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It’s Time To Level Up Your Cybersecurity Strategy With Critical Access Management
The Big Problem
Every eleven seconds, a company falls victim to a ransomware attack. Compromised protected personal data resulted in 1.8 HIPAA privacy violations per day in 2020.
This is a problem.
Despite large financial and time-intensive investments into access management tools and cybersecurity solutions, a business’ critical assets still remain vulnerable and prone to attack. Cyber threats to mission-critical systems are pervasive, and now they come disguised as employees, trusted third-party reps, and “authorized” identities. As a result, organizations are struggling to implement critical access management security to protect valuable assets and are under attack from this vulnerability.
Where do these points of vulnerability come from? Let’s look to the stats to recognize the gaps in access security:
51% of breaches are from a third-party data breach
Third parties often need access to critical systems or data to perform their jobs, which is why they’re so often targets as entry points into an organization’s network.
60% of attacks involve lateral movement within the network
Organizations aim for zero trust network access, but often only implement the “castle and moat” architecture, which allows hackers to move laterally in the network to find, compromise, and steal critical assets.
EHR systems average 2.5 million accesses per day per healthcare organization
Access controls like approvals and credential management fall short for high-volume access, like access to an EMR system, and manual review methods make it difficult to identify suspicious activity.
40% of breaches originate with authorized users
Access creep — the build-up of excess access rights over time beyond what’s needed for a user’s role — is a big risk, yet companies struggle to review access rights regularly due to their time-intensive nature.
The growing amount of threats surrounding critical access means it’s not a matter of if, but when your organization will be targeted by cyber criminals. Understanding how to fully secure your organization’s most valuable assets starts with identifying your critical assets and access points — then implementing maximum security.
Critical Assets and Access Points
Critical access points are entryways to critical assets, like systems, networks, data, information, infrastructure, and operational technology. An asset is considered critical when two of the following three factors are high risk: the identities, assets, or privileges.
These three factors provide a roadmap to identify the access points and critical assets that cyber criminals are after and lead to where critical access management is needed.
Identity refers to “who” is accessing, whether it’s an employee, a third party, a contractor, a machine, or a bot. An identity can be high risk due to its characteristics (ex: a third party is less secure than an employee), or there can be a lack of confidence that the identity is who it says it is due to failed authentication or access from a risky geolocation.
An asset refers to what a user (the identity) is accessing, and it could be anything from a physical building to a server, to a database or a record. The risk of an asset is typically associated with the impact of its misuse and the importance of that asset; for example, an asset might be high risk if it contains sensitive data or runs mission critical systems.
Privileges are what identities can do within assets — also known as their access rights. Risk with privileges typically takes into account the asset itself and how critical it is, as well as what you can do with that asset — for example, read only rights vs administrative rights in an application.
The Consequences of Unsecured Critical Access
Failing to secure access points and critical assets can have substantial consequences that start a chain reaction with ramifications that extend beyond the business itself. Take the Colonial Pipeline cyber attack of 2021 for instance. The hack shut down one of the largest pipelines and caused a fuel shortage across the country.
Being proactive in how you approach cyber threats will save your organization from experiencing all the damaging consequences that come from a costly breach. You need systems in place that understand what you’re protecting, the best ways to protect it, and how to execute that protection.
The SecureLink Solution: Critical Access Management
SecureLink addresses these points of vulnerability and secures access to an organization’s riskiest and most critical systems and data with critical access management solutions. With solutions that provide access governance, access control, and access monitoring, SecureLink empowers businesses to secure vulnerable access points, mitigate the risk of a cyber attack or data breach, help meet regulatory requirements, and protect the organization’s most valuable assets.
Access governance consists of the systems and processes that make sure access policy is followed as closely as possible. To put it simply, it outlines who should have access to what, and the minimum privileges needed.
Access control is defined as the mechanisms used to reduce risk, increase visibility, and create friction when it comes to user access rights. Fine-grained access controls and zero trust network access help IT and security professionals have greater control over a user’s access to better secure critical access points and assets.
Access monitoring is the proactive and reactive observation and analysis of user activity while a user is accessing a certain asset. It consists of methods for both reactive incident investigations as well as proactive threat detection with critical access events.
If you don’t invest in your company’s critical access protection now, when will you? You need systems in place that understand what you’re protecting, the best ways to protect it, and how to execute that protection. Securing access points and assets is no longer optional — it’s critical.
SecureLink: The Leader in Critical Access Management
Protect your systems and data from cyber threats by securing critical access.
Learn about SecureLink’s four critical access management products
Protect your systems and data from cyber threats like ransomware and data breaches
Meet compliance and regulatory requirements in your industry
Have confidence in your company’s cybersecurity strategy
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What is Critical Access Management?
Download this eBook to learn more about what critical access management is, why it’s crucial for your organization to implement critical access management into your security and privacy strategies, and how you can use automation and technology to bring your cybersecurity goals to life.