Why Access Management Is Critical For Cybersecurity

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Why Access Management Is Critical For Cybersecurity

It’s easy to forget how connected we are both at home and at work. As you leave your car in the station car park and jump on the 7.04 a.m. train to Parliament, you’ll likely have already used a handful of cloud-based apps to start your working day – anything from Google Suite to Slack.

With the rapid pace of change across digital workplaces, the risk of cyber threats continues to escalate. Poor cybersecurity hygiene for both individuals and businesses often results in costly data breaches and malware attacks. These threats can emerge from various sources, including everyday cloud tools.

The average person relies on 36 cloud-based services daily, underscoring the need for effective access management to protect sensitive data and resources. Breaching just one account in a business application can have significant repercussions. Hackers highly value login credentials, with various online account details fetching substantial sums on the dark web. For instance, an email administrator login can command prices ranging from $500 to $140,000.

Addressing access management is crucial in your cybersecurity strategy to avert severe financial consequences and maintain your reputation in the event of a data breach. In this article, we’ll explore six key reasons why access management has become indispensable in maintaining robust data security and safeguarding valuable assets.

Putting security first with Identity and Access Management (IAM)

Reducing insider threats

Insider threats include both deliberate misconduct and unintentional mistakes, originating from employees or compromised accounts. Identity and Access Management (IAM) solutions empower organisations to implement precise access control, ensuring that employees only access data related to their roles.

By revoking unnecessary privileges, companies can mitigate insider threats effectively. Access management additionally enhances visibility into user actions, enabling real-time identification and response to suspicious behaviour.

Enhancing data protection

Data breaches can have severe consequences for businesses, including reputational damage, financial losses, regulatory penalties, and even permanent closure for those unable to recover. Successful access management helps strengthen data protection by limiting access to sensitive information and enforcing strong authentication measures.

Multi-factor authentication (MFA), encryption, and user authentication restrict who can access what within a system. Access management solutions also enable organisations to track and control data transfers, ensuring data remains secure throughout its lifecycle.

By implementing vigorous access controls, businesses can mitigate risks, reduce the likelihood of unauthorised data access, and protect their most valuable assets.

Adhering to regulatory compliance

Many businesses rate complying with data privacy laws as a major concern. To help offset that concern, Identity and Access Management (IAM) can play a crucial role in guaranteeing adherence to regulatory requirements, offering essential controls and audit trails.

IAM tools can also facilitate the adoption of best practices, including Role-Based Access Control (RBAC), the application of least privilege principles, and the implementation of contextual Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA).

Through access management, businesses can demonstrate their compliance with regulatory mandates. IAM solutions also assist in conducting routine access reviews, allowing organisations to maintain precise records of user access and permissions.

Simplifying user provisioning and deactivation

Managing user accounts and access privileges manually can be a time-consuming and error-prone task. Even a single mistyped entry can heighten the risk of a security breach.

Access management solutions automate the processes of user provisioning and de-provisioning, ensuring that employees maintain appropriate access rights throughout their employment.

When a new team member joins an organisation, access management simplifies the onboarding process by rapidly provisioning necessary user accounts and permissions based on their role.

Conversely, when a team member chooses to leave, IAM tools ensure the swift deactivation of accounts and the revocation of access rights. This ensures your business has diminished the risks associated with dormant or unauthorised accounts.

Do you recall the significant data breach at Colonial Pipeline a few years ago?

The breach stemmed from an old, unused business VPN account that had never been properly disabled.

The streamlining of user provisioning and deactivation not only strengthens security but also improves operational efficiency.

Enabling secure remote access

Over the past decade, two major shifts have significantly transformed the traditional concept of the “office.” These shifts include the widespread adoption of remote work and the growing dependence on cloud-based services. As a result, ensuring secure remote access has become imperative for businesses.

Identity and Access Management (IAM) solutions play a pivotal role in providing strong authentication and authorisation for remote users. This empowers them to securely access corporate resources and data, regardless of whether they are working from home, travelling, or using mobile devices. Access management guarantees that this access occurs without compromising security.

Notable features within IAM include Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), Single Sign-On (SSO), and Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). These components collectively secure remote access while preserving the integrity and confidentiality of corporate data.

Improving your IT team’s productivity

Utilising IAM can greatly enhance productivity when you consider the substantial time your HR or IT team spends on provisioning user accounts. Adding all those login credentials can be time-consuming, not to mention determining user access permissions for each tool.

IAM systems automate this entire process. By implementing role-based access protocols, your teams can swiftly assign the correct level of access. If an employee leaves, the system can also promptly revoke access.

Elevate your Melbourne businesses’ cybersecurity with access management

From insider threats to data security, access management is critical to safeguarding your business.

Reach out to our team to help create a tailored IAM system to strengthen your access security.

About the author

Yener is the founder and Managing Director of Intuitive IT. Prior to running his own business Yener worked for a number of corporate organisations where he gained invaluable experience and skills, as well as an understanding of how IT can complement and improve business outcomes.