Access control outlines a variety of ways to control who has access to the resources of your company. It relates to an essential responsibility of the IT departments and affects organizations’ data protection. Access controls allow you to remain compliant with different industry standards and regulations and comply with them. It also allows greater control over your network, data, website, or other sensitive systems or properties.
Managing access to the physical infrastructure or data is integral to protection, whether you are a small business or a large company. Regardless of scale, it requires rigorous access controls. This helps companies minimize liability and harm resulting from assaults, track anomalies, and strengthen transparency.
Access controls and permissions are essential to many privacy-related regulations for business data. For instance:
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) mentions the need to restrict access. Compliance with HIPAA depends upon it. A username and PIN code must be obtained from a centralized authority for any employee accessing electronic personal health information (ePHI).
For credit card-related customer data handling by companies, the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS) outlines requirements.
The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) also establishes guidelines regarding user access rights and privileges for financial institutions.
There are other laws surrounding data protection and encryption, which allow for access restrictions.
Access Controls And Zero-Trust Security Model
As per the principles of zero-trust security model, it is important to maintain strict access controls. That’s because the zero-trust model requires users to have permission and authenticate themselves before any applications or data can be accessed or changed. They must continue to do so to retain such access. Basically, the principle here is that it is seen as suspicious, even though it’s something that comes from inside your network.
It is best to implement a very granular segmentation by designing a “least privileged” access control policy. The user/system can access only the tools they are intended to use. Only the absolute minimum of valid traffic between segments is therefore necessary, while everything else is automatically rejected.
Access Control: The Challenges
Access control systems are important for the overall information protection and cybersecurity of organizations. But if restrictions and approvals are not applied well and if these controls are not handled consistently, then it can be devastating for your business. And what are the obstacles to large and small enterprises’ access management?
There is a belief that access controls inhibit productivity. It may come as a surprise that some organizations are resistant to implementing it, considering the fact that access controls are among the best ways to secure data and assets. Sometimes, people are resistant to change. They also want to make it convenient for a project to take fewer steps to complete.
For instance, individuals reuse or recycle their passwords regularly across multiple accounts. But this can lead to issues, given that Verizon’s 2020 Data Breach Incident Report (DBIR) shares that the use of stolen or compromised credentials resulted in 37 percent of data breaches.
Processes for access control have historically been static. But they need to be versatile in their capabilities and regularly supported in order for modern access controls to be effective. In order to identify any possible security gaps or non-compliance problems, administrators need to check them regularly.