Strategies for Effective Access Management in Your Organization

Access management requires a flexible architecture to address changing technologies, user needs, and business opportunities. It should incorporate the Principle of Least Privilege, separation of duties, and a continuous audit to prevent insider threats.

Implementing these access management best practices can help you improve operational efficiency while reducing the risk of cyberattacks. This includes implementing MFA, using the Principle of Least Privilege, removing orphaned accounts, and continuously reviewing and updating privileges.

Invest in a Security Solution

A security solution like an Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) can help protect your organization against cyberattacks and other threats. An IPS can monitor network traffic in real time and automatically detect any malicious activity, such as a cyberattack or policy violation, and block it from accessing your sensitive data.

Identity and Access Management (IAM) gives secure access to an organization’s assets—like software, information, and data—to verified entities. It includes two main parts: authentication and authorization. Authentication is the process of verifying a person’s identity, while authorization is the process of granting them access to certain resources on a need-to-know basis.

By combining user accounts and granting fine-grained control over what users may access, IAM solutions can streamline these procedures and lower the danger of unwanted access to your critical data.

Additionally, they may automate the onboarding and offboarding procedures to guarantee that new recruits have access to the required systems and that access is immediately removed when an employee departs the organization. Role-based access control (RBAC), which assigns users varying degrees of access based on preset work roles and may adapt to their changing demands, is a feature used by most IAM solutions.

Implement a Zero-Trust Policy

A zero-trust policy is essential as the business world shifts to remote work. Rather than relying on the perimeter security model, which determines network access based on where users are, a zero-trust policy is based on who the user and device are and what they need to do.

This is accomplished by gathering rich signals such as the device, application, user and network context, time of day, and risk score to assess the threat level and make access decisions. Using these risk indicators, a zero trust policy answers six questions about the network request: who is trying to gain access, what are they doing, why, when and where is it happening, and how should access be granted.

It’s also critical to use role-based access control (RBAC), which uses roles in an IAM system to assign permissions based on what users need to do their job. This makes it more difficult for a malicious actor to spoof a user and ensures that users only have granular access to the necessary resources.

Implement a Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) Solution

Role-based access control (RBAC) reduces security risk by allowing users the necessary access. It helps IT administrators manage the onboarding and offboarding of new employees, contractors, or guest users and frees them from manually configuring individual permissions for every user. RBAC also improves security by preventing a user’s privilege creep from becoming a security threat.

However, to implement a robust RBAC solution, you must carefully analyze how individuals across departments perform their tasks and design roles with minimal permissions. It is also important to roll out RBAC in stages to avoid disruptions and increase the effectiveness of the policy. Additionally, it is essential to implement a centralized system to manage access and a regular review process to prevent potential security vulnerabilities.

Implement a Continuous Audit

Unlike traditional auditing, which is conducted at predetermined intervals and may uncover errors after they’ve occurred, continuous auditing can instantly reveal mistakes, omissions, or fraud. It can also help you identify security risks before they become a problem.

Continuous monitoring provides a more holistic picture of your network and privileged access management (PAM) infrastructure. It can include all your employees’ systems, including ERPs, mainframe systems, off-the-shelf applications, and temporary infrastructure, such as containers and serverless frameworks. It can also include shadow admin accounts, which are users not included in your privileged account groups but have administrative access permissions. Malicious actors can exploit these to escalate their privileges.

By implementing a continuous audit, you can reduce the risk of internal data breaches and security risks caused by disgruntled former employees with privileged access that was never properly revoked. However, it’s important to note that continuous auditing is a process that requires a significant commitment of time and resources. It’s important to carefully weigh the cost-benefits of implementing this monitoring type before deciding how frequently it should occur.