In the wake of identity fraud, cyberattacks, and a hybrid working model, organizations are increasingly concerned about security and access. The need for a robust approach to identity and security management is becoming more apparent, as organizations grapple to secure their workforce, applications, and data. Fortunately, you can leverage new technologies and protect your business environment, using the power of authentication, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, to address intrusions.
Having an effective identity and security governance strategy in place can help your organization effectively balance and achieve four critical objectives:
- Reduce operational costs by automating labor-intensive processes such as password management and provisions.
- Reduce risk and reinforce security by increasing visibility across all applications and data and detecting unauthorized access.
- Improve compliance through audits and verification that the right controls are in place to meet regulations around security and privacy requirements.
- Deliver fast and efficient business by enabling identity governance and administrations that encourage productivity.
Best Practice: How to Ace Your Identity Governance
To enjoy the benefits and get the most of your identity and security governance strategy, you need to ensure that you are proactive in your efforts. This means consistently working on and improving your identity security lifecycle.
Here are best practice tips to help you achieve an efficient and sustainable governance solution.
1 – Centralize Identity Management
In a remote workspace, it becomes difficult to manage hybrid identity scenarios. You can use a centralized system and integrate your on-premises and cloud directories. This will enable your organization to manage various accounts, from one location, irrespective of where an account was established.
A single source will grant you visibility to assess risk and determine whether your organization is following regulatory requirements. It will also enable quick deployment in response to threats and automate your access and lifecycle management.
Therefore, you should ensure that your governance practices include exposure to all subscriptions connected to your network.
2 – Use Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
Encompass multiple authentication to your applications. Adding layers of security to your assets can dramatically reduce the chances of an identity being compromised and make certain that all your sensitive data is protected.
Ensure that you make it mandatory for consumers, to verify their credentials using a One-Time Password (OTP) for example. The OTP feature prevents forms of identity theft by guaranteeing that a captured username and password pair, cannot be used a second time.
For employees, identity can be verified on a second device using an Authenticator Application (such as Microsoft Authenticator). This can be done using passwordless mechanisms (including biometric authentication) to ensure both security and convenience.
MFA secures your environment, employees, and the devices they’re using, without requiring cumbersome resets or complicated policies. It’s simple and efficient to use.
3 – Use Role-Based Access Control
Role-based access helps you better control access allowing administrators to specify granular permissions for specific roles within the organization, and manage the membership of those roles effectively. It is one of the most significant new features of modern security systems that enable a user to view and engage with information, applications, and systems that are relevant to them and their job roles. Each role has a set of permissions, and individuals can be assigned to one or more roles.
Role-based access is a simple, manageable approach to access management that is less error-prone than individually assigning permissions. You can enjoy benefits such as creating a systematic, repeatable assignment of permissions and audit user privileges. Overall, you can reduce administrative work, decrease risk and comply with regulatory requirements.
4 – Reduce Privileged Accounts
Cyberattacks are on the rise, targeting accounts that administer and manage IT systems – these are known as privileged accounts. This means that securing access to privileged accounts should be a priority to safeguard your business assets.
The fewer people you have managing these accounts, the more protected your sensitive information and resources are, and you can reduce the chances of unauthorized access. To best achieve this and to avoid compromising privilege, you can ensure that all critical admin roles have a separate account for all administrative tasks.
Just-In-Time (JIT) permission workflows also allow permissions to be assigned only when they are needed, and to have access scoped to a specific time period (with an expiry date) to avoid having elevated permissions linger with an account.
5 – Implement Security Assessments
Security is not a one-way stop solution and will require that your organization continuously work on improving it. Don’t compromise when it comes to protecting identity. Conducting regular assessments will assist you in determining what areas need some work. You can also discover new ways to secure and improve your environment.
The Microsoft Secure Score component, for example, provides a score to measure your security stance and helps improve your security, over time. You can use the historical data to identify your organization’s security patterns and take actions, using analytics, to improve security.
Digital transformation has meant that organizational identities have become increasingly sensitive. Managing employees’ identities through identity governance should become a business process priority for all businesses.
While it’s good to follow best practices such as centralizing your identity management; using multi-factor authentication; using role-based access control, and using privileged accounts – you should invest in the continuous improvements of your identity security. Evaluating your security controls frequently will improve your governance efforts over time, and positively impact your business.
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