Indifference to Cybersecurity is like leaving the henhouse door open and waiting for the fox have its fun. With the growing proliferation of cyber threats, you may find out just how costly data breaches and malware attacks are. Attacks come from all vectors, including the cloud tools you use every day.

According to Zippia, the average employee uses 36 cloud-based services every workday. Managing access to sensitive data and resources has become crucial. It's a vital piece to maintaining robust security. One breached account in a business app can lead to significant consequences.

Stealing login credentials are good-paying crimes for hackers. Various online accounts can be a goldmine on the Dark Web. Depending on the size or stature of an organization, an email administrator’s login can command between $500 to $140,000.

Have you addressed access management in your Cybersecurity strategy? If not, you could suffer serious financial consequences. Not to mention the loss of reputation that comes with a data breach. A severe data can add your company to the 60% of companies that go out of business after such a breach – within six months, according to The U.S. National Cyber Security Alliance.

We will look at six reasons access management has become essential to good data security. It plays a pivotal role in safeguarding valuable assets and ensuring data integrity.

Why is identity and access management so important?

Guards Against Insider Threats

Insider threats can result from malicious actions by disgruntled employees or unintentional errors. They can come from employees within an organization or their breached accounts. Identity & Access Management (IAM) solutions enable businesses to install granular access controls and permissions. This ensures that employees have access only to the data necessary for their roles, tightening the circle of users that can be involved in a breach.

Minimizing excessive privileges can certainly reduce insider threats, as well as provide visibility into user activities. It enables businesses to detect and respond to suspicious behavior in real time.

Strengthens Data Protection

Businesses suffer severe consequences from data breaches. They can lead to things like:

Financial losses.

Reputational damage.

Regulatory penalties.

Permanent closure for those that cannot recover.

Effective access management helps strengthen data protection. It does this by limiting access to sensitive information and enforcing strong authentication measures.  For example, why would a manufacturer’s loading dock supervisor need to look up client financial information? Just make sure they have the client’s address.

MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication), encryption, and user authentication limit who can access what in a system. Access management solutions also enable organizations to track and control data transfers. This helps ensure that data remains secure throughout its lifecycle.

By implementing robust access controls, businesses can mitigate the risks. They reduce the chance of unauthorized data access. As well as protect their most valuable assets.

Enhances Regulatory Compliance

A top priority for many organizations is compliance with data privacy laws because non-compliance can get very expensive. IAM solutions play a vital role in ensuring regulatory compliance. They provide necessary controls and audit trails.

IAM tools also help companies adopt best practices, such as:

Role-based access control (RBAC)

Least privilege principles

Contextual multi-factor authentication

With strict access management controls, businesses can better show compliance with regulatory requirements. IAM solutions also help with regular access reviews by enabling organizations to maintain an accurate record of user access and permissions. This is an essential component of regulatory audits and assessments.

Streamlines User Provisioning and Deprovisioning

Managing user accounts and access privileges manually is not only a time-consuming process, but it’s also prone to human error. Just one mis-keyed entry can increase the risk of an account breach.

Access management solutions automate user provisioning and de-provisioning, ensuring that employees have appropriate access rights throughout their employment lifecycle.

Whenever a new employee joins an organization, access management simplifies the onboarding process by quickly provisioning the necessary user accounts and permissions based on their role in the company.

On the flip side, whenever an employee leaves the organization, IAM tools ensure prompt de-provisioning of accounts and the revocation of access rights. This reduces the risks of dormant or unauthorized accounts which can easily be found and exploited by hackers.

Think back to that big data breach at Colonial Pipeline a few years back: That breach originated from an old, unused business VPN account that had never been de-provisioned properly.

By streamlining user provisioning and de-provisioning you enhance overall security and improve your overall operational efficiency.

Enables Secure Remote Access

Two things have largely changed the look of the traditional office in the last decade. These are the rise of the remote workforce and the increasing reliance on cloud services. This change makes secure remote access vital for organizations.

IAM solutions provide secure authentication and authorization mechanisms for remote users by enabling them to access corporate resources and data with a greater measure of security. IAM is there whether employees are working from home, traveling, or accessing data via mobile devices. Access management ensures that they can do so without compromising security.

It includes features like:

Virtual private networks (VPNs)

Single sign-on (SSO)

Multi-factor authentication (MFA)

These all help secure remote access while maintaining the integrity and confidentiality of corporate data.

Improved Productivity

By using an identity and access management system, you can boost productivity. Imagine how much time your HR or IT services team spends provisioning user accounts. It can take a significant amount of time to add all those login credentials - not to mention deciding on user access permissions in each tool.

IAM systems automate this entire process. Using role-based access protocols, they can immediately assign the right level of access. If an employee leaves, the system can also immediately revoke access. This saves your administrative team considerable time and effort.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the main types of insider threats?

Insider threats fall into one of two categories:

1) Malicious. Malicious insiders act deliberately, and they often use the same techniques as criminal hackers, such as planting malware or exploiting an unprotected database. These people are purposely looking to cause damage or steal data.

2) Negligent. Negligent insiders are all too often ignorant and untrained in Cybersecurity best practices. They act carelessly but have no intent to harm the organization. This is why ongoing Security Awareness Training is critical for any organization.

How well does multi-factor authentication work?

Since hackers are constantly looking for ways to thwart cyber-defenses, nothing is ever perfect, but this seemingly simple tool is remarkably effective. Microsoft says that MFA can block over 99.9%  of account compromise attacks.

Can hackers get through MFA?

The unfortunate fact is that, given enough time, hackers can get through just about anything. While MFA is not un-hackable, having it in place does make it a lot harder for attackers to access your users' accounts. If your organization has a robust MFA solution in place, an opportunist hacker may well look for easier targets.

What is single sign on SSO and how does it work?

(SSO) is a method of authentication that enables users to securely authenticate with multiple applications and websites by using just one set of credentials.

Once a user requests access, the Service Provider sends a token that contains some information about the user, like their email address, to the SSO system, aka, the Identity Provider, as part of a request to authenticate the user.

How secure is your network?

As a reputable member of the IT Support Los Angeles community since 2002, IT Support LA offers a FREE, no-risk network and security assessment. It is a non-intrusive scan that allows us to deliver a comprehensive report that is yours to keep. No strings, and no obligation to ever use our Managed IT Services.

The best defenses are expert Cybersecurity to protect your data from theft, and a top-notch Managed Services Provider to ensure continued reliability and defenses against newly emerging threats.

With our 100% Money Back Guarantee in writing, we offer a risk-free way for prospective clients to try us out. Because we do not require a ‘hard’ contract, our clients can fire us at any time with 30 days’ notice. We have to be good.

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IT HelpDesk Service
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IT Support LA is an award-winning Managed Services Provider (MSP):
o  3 Years awarded Best IT Support by the Small Business Expo
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o  Listed as one of the world’s Top 501 MS by CRN and in the top 250 in the   ‘Pioneer’ listing
o  4 years listed as one of the Top 501 MSPs in the World by Channel Futures
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Get Help Putting a Strong IAM Solution in Place

Access management has evolved into a critical component of overall network security. It helps mitigate insider threats, strengthen data protection, enhance regulatory compliance, and more. We can help you put in place an IAM system that works for you.

Give us a call today to schedule a chat about beefing up your access security. It’s also a great opportunity to take advantage of our FREE network and security risk assessment.