6 Reasons Access Management Has Become a Critical Part of Cyber Security

Oct 2023

Cyber security is essential for businesses and individuals alike. Round every corner is the threat of a cyber attack, with breaches and malware attacks often proving costly. Threats come in all shapes and sizes, from corners of the internet you may not be familiar with but also from tools you use every day. 

As the average employee uses 36 cloud-based services daily, managing access to your sensitive data and resources has become crucial. It's a vital cog in the machine when it comes to maintaining robust security. All it takes is for one account in a business app to be breached and significant consequences might follow. 

Login credentials remain the most valuable pieces of information for hackers, such data can be a goldmine on the dark web. For example, an email administrator login can fetch between £400 to £115,000.  

Hopefully that highlights why you need to make sure you're thoroughly addressing access management in your cyber security strategy and it’s something that Affinity certainly recommend (and can help with!). The alternative could see serious financial consequences, a loss of reputation and customer trust that comes with a data breach.  

Here are six reasons why access management has become essential to good information security, safeguarding valuable assets and ensuring data integrity. 

6 Reasons Identity & Access Management (IAM) Is Your Next Priority 

Defend Against Insider Threats 

Insider threats can result from malicious actions or unintentional errors. They can come from employees within your business or from their breached accounts. IAM solutions enable businesses to install access controls and permissions at a granular level to ensure that employees only have access to the data necessary for their roles.  

By keeping on top of who has access to what, you’re much more likely to reduce the risk of insider threats. One of our favourite benefits is that that access management also provides visibility into user activities. If something looks amiss – like maybe some confidential files being deleted or access permissions altered – you’ve got a higher chance of noticing and reacting. As an example, Affinity monitors administrator accounts on all computers we support for exactly this reason. We’re all about intercepting those threats! 

Enhance your Data Protection

Data breaches can have severe consequences for businesses. They can lead to things like: 

  • Reputational damage 
  • Financial losses 
  • Regulatory penalties 
  • Permanent closure for those that can’t recover  

Effective access management helps enhance your data protection by both limiting employee access to sensitive information and enforcing strong authentication measures.  

Multi-factor authentication, encryption, and user authentication methods limit who can access what in a system. Access management solutions also enable your business to track and control data transfers.  

We’re big fans of the multi-layered cyber defence or what is known as the IT Security Onion! Different products and approaches cut out different threats and, as always, the more layers of defence you have, the harder it is to breach. 

Keep on Top of Compliance 

Compliance with data privacy laws is a top priority for many businesses but it’s also one of the hardest things to keep on top of. IAM solutions play a vital role in ensuring regulatory compliance by providing necessary controls and audit trails.  

IAM tools also help companies adopt best practices, such as: 

  • Role-based access control (RBAC) 
  • Least privilege principles 
  • Contextual multi-factor authentication 

Using access management, businesses can easily show compliance with regulatory requirements. IAM solutions also help with regular access review by enabling businesses to maintain an accurate record of user access and permissions. 

Easily Add and Remove Users

Managing user accounts and access privileges manually is a time-consuming process. It’s also prone to human error. Just one simple mistake can increase the risk of an account breach. 

Access management solutions can automate user provisioning and de-provisioning. This ensures that employees have appropriate access rights throughout their employment lifecycle. 

When an employee joins your business, effective access management simplifies the onboarding process. It supports the quick and accurate provisioning of user accounts with permissions based on their role.  

When an employee leaves, IAM tools ensure prompt de-provisioning of accounts as well as the revoking of access rights. This reduces the risks of dormant or unauthorised accounts.

Streamlining user provisioning and de-provisioning enhances security and improves operational efficiency. 

Improve Remote Access Security

Two things have largely changed the look of the traditional office in the last decade: 1) the rise of remote work and 2) the increasing reliance on cloud services.  

At Affinity, we’re champions of the amazing benefits both of these can bring to your business, but they also bring security challenges which you must address. 

IAM solutions can provide secure ways of authentication and authorisation specifically suited to remote users. Enabling users to remotely access corporate resources and data securely, IAM is there whether employees are working from home, traveling, or accessing data via mobile. Access management ensures that they can do so without compromising your security.  

It includes features like: 

  • Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) 
  • Single Sign-on (SSO) 
  • Multi-factor Authentication (MFA)  

These features help secure remote access, further maintaining the integrity and confidentiality of corporate data. 

Take Productivity to the Next Level

Using an identity and access management system can boost productivity. Imagine how much time your HR or IT team spends provisioning user accounts. It can take a significant amount of time to add all those login credentials. Not to mention deciding on user access permissions in each tool. 

IAM systems streamline the entire process. Using role-based access protocols, they help assigning the right level of access. If an employee leaves, the system can also easily revoke access. This saves your administrative team considerable time and effort. 

Trust Affinity to Put an IAM Solution in Place

Access management has evolved into a critical component of cyber security. It helps mitigate insider threats, strengthen data protection, enhance regulatory compliance, and more.  

If you’re looking for an IT provider (like Affinity!) that you can trust to provide a managed IT service or advise on what security your business needs, please do get in touch. 

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