Stopping threats through the prolific world of access management.

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Restricting access to anything in this world is a solid way of controlling its security, but, as the number of user profiles and platforms increases in the IT security field, is there any real guarantee of safety? 

Certainly, by controlling who and what can access your systems and data we can eliminate the number of threats. Nonetheless, truly secure networks are often covered by a number of cybersecurity tools and layered techniques. Hackers compromise networks and devices by accessing systems when entry points are not secure.

Data access has to be controlled to better the safety and security of organisations across the globe. To do this, a great understanding of who or what needs access, and under what conditions, is just as important as knowing who needs to be kept out. A good approach to identity and access management will make it hard for attackers to pretend they are legitimate, whilst keeping it as simple as possible for legitimate users to access what they need.

Access management technologies today are used in a few different ways, they can create, secure, and manage user accounts within a system or network. This includes things like setting up strong passwords and enforcing password policies, enabling two-factor authentication, regularly updating account permissions and roles, and monitoring and tracking user activity to identify and prevent potential security threats.

There are multiple approaches to securing access to business systems ranging from simple solutions such as MFA & Password Managers, through to advance IAM solutions and Zero-trust or Risk based authentication.

Let’s discover a few approaches that are available today…

Enterprise password managers are software tools that allow organisations to securely store, manage, and share login credentials for multiple users and systems within a centralised and secure platform. These help organisations as they ensure the security and privacy of sensitive information by providing a secure platform for credential management.

Throughout organisations users have the ever-complex task of maintaining more and more credentials for different applications. It is vital that these are kept secure and unique to minimise potential compromise.

IAM (identity and access management) enables authorised individuals to access resources at the right times for the right reasons. IAM is a framework of policies and technologies that authenticates and authorises access to applications, data, systems, and cloud platforms.

Traditionally, organisations have secured applications and business services with a username and password, but with the increase in weak passwords and password rotation, advanced threats and relying on users to keep passwords secure, it is no longer a workable solution.

MFA (multi-factor authentication) is an access security product used to verify a user’s identity at login. It adds two or more identity-checking steps to user logins by use of secure authentication tools

“something you have, something you are, something you know”

Essentially MFA enforces that the users trying to access applications or data are who they say they are. MFA is an effective way to protect against many security threats that target user passwords and accounts, such as phishing, brute-force attacks, credential exploitation and more.

Every organisation will have different user accounts that will have different levels of access. Accounts with privileged access will be a high target for hackers as it could give them access to sensitive data, an opportunity to distribute malware or bypass existing security controls, and erase audit trails to hide their activity, resulting in them being present within your network, unnoticed for days, weeks or months.

Like so many cybersecurity measures PAM (Privileged Access Management) is a vital component in your strategy. PAM solutions work by controlling and managing access to sensitive systems, applications, or data that require elevated privileges. Typically through the use of a central platform that sets and enforces access policies as well as removing the requirement for admin users to use, know & store passwords in insecure ways.

With web/cloud based applications on the rise, the number of credentials, access requirements, roles and permissions is ever growing. Utilising a cloud directory for account management is a great way to centrally manage application permissions.

Many web-based apps support authentication methods such as SAML & Oauth and a cloud identity provider (IdP) can manage user lifecycle, enforce password policy and add in additional security features such as MFA and zero trust or risk-based authentication.

Finally, risk-based authentication uses risk assessment algorithms to evaluate the risk level of an attempted login. The algorithms take into account various factors, such as the location of the login attempt, the type of device being used, and the user’s login history, to determine the likelihood that the login is legitimate.

Access management solutions are fundamental to any cyber strategy and need to be utilised by organisations to authenticate, authorise and audit access to on-premises and cloud-based applications and IT systems.

For more information on access management please visit our webpage or simply get in touch with a member of our team.