When was the last time you completed a review of your systems with security in mind?
Specifically software access rights?
Access Management is one of the 10 steps to Cyber Security published by The National Cyber Security Centre.
Valid user accounts and correct rights for job roles, is an important part of your security make-up. Reviewing access rights as and when employees start, leave or change positions is an important task. An overall audit carried out at least annually ensures that nothing has slipped through your net.
Access rights in software usually consist of security groups to control which pages a user can visit. The rights control the pages they can access and whether they can create, change, or delete records. Security groups also control who has access to the admin areas. Admin sections consist of configuration pages, user account set up and higher level features such as reporting and claim information.
The Importance of Access Reviews
Your applications contain personal and usually sensitive data. Whilst your users need access to certain parts of your application, not everyone needs access to all of it. When was the last time you checked who has access to what in your systems?
- Job roles change; do you reconsider their access rights when that happens?
- People leave; do you properly terminate their access to all of your systems?
- Security groups; are they fit for purpose?
- Who has Admin rights and do they still need them?
Why is carrying out an access review important?
It’s about protecting what matters most: your data and reputation. Think of sensitive customer information, financial records, and intellectual property like the crown jewels of your business. Leaving access to these unchecked is like putting them in a glass case with the door wide open.
Significance of Regular Access Reviews
Access right reviews provide comfort that only authorised individuals have the correct access to do their jobs and nothing more. Regular reviews should form part of your security audits to minimise the risk of:
- Data breaches: Hackers love lax access controls. They can exploit outdated permissions or “borrow” someone’s access to sneak in and steal valuable data. In Cyber events, hackers will have infiltrated your network before you become aware. They will try to identify the Admin accounts in advance and the accounts with the most privileged access.
- Insider threats: Employees leave, roles change, and sometimes people forget to return equipment. Without reviews, ex-employees, disgruntled workers, or even honest mistakes can leave sensitive data vulnerable.
- Compliance issues: Many regulations and contracts require strict data security controls. Access reviews help maintain compliance.
Investing in Security through Access Reviews
Investing in regular access right reviews is like buying an insurance policy for your data. It’s a small cost, compared to the potential damage of a breach or accidental deletions. Regularly review rights to all of your organisation infrastructure, providing peace of mind that your house is in order.
For help with checking the rights within your software, contact your vendor. Most vendors will be happy to help with your security setup. For more information on Cyber threats, click here.