Access Control Security

By Guest Post
August 26, 2019

Access Control and Security

Access control is a security feature that controls accessibility to a system and even minimizes security risks. Quick and easy access is something that is required today in many organizations. The same organizations also realize that not everyone who is granted access is going to be an ethical user, hence the need to balance user and security requirements.

Cybercriminals will always be creeping at the entry point of access with the aim of exploiting loopholes, especially the identity systems where they can compromise the credentials of genuine users and use this as an entry point. This is referred to as social engineering and it is the most common mode of attack.

Computer programs, computers and people need authorization to access information and perform tasks, and the more sensitive or valuable the information is, the stronger the access control system should be. This highly secure status, however, is not achieved without some challenges like:

  • Different levels of access for different users
  • The ever-changing corporate environment
  • Diverse data on all users
  • Different classification levels

There are also basic access control practices that have to be adhered to such as:

  • Denying access to undefined users
  • Remove obsolete user accounts immediately the user leaves
  • Suspending inactive accounts after a month or twp
  •  Delaying or suspending access after several unsuccessful login attempts
  • Enforcing strict access criteria
  • Disabling what is not needed in the system
  • Replacing default password settings
  • Ensuring that logon IDs and job functions are different
  • Enforcing need to know and least privilege practice
  • Enforcing password rotation and requirements for instance contents and length

There is a huge demand for security access control systems and this is becoming a challenge to IT professionals. They need to meet various requirements simultaneously in a landscape that is not only diverse but always changing. Look at this scenario; daily modifications in order to provide access, new users who have to be brought onboard, current users might leave and their access needs to be blocked, others may be promoted or demoted and their access should fit their level in the organization. Managing these demands effectively calls for the use of a security access control system that is effective and efficient when it comes to integrating existing and future systems while allowing users to access the information that they need.

Being in Control and Secure

Organizational data does not only exist within the network perimeter. As an organization, you cannot solely depend on firewalls and other intrusion prevention systems. Yes, they play a great role but they cannot be relied upon when it comes to sensitive data. The challenge of controlling access is increasing thanks to cloud computing and mobile gadgets. Data now spreads to a much broader area. This necessitates bringing in security discipline in terms of who has access to what.

Access Control Security Policies and Procedure

The management should lay down a plan on how they expect security to be managed within the organization. This is what is referred to as a security policy. The security policy encompasses acceptable actions, acceptable risk levels security implementation directives for each department and employee, repercussions for non-compliance, guidelines, procedures and details of support to enforce the security policy.

Access Control Security Services

There are three processes that are combined  to ensure that only authorized users are onboard.

Identification, Authentication, and Authorization

The first step in a security access control system is a claim of identity. This is done by entering the username. The system will then verify the entered identity through authentication. It could be a password or make use of advanced biometric and token authentication. When this is completed successfully, the system has to verify if the user has authorization to perform the requested activity. Your identity is one thing but your scope of activity must be within what is permitted to you or your level.

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The Identification Process

Picture this: An employee no longer works with an organization. Their status in the company has changed but their identity is still the same. This means that they will be able to access files and other confidential data, hence the need for a security system to have in place the current status of an employee so that the appropriate authorization is granted according to the present status. A two-factor authentication is even more effective because it ensures that the correct person is identified.

The three service elements are combined together to ensure thorough security. This makes it hard for unethical users to circumvent the system. Identification is for the purposes of accounting things like user behaviour. Authentication is to ensure that the identity is not used by anyone else apart from the legitimate user while authorization limits the scope of activity and ensures there is no prohibited act such as deletion of files.

The Benefits of Security Access Control Systems

An Effective access control security system has several benefits:

  • Improved data security
  • Low security costs
  • Effective access to resources
  • Complying with the government

There is synchronization of authentication and authorization in one platform hence providing a method of managing user access consistently. Time is saved and more of it focuses on managing the platform. A single platform means the number of times interactions with the security system occurs. This means more effective and efficient access to resources.

The other benefit is that companies will be in compliance with government regulations. This is because an IT position is not just a career but a security position as well. Companies cannot afford to be negligent knowingly or unknowingly. This is because they can be fined huge amounts of money if found to be in the wrong.

A good access control security system ensures that there is an advanced control of user access. The risk of external and internal breaches is lowered. Research shows that most breaches are committed by company employees and three-quarters of them were malicious.

Conclusion

In summary, access control security systems are meant to ensure that company or business information is relayed to persons with authority to not only view it but also act on it accordingly. As it is said that information is power, power in the wrong hands can destroy a company. The same way your family members are the only ones with access to the house is the same way legitimate users should have access to company data. Access control security ensures that every bit of information is directed to the right person while at the same time they cannot use it for unintended purposes.

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