Effective access control management is becoming more important with the rise in cybercrime and other forms of malicious attacks against businesses. Access control management is crucial for businesses as it helps them limit access within the organization and make sure that only authorized personnel can view, edit or delete sensitive information.
Not every piece of information should be made public. That’s why every organization needs to set clearly understandable boundaries concerning whoever should be allowed to access specific data and files.
This is where access control management comes in – a critical aspect of cybersecurity in any organization. As companies grow, the complexity of managing access to information and systems also increases. Proper access control management ensures that only authorized personnel can access sensitive information and perform specific tasks.
In this article, we’ll look at the importance of access control management, the different areas involved, and some of the things to look out for when considering the purchase of new software with security features, implementing an access control system, and managing it in your growing organization.
Why access control systems are so important for the security of an organization
As a leader, the last thing you want is for the wrong people to access the right information. This holds particularly true for a growing organization in light of the threats out there. In fact, the number of online security breaches has been rising steadily. Cyber-attacks now cost organizations billions of dollars each year, thereby making access control more important than ever before. Let’s see why you need an effective access control management system for your organization:
It will help set clear identification protocols
Unchecked access and poor security protocols might allow small organizations to “wing it,” but the faster you grow, the greater your security concerns. Your access control system (ACS) will identify who requires access to any specific file or information.
Moreover, it will help you determine which employees, clients, or other individuals can access data and to what extent. It will also enable you to establish day-to-day responsibilities and duties for managing personnel.
Ultimately, you will have to create a system that controls the flow of information without stopping it. In other words, your access control system (ACS) should streamline work without creating any bottlenecks.
It implements the least privilege protocol
The “least privilege” concept is often used as a managerial policy. It aims to reduce the inherent danger of unrestricted access. Users with excessive access might see and even copy non-public personal information (NPI).
It is important to note that even legitimate users can make mistakes as they shift between departments. If they frequently transfer their access privileges within the company, they might leave their systems open to attack. Here again, it is the manager’s responsibility to ensure the implementation of the least privilege concept to minimize risks.
VPNs and access control
In-house access control management is a great idea, but you might need to access sites restricted by geographical locations or government control. However, using a random VPN might compromise your access control system.
In fact, you will need a reliable VPN with strong data encryption. A dependable kill switch is also necessary since it is also the hallmark of a truly secure VPN. It will help avoid data leaks by accident or negligence. A strict no-logs policy is also another must-have feature in a truly great VPN – it will guarantee that information is present only for the eyes of the user. Finally, any VPN you install in your organization’s system should allow instantaneous access and operate at high speeds for seamless data transfer.
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Key benefits of using an access control system
A well-rounded and properly implemented ACS has plenty of benefits for management and employees alike:
Positive user experience
All employees entering an access-controlled site or workstation would have to produce their physical or digital credentials. Instead of asking for permission every time they need to use the system, your staff members would simply use their ACS credentials to log in and out.
Creating a standard operating procedure (SOP) would simplify the whole process and lead to a smooth, fast, and positive experience for everyone.
Prevents employees from misusing data
Insider threat within an organization is one of the leading causes of security breaches today. An effective ACS will make it challenging for ex-employees and outsiders alike to enter your database. However, that’s only possible if you maintain and update your system regularly.
If you terminate employees without instantly withdrawing their permissions and credentials, you might give them the means to look for retribution. They can misuse sensitive data and leak it to malicious actors who can do serious harm to your company.
The same goes for newbies – make sure to review the permissions new employees receive when onboarded and what parts of the database they have access to. While they might not compromise data maliciously, the new environment can be confusing, and mistakes can happen, especially if they are not properly trained and educated on security protocols.
It can associate actions with individual users
Your ACS would assign a unique identifier or user ID for exclusive use only. It will crosscheck the claimed identity of the authorized users every time they log onto the organization’s systems, networks, and applications. Ideally, your ACS would detect suspicious activity and flag the system and its user in real-time.
Organizations have to comply with regulatory requirements according to clearly defined SOPS. These might include audits, certificates, and other government necessities. Financial institutions, in particular, have to go through both internal and external compliance audits regularly. Here too, an ACS will allow you to give instant access to auditors and other personnel in certain areas needed for the evaluation. On the other hand, the lack of an ACS or strict access rules might lead to lower ratings in the audit report.
Help protect your website
Website crashes can cripple an organization since it cannot display any information regarding its products and services. Here too, an ACS can act as a secure barrier that will protect your site and online sales systems.
By limiting the number of requests that a server receives from any given IP address, ACS can prevent overwhelming traffic spikes that could cause a website to crash. Additionally, access control methods access control systems for buildings can be configured to block access from suspicious or malicious IP addresses, preventing denial-of-service attacks that can bring down a website. By controlling who can access a website and how frequently they can make requests, ACS helps help ensure the stability and availability of a website for legitimate users.
With so many data breaches these days, there’s no room for error when it comes to securing sensitive company data. That’s why you should stay alert, regularly review privileges and permissions, and keep your access control systems up-to-date. After all, your ACS can act as your first line of defense against all internal and external threats.
Related articles on access control management
- StoriesOnBoard security and access control management features
- SAML-based SSO authentication in StoriesOnBoard
- Advanced workspace security in StoriesOnBoard: domain and IP address-based workspace level access control management and two logs to monitor your workspace.