In recent times, access management systems have been embraced by SMEs, large enterprises, and startups. However, companies are becoming increasingly aware of the need to address challenges with access mechanisms, the most notable being the rising number of cyber-attacks on an organization’s IT infrastructure.
The increasing cases of successful cyber-attacks can be attributed to weaknesses in the companies’ access management to internal workloads and environments. This article discusses some of the core challenges of environment access management.
Table of Contents
Access Credential Challenges
Some organizations find it difficult to assign different login credentials and grant access rights only on a need-to-know basis. This leads to the problem of the same password for a large group of employees whereby even employees who don’t need those rights are assigned the rights. When access rights are granted on a blanket basis, tracking for errors or possible sabotage and pinning it to an individual becomes quite tricky.
Users granted excessive permission, which they don’t need in performing their roles, especially in cloud environments, are prone to abusing these rights. The probability of these super rights being granted to staff who don’t need them in the first place increases by the increase in the number of staff who have these rights. This may lead to security file leaks and confidential customer information leaks, posing serious threats to these organizations.
Organizations should grant timed logins that must be renewed after a short time to avoid data breaches. Businesses should give access levels based on seniority and technical needs for the rights. This helps in managing user abuse and tracking policy breaches. Most organizations use Role-Based Access Control, where user access is determined by the need and privilege of his role. Through this model, other users are prevented from accessing sensitive information that isn’t necessary to their roles.
The uncertainty of who is responsible for particular security aspects, especially in the cloud environment, makes many companies vulnerable to misconfigurations. Inadequate management of policies, access rights, and privileges significantly contribute to unnecessary errors in these companies’ configurations. These inadequacies further complicate managing and monitoring malicious behavior in applications. Companies that undertake their cloud migration during mergers or during onboarding without utilizing the right enterprise cloud transformation tools are often vulnerable to project delays due to data misconfigurations.
Organizations are encouraged to utilize more than one form of technology to implement their security measures successfully. For example, organizations can use other technologies besides the Role-Based Access Control discussed above to grant access rights. This will ensure that only expert users access the sensitive data.
Companies that base their operations on the cloud are more at risk of exposing their proprietary information to the public. Cloud migration is driven more by the need and desire for agility and flexibility. Some companies unknowingly leave their IaaS storage service and APIs exposed to the public internet. This problem is attributable to the negligence of their IT professionals, inexperience, or the sheer volume and complexity of the tasks involved during cloud migration and maintenance. Companies should utilize enterprise cloud transformation tools to assist their engineers in finishing their cloud migration projects efficiently.
Inconsistency in Data Transport
Due to the delicate nature of access control, there is a need for consistency when organizations transport their data. However, many organizations do not mind transporting their data in different ways whenever they migrate. Organizations should employ safe enterprise transformation tools to move their data rather than moving these data across cloud storage and mobile data, which puts them at risk. Data transported differently may develop inconsistencies in its implementation, leading to delay.
The significant challenges of environment access management are access to credential allocation and management, which can be mitigated by utilizing RABC alongside other technologies. RABC ensures easy access permission management, thus mitigating errors, cyber-attacks, and data leaks. Data transport inconsistencies and lack of expertise can be addressed by utilizing online transformation tools and sourcing for more experienced professionals who can disseminate their knowledge to other staff through sitting next to ‘Nelly’ and on-job training. Organizations can also offer off-the-job training opportunities to their engineers to address the problem of a shortage of experts to alleviate this problem.