The world is observing the National Cybersecurity Awareness Month in October. And the message is loud and clear: adopt best security practices within and outside the IT perimeter. Insider threats, third-party risk management, privacy control, audit and IT regulations among many other urgent IT matters calls for revisiting and establishing cybersecurity policy. The common factor among all urgent requirements is that the threat to data is rising alarmingly and nobody knows from where the next attack is likely to surface. Preemptive strike against imminent IT threats is the need of the hour.
Of course, the covid-19 pandemic has necessitated revisiting the data governance and access control framework due to remote work culture. However, some other factors that need to be taken into account are:
- The Information Security Mandates. All global standards and regulations are very clear as to data integrity and access to critical information. Failure to comply with these standards leads to hefty fines… needless to mention the enormous damage it can cause to your organization’s image.
- Corporate governance: Organizations still pay scant attention to cybersecurity and awareness; and therefore boards must include cybersecurity and awareness programs as one of the critical components in the overall business strategy.
- The evolving IT environment. Today’s IT ecosystem is hybrid wherein SaaS applications and cloud computing resources are outnumbering legacy on-prem devices and applications. Hence, there is an urgent need to redefine the access control governance.
ARCON believes that in this changing IT dynamics, digital identity security and governance will be the most important factor in cybersecurity. After all, any attack on critical systems stem from compromised identity where the malefactor could be a compromised corporate insider, unethical third-party end-user or an organized cybercriminal, who could hijack systems using sophisticated techniques or can use social engineering to make an illegitimate access to critical information.
Why should your organization invest in ARCON | PAM on priority?
In order to navigate through the humongous challenges arising from changing regulatory requirements, evolving IT ecosystem, and proliferating digital identities, ARCON would like to advise organizations to adopt three steps for ensuring both business continuity and robust information security.
- Don’t restrict access but analyze each and every access to applications
- Endpoint privileges to critical applications must be granted on just-in-time principle
- Robust Privileged Access Management
Carefully administering IT activities with the above mentioned steps enables the security and risk management team to build a robust digital identity and governance framework. Let’s understand this in more detail.
- Behavior Monitoring: One big mistake that organizations often commit is that they make a very restrictive access environment. It helps to some extent from a security perspective but it also creates inefficiencies. Every time access requirement to certain applications leads to a multiple rounds of requests and approvals, which may lead to IT operational inefficiencies. The better way is to have a centralized engine to authorize and validate the roles and responsibilities of end-users. It not only fosters business efficiency but also safeguards business applications from anomalous identities. For instance, ARCON | User Behaviour Analytics secures business applications by constantly monitoring the end-user behavior profiles. Any anomalous end-user profile, and/or identities that deflect from baseline activities are flagged on real-time basis. Behavior monitoring is the first step in preempting cyber threats that arise from inner IT periphery.
- Controlling Endpoint Privileges: Uncontrolled or too many standing privileges to business critical applications increases cyber vulnerabilities. The first line of attack comes from compromised insiders. If business critical applications are accessed without any safeguards– role and rule-based privileges, just-in-time privilege elevation, and revoking privileges after the task is over– end-user with bad intent can misuse or abuse business critical information. The second line of attack comes from organized cyber criminals who could gain access to systems by making an unsuspected end-user click a malicious link and use privileges hijacking tools to move laterally inside the systems and unleash an attack. By deploying ARCON | Endpoint Privilege Management solution in their environments, organizations can preempt such attacks as the tool offers access only on ‘need-to-know’ and ‘need-to-do’ principle whilst it controls spiraling of excessive privileges.
- Reinforcing access and control mechanism to secure privileged access: It goes without saying that privileged accounts are one of the most vulnerable IT assets. And in these challenging times when access to critical systems is happening remotely, it becomes very difficult to keep a control over privileged users. Threat level magnifies when access to target systems do not have granular access control approach, access to systems is done via VPN connection, and privileged sessions are not monitored, recorded and reported. By deploying ARCON | Privileged Access Management, IT security team can establish a secure VPN-less connection. The tool’s technology includes network encryption, software defined perimeter security and host based agent to ensure that every remote access to systems adheres to Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) framework. Moreover, Access to systems is based on ‘identity’ along with other attributes and contexts such as IP address, geo-location, devices used, time and date, the key components of Adaptive Multi Factor Authentication.
The bottom line
Dear readers, we agree that cybersecurity is a very important and broad concept and it certainly has many more aspects that must be addressed to ensure robust security. However, small steps taken to mitigate risks arising from digital identities will definitely keep a check and preempt on that ‘lone attacker’ waiting to disrupt the IT infrastructure.
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 | Endpoint Privilege Management mitigates risks arising out of endpoints. ARCON | Secure Compliance Management is a vulnerability assessment tool.