An access request process is an important part of an identity lifecycle. However, executing these tasks can sometimes actually be quite challenging for your IT team, especially when they have to do it manually or with a hybrid ecosystem.
For this reason, organizations are trying to automate their access request management process as much as they can. Access request management can really make a difference in your online security.
Well, let’s not wait any further because in this article, we’ll dive deeper into finding out what access request management is and why it’s important for security.
What is access request management?
Access request management involves controlling and managing user access and IT resources within an organization. The whole purpose of access request management is to be able to manage user requests for access to important components such as data, systems and applications.
Access request management helps organizations maintain risks of any unauthorized access, data breaches and potential security threats. Of course, nobody wants a third-party user to gain unauthorized access to important information. Manually trying to do this only increases security risks and room for human error.
In order to simplify the process, you need an access request management tool that automates the process and simplifies requesting and tracking access. For example, Zluri is an access request management tool that automatically sends out access requests, streamlining the onboarding and offboarding process.
The way access request management works
Access request management involves numerous identity lifecycle activities such as:
- Data rights
- Audit readiness
- Access governance rules
- Complying with international security and privacy regulations
The process is complex at times and requires the proper people to have the necessary access to information at the right times. At times, this may be challenging for organizations with several departments and locations that require many stakeholders to act individually to get something done.
Access request management has role assignment requests. Each user is assigned a special role. Role assignments need to carefully be considered because sometimes, internal threats can happen. After all, a role was mistakenly assigned to someone. A recent study shows that 62% of threats in an organization are internal.
4 Security risks you can run into when you don’t properly manage access request
1. More online attacks
The more you leave your access request unmanaged, the more likely you’ll face online attacks. Online attacks can be internal or external. Regardless, they are still a threat and can damage your business reputation and steal sensitive information from your users.
Online attackers can breach your data anonymously. They may act as an employee, access unauthorized data and establish ongoing access to the company’s computers and servers.
2. Internal threats
We mentioned this before and it’s not something that should go unmanaged. Most threats in an organization are internal and the downside is that these happen most of the time because of the lack of trust, or when employees aren’t treated well and want revenge.
56% of security professionals claim that internal threats are on the rise. The entire primary reasons why these threats are on the rise is because of the following:
- Lack of data protection strategies
- Too many devices have unauthorized access
- Much more contractors and employees accessing networks
- The rise of cloud apps and infrastructure
- Technology complexity
The number one cause of data breaches was negligent employees or contractors. These are the major players who managed to exceed damages of more than $1 million.
3. Malware infections
All personal devices that are used by your contractors and team members might be a major target of malware. These devices will usually be infected by malware, or might run into some malicious file that can lead to an online attack.
Malware can lead to lots of damage, so you must pay close attention to who has authorized access and what kind of links they are clicking on. You can always be one click away from a data breach.
4. Bad internal actors
This includes team members who try to work against the company. Bad actors might also include former employees or any other online attacker. They are also people who currently work in the company and aren’t happy with their job. Once this happens, they’ll usually try to take advantage to steal sensitive information and harm the company.
However, sometimes, it’s not only because they want revenue, but there are also times when internal team members might want to harm the company only because of low salaries and many other reasons.
Access request management can suppress these risks
What we mentioned above is not something pleasant for an organization to go through, but a good access request management strategy allows trustful users to only access the information they need. Overall, access requests can be highly useful for reducing security risks and increasing operational efficiency in the organization.
Access request management can reduce operational costs and ensure that only the proper people have access to the right resources or data. Moreover, it creates more accuracy in your organization and trust. If you trust the users who have authorized access to your data, everything will go well compared to granting access to the wrong people.
The key steps in an access management process
An ID or user can only have access to the organization’s resources if they’ve been properly identified by the access control system. The process is summarized in three important steps:
- Identification: It can sometimes be quite hard to identify digital users. Identification is the first step in accessing a control system. It initially involves identifying all users that are requesting access to the organization’s resources. Each user will be labeled with a special ID. Afterwards, multiple aspects will be taken into consideration. The system will check if the user has ever had access to the resources before and will check their ID proof.
- Authentication: Verifies the user’s ID by using a zero-trust model. Users will usually be authenticated through a password and physical users through biometric measures and control cards.
- Authorization: Even though users have properly been authenticated and identified, it’s not a good idea to give unrestricted access to just anyone within the organization. Granting unauthorized access only increases your chances of data theft and reputational damages. If this is the case, you can always try to use periodic access reviews for making sure that users have access to specific resources. This way, all user actions will be documented and logged.
The best practices you can follow for access request management
If you want your access request management system to be effective in your organization, here are a few steps you should follow:
- Understanding your organization’s needs and requirements: If you don’t know the needs of your organization, you might run into several problems later on. Create access policies and follow a set of compliance requirements.
- Create access policies: Access policies will give everyone a standard they should follow and roles to who does and doesn’t have access to certain information. This is great for keeping consistency in your organization for promoting data integrity and availability.
- Integrate into your onboarding: Integrating your access request management system into your employee onboarding software can be a pivotal step in having a smooth onboarding process.
- Reviews and auditing: Review of access entitlements and regular auditing is an essential component of having an effective access request management system. This allows you to ensure that your access control process and system are functioning well and that each user is assigned a role for the type of documents they have access to.
- Choosing the right access request management system: A well-set-up access request management system will promote data privacy compliance and audit readiness. Additionally, it supports multiple user roles, privileged access and more. When the system is good, it allows you to integrate with an IT Service Management software that lets you effectively conduct route requests based on a few business rules. Additionally, you have auditing capabilities that allow you to check up on how effective your system is.
The whole idea of why you need access request management
Access request management brings order to your business and allows you to effectively assign the right role to each user that deserves it.
Moreover, if everyone in the organization has assigned roles and follows your access policy, you should be doing great. Allowing anyone to access your files is never a good idea and only gives users space for more online attacks.
As we said, most online attacks are internal and you can never always know the primary reason why an employee would want revenge against the organization.
However, taking precautionary measures is what makes a great organization and you now have the necessary steps for doing so.