December 03, 2021//Isa JonesLast Updated: January 20, 2022
When it comes to securing internal credentials, controlling the movement of internal users, and provisioning or de-provisioning internal access rights, it can be done in-house. Enterprise access best practices call for aligning those user rights with an internal HR system, and creating a robust access policy for internal users is do-able for most organizations, especially when it’s dealing with internal access and more routine access points (like email). When it comes to third parties accessing critical systems, however, access gets complicated and often overlooked. That’s where enterprise access management software comes in.
Third parties are the cause of 51% of all data breaches. They are the single biggest point of risk for an organization, but these third parties also need access to critical systems to complete their role. Depending on the organization, there could be hundreds of third parties that need access, and none of them can be trusted.
Headline hacks have shown how precarious third parties can be. The SolarWinds hack targeted SolarWinds’ thousands of vendors, many of whom included large government entities full of vital assets.
In addition, many organizations lack proper management for third parties. According to a recent report by Skybox Security:
Those connections are highly vulnerable, as there’s no internal HR system to automatically track, provision, and de-provision users. In addition, many organizations lack proper visibility and enterprise access control solutions for those points of access—63% of organizations state they don’t have visibility into the level of access and permissions their users have to critical systems. How, as an organization, do you manage access while still protecting critical access points and assets? You invest in enterprise access management. That investment is a big one—we’re talking about critical access after all—so understanding what to look for when it comes to enterprise access control is the first step.
As stated above, third-parties are a major, but necessary risk for an organization. To ensure that third-party access is secure, strong enterprise access management should offer robust management for third parties, including: multi-factor authentication for all users, individual account creation to prevent account sharing, employment verification for all users, and a streamlined onboarding process that’s both efficient and secure.
Trust no one. ZTNA is a series of measures that remove any implicit trust in a network, regardless of who is accessing or what is being accessed. A good enterprise access management system is built around this concept, utilizing tools such as least privilege access, fine-grained access controls, and credential storage. 44% of third-party data breaches are the result of too much privileged access, so setting controls on enterprise access reduces that risk. Zero trust network access also, in the case of breach, will limit the surface attack area and prevent lateral movement.
Access monitoring, which can involve proactive or reactive observation and analysis, is crucial for a network to better understand and audit which users are accessing what. Whether it’s for compliance—like HIPAA and HITECH—or in the case of a breach, understanding exactly who had access, why they had it, who approved it, and what that user did with the access, is essential for critical access management.
SecureLink recommends Enterprise Access to securely and efficiently manage third-party access. It’s one product in a suite that helps organizations of all sizes achieve critical access management and stay secure in a rapidly changing cybersecurity landscape