period for which access is necessary.

  • How is on-call access authorized?

    Authorization for on-call access is typically granted by an appropriate authority, such as a manager, team lead, or system administrator. The authorization process involves reviewing the access request to ensure it aligns with the individual’s responsibilities and needs.

  • How is on-call access managed during an emergency or incident?

    During emergencies or incidents, on-call access management may allow for expedited access requests and authorizations. This is to ensure that critical issues can be addressed promptly, but access is still closely monitored.

  • How is on-call access audited and monitored?

    On-call access is audited and monitored through various tools and systems that track user activities. Logs are reviewed to detect any suspicious or unauthorized actions. Regular audits are conducted to ensure compliance and security.

  • What are the security considerations for on-call access management?

    Security considerations for on-call access management include limiting access to only what is necessary, enforcing strong authentication and authorization processes, encrypting communications, and regularly reviewing and updating access policies to mitigate potential risks.