Business Access, The Cloud, And Security
It is time for access governance.
Access governance continues to be a surging market in many different industries across the globe and organizations are investing resources in technology that can efficiently improve processes and ensure security of their networks. While the cloud has been established as a standard for organizations, access and governance to manage such solutions has not yet become a standard solution set for the cloud. Perhaps the question remains: How does access governance apply to the cloud?
Access governance helps organizations of all sizes in every industry by ensuring that each employee has the correct access to the systems that they need to perform their jobs, along with keeping the company’s network secure. Access management specifically then allows organizational leaders to easily manage accounts and access, and is put in place to monitor that access is correct for security reasons.
This works by setting up a model of exactly the access rights each role in the organization requires. Access rights are created for specific roles in each relevant department. So, for example, an IT department manager needs certain access rights to systems, applications, and resources, more so than other employees will need. This allows the person who is creating the account to easily do so without accidently making any access mistakes; either giving the employee too many rights or too few rights.
Separation of Duties
Access governance means organizations are able to enable correct access rights according to a model that its leadership have established, thus there are no errors or omissions in the model. Large organizations probably have different types of positions and employees working these positions and their professional responsibilities might overlap so that permission to initiate some type of request and then also accept it is necessary.
Reconciliation is another way to ensure access rights remain accurate. This compares how access rights are set up to be in the model to how they actually are, and creates a report on any differences found. Insomuch, anything that is not accurate can then be easily corrected.
Attestation is still another form of checking access and helps verify all information. A report is forwarded to managers of a department for them to verify that all users and their rights are accounted for and that everything in the log is correct. The manager, for whatever department needs verifying, will need to look over and either mark access rights for deletion, change access rights immediately, or create a helpdesk ticket to change the access right. After examining all of the rights, the manager must give final approval for the proposed set of changes to ensure that everything is correct.
Why is Access Governance Important in the Cloud?
As the number of employees who are working remotely increases so does the users of cloud applications. Access governance is then a way of ensuring security for these types of applications and for employees who are not working in the physical office.
When an employee is first hired by an organization, it is extremely common for the employee to receive too many rights, or acquire them while working on projects and never have them revoked even when the projects have ceased. Access rights, unfortunately, are frequently overlooked access rights and are not considered important enough to revoke, especially in regard to cloud applications. So, access governance means that access is correct across the entire organization, from in-house applications and cloud applications to even physical resources such as cell phones.
Organizational access can be easily monitored through the use of access governance. Here’s why this is important: The typical process goes a little something like this — a new employee is hired in the human resources department as a senior recruiter and needs accounts and resources created so he or she can begin work. The employee then automatically receives a Coupa cloud account, PeopleSoft access, and the ability to open the department’s shared drive and an email address, for example. He or she is ready for work.
For those that participate in such practices, the process looks a little like this: Rules are established so that once a quarter (or whatever interval) the business manager receives a report of all of the employees in his or her department and the access rights of those individuals. When new employees are added to the roles, the list is updated. Then, two quarters later, the manager sees that the senior recruiter has access to an application for which he or she had been using, but the project is now completed or the individual never needed access to the system. Thus, because of advance access management protocols, the business manager, or other departmental leader, can easily tag the access to be revoked and ensure that it is done right away. No multi-level manual processes; simply by the click of a button, all access to the employee for a specific system or all systems can be revoked. That’s the added value of a security measure.
Business leaders have many types of applications to manage, as well as many working situations for employees — because the employee may be traveling, working offsite, or working onsite in the office – and varying resources, all of which can affect access governance and technology within all of these situations. Likewise, leaders that invest because access governance solutions improve security while allowing employees the opportunity to remain productive save organizations time and money.