When it comes to reviewing and managing user access rights, many organizations are failing to do so thoroughly or are simply opting out. The reason? Reviewing user access manually is too difficult, too time-consuming, or not possible for smaller organizations whose focus is elsewhere.
According to the 2020 Ponemon report, 59% of organizations do not perform access assessments for each of their vendors/partners. In addition, 65% of respondents have not identified their third parties with access to the most sensitive data of the organization, and 54% of respondents stated they do not have a comprehensive inventory of all third parties with access to their network.
All three of those aspects of user access reviews are crucial to the cybersecurity of any organization and crucial to protecting sensitive data from external threats.
What is User Access Management?
Managing user access rights, which often falls under the header of user access review, involves a periodic inventory of access rights to certain networks and systems, and the users who have access permissions into those networks and systems.
User access management looks at who is accessing what, what level of access they have, and if they have valid reasons for access rights. This goes for all parties involved within an organization – employees and third parties or contractors. It’s a major part of the principle of least privilege access and implementing Zero Trust architecture.
From regulatory violations and fines — like through HIPAA in the healthcare sector — to exposed data, reputation damage, downtime, and real world interruptions, the consequences of mismanaging user access rights are plentiful, and the risks are high.
Thankfully, the solution to user access management is easier than one may think and doesn’t involve manual spreadsheets for individual access rights reviews. A strong user access management system will provide an easy, efficient solution that can help keep an organizations’ data safe and secure.
Why Choose a User Access Management System
1. User Access Management Systems Streamline the Process of System Access Review.
No organization has the time or manpower to manually review all user access rights. For a healthcare system, access attempts to private patient data could add up to thousands daily. Going through every attempt individually to ensure the right people have access, the wrong people don’t, and that both internal employees and external vendors are only accessing what they should is impossible.
Whether it’s time spent trying to normalize and compile data into a single spreadsheet, time chasing down managers to review user access rights, or time trying to understand updates, analysis, and other key metric needed for long-term monitoring, it’s all time that could be saved through a user access management system.
Using an automated user access management system puts all of that work into one software program that can review, monitor, and audit all access rights with ease, removing any previous inefficiencies or inaccuracies due to human error.
2. User Access Management Systems Allow Organizations to Reallocate Time and Resources to More Important Projects.
Whether those projects are related to data management or something else entirely, a user access management tool gives an organization back precious time and money. An HR manager wants to work on HR management projects, not spend hours making sure every third party and internal user who accessed a certain set of data was legitimate.
3. User Access Management Systems Contain Automated Features, Which Free Up Time and Money.
- Automatically create a ticket in IT systems to remove access when it is rejected by the manager.
- Integrate with HR/AD systems to automatically delegate user review to appropriate managers for review, removing the burden from the IT team and ensuring reviews are assigned to the correct reviewers.
Whichever kind of system or tool an organization chooses, the specifics need to meet regulatory requirements, internal and third-party needs, and work for the employees involved. It might not be a quick decision, but the end result will lead to quick and easy user access management.
No matter what capabilities (in bandwidth or services) an organization has or what regulatory or industry needs they might have, investing in a user access management system is the best choice for ease, efficiency, and to better protect their critical data and third parties from threats. Learn more about best practices for user access review and SecureLink Access Intelligence.