Reduce Risk, Increase Visibility, and Get Back Control of Your Users’ Access Rights

Gain back control and protect your high-risk, critical access points and assets with an access control solution

network security

Whoever is in control has the power. That’s why controlling who has access to your organization’s critical systems means you hold the power over cyber threats, bad actors, and ransomware.

When you lose control of user access, there’s no way to identify who is accessing your critical systems or data, what they are doing with that access, how long they have had access, and what kind of damage they could incur to your critical assets. Unfortunately, for many organizations, uncontrolled access, unsecured connectivity, and weak attack surfaces are the reality — but it doesn’t have to be that way.

When looking at who has access to your organization’s critical assets, like systems, networks, data, and infrastructure, it’s important to ask yourself, “Am I able to control the access of all the users accessing our most valuable assets?”

Where do these points of vulnerability come from? Let’s look to the stats to recognize the gaps in access security:

What is Access Control?

Access control is exactly what it sounds like — having precision and control over when and how a person can exercise their access rights. The goal of access control is to create friction between a user and their access and stop any unauthorized access that could lead to a security or privacy breach.

Think about the brakes on a car. When a moving car needs to stop, the driver applies brakes to add friction to the road and bring the car to a halt. The same can be said for access controls. When a user is moving through a system, access controls apply the brakes to stop that user from getting any further than they need to within a critical asset. It’s a checkpoint for users who may (or may not) be granted access to a certain access point and a safeguard for critical assets that need protecting.

Access control is an additional layer of security on top of access governance that helps protect those assets that qualify as “high risk” at an organization. What “high risk” looks like can vary from organization to organization; but in general, the consequences of the mismanagement of something high risk are monumental: loss of revenue, regulatory fines, reputational damage, or a threat to public safety. That’s why access control is so critical to an organization’s cybersecurity strategy — the tighter the controls, the more you can protect the high-risk assets that your organization, your customers, and (at times) the general public depend on.

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Types of Access Control

To apply the brakes of access control, you need to know the types of controls you can apply to the users who have been granted critical access.

Fine-grained access control: Anything that’s going to be described as “fine-grained” has the connotation of being very detailed, very minuscule, and very meticulous. That’s what you can expect with fine-grained access control. It takes a look at a user’s access rights and meticulously restricts it/controls it to the finest, most granular level.

  • Access notifications: The owner of a critical asset (usually an IT/security team member or account owner/admin) will get a notification each time a person uses their access rights to access the asset.
  • Access approvals: An approval for access is sent to the owner of the asset when someone tries to log in. Access is only granted once the “approver” has approved the request.
  • Time-based access: Start the clock! Users who have time-based access are granted access, but only for a certain amount of time. This cuts down the amount of exposure a user has to critical assets and removes the risk of standing access privileges.
  • Access schedule: Similar to time-based access, a user’s access rights only allow someone to have access on a predetermined schedule, like typical business hours, Monday through Friday from 9am – 5pm.

Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA): ZTNA is a network access method that removes any implicit or assumed “trust” from a user or access right, meaning systems, networks, applications, etc. don’t trust any form of access rights or privileges. It provides organizations with the ability to granularly control access defined at the host and protocol level, rather than providing users with total network access. Zero Trust Network Access employs secure methods — some of the best cybersecurity practices in the industry — to make sure each access request is valid.

  • Multi-factor authentication (MFA): MFA is an authentication method that uses various factors to verify the identity of the user requesting access to an asset. When a user accesses a critical asset, the asset will use a multiple-step process to confirm that the person who requested access matches the person who has access rights to that asset.

Privileged credential management: Privileged credential management is the ability to store passwords and credentials that lead to critical, high-risk access. It cuts down the risk of passwords being shared, left on sticky notes, typed in Excel spreadsheets, and worst of all, being stolen. It can also rotate passwords to limit password vulnerability and injects them into login fields (while obfuscating the password) so a user never has to see the actual credential.

SecureLink Access Control Solutions

See how the SecureLink products seamlessly implement Access Control into your cybersecurity strategy.

Manage Remote Access from Third Parties

SecureLink Enterprise Access is a remote access solution for third parties designed specifically to secure the greatest point of risk in working with third parties: the point of connectivity. The Enterprise Access solution provides a secure connection to third parties that verifies each user with MFA, deploys fine-grained access controls like access notifications and scheduling capabilities, and provides ZTNA with access defined down to the host and port level. This ensures that each user has minimal access and can’t move laterally throughout the network, lessening the chance of a third-party breach.

Streamline Remote Access for your Customers

SecureLink Customer Connect contributes to access control by granting third-party vendors secure remote access into their customer’s networks. As a vendor, you can give your customers control by providing them with the fine-grained access controls they need to make sure your reps can only access what they need and nothing else. Customers can also set up their own access approval, schedule, and notification workflows. It’s one more way you can offer peace of mind to your clients and secure their network from any outside threats.

What is Critical Access Management?

Access Control is one of three essential pillars that make up the foundation of 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.