Is your organization controlling access to critical systems?

In the wake of numerous incidents involving abuse of privileged credentials and data breach, organizations are looking for more robust technology that could monitor privileged user activities in real-time and at the same time protect the critical business information from malicious actors. While robust validation mechanism helps in building the foundation for best privileged practices, it is by no means a complete answer to mitigate privileged account abuse.

With the help of two scenarios, let us understand why controlling IT users’ access to critical systems is important.

Scenario 1

An organization with a typical large IT set-up has hundreds of privileged and IT users for various roles and responsibilities. The IT team practices robust validation and password management practices, but implements an ambiguous rule and role-based centralized policy. In a shared and distributed environment, if the privileged accounts, which are considered as the gateway to critical business information, have no access control policy then it could result in a disaster.

Indeed, Privileged user does not require/ should be granted access to every digital asset. Absence of role and rule-based centralized policy over privileged tasks incentivises malicious insiders and compromised third-party users to make unauthorized access to target systems. Restricting and controlling IT users, especially the privileged users, is critical to mitigate data breach/ abuse threats.

Absence of segregating privileged users according to their roles, duties and availabilities essentially means we are keeping a blind eye on day-to-day IT operations. The administrators remain clueless if any suspicious activity is going on in the enterprise network periphery and there is no way to track these incidents.

The Bottomline: Data breach / data abuse incidents go undetected.

Scenario 2

Let us think about another scenario where an organization practices granular level access control mechanism, which enables an administrator to restrict and control privileged users according to their role and duties. The challenge of securing critical business information, which is spread across the network infrastructure, is addressed with the help of granular level control. Granular level control enables the IT security staff to grant permission to privileged users only on “need-to-know” and “need-to-do” basis. In other words, access is not granted to certain critical information, if a privileged user is not entitled to manage or access information. It essentially helps to implement the principle of least privilege, one of the Information Security principles for ensuring robust IT security controls. Granular control mechanism not only provides an additional layer of security layer to critical information but also helps the administrators in gaining IT operational efficiency.

The Bottomline: As a vast amount of enterprise data traverses through a network of devices, confidential information remains secure as granular control ensures a centralized access policy to restrict privileged users.

ARCON is a leading enterprise risk control solutions provider, specializing in risk-predictive technologies. ARCON | User Behaviour Analytics enables to monitor end-user activities in real time. ARCON | Privileged Access Management reinforces access control and mitigates data breach threats. ARCON | Secure Compliance Management is a vulnerability assessment tool.

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