For greater protection against data breaches and cyber threats, you can’t ignore access control. Access control involves restricting, monitoring and controlling access to your business’s data. Without it, all users may have unlimited access to all of your business’s data. Here are six best practices to follow when implementing access control.
#1) Create Unique User Accounts
Each user should have his or her account. Shared accounts can create problems. If a data breach points back to a shared account, you won’t know which user was responsible for it. By creating unique user accounts, you’ll have greater control over your business’s data.
#2) Use the Principle of Least Privilege
The principle of least privilege can strengthen your business’s cybersecurity. This concept lives up to its namesake by assigning users the lowest level of privilege that they need to perform their job. If a user only needs to review a database, for instance, he or she shouldn’t be allowed to edit the database.
#3) Authenticate Users
You should authenticate users as part of your business’s access control strategy. Authentication is a form of identity verification. It involves checking the identity of a user to verify his or her identity. Many businesses now use multifactor authentication (MFA). With MFA, users will have to enter a password along with an additional piece of information, such as a PIN.
#4) Leverage Physical Access Control Methods
While most access control methods are digital, others are physical. Physical access control methods are designed to prevent or restrict users from physically accessing the devices on which data is stored. Locked doors, for instance, is a physical access control method. If your business has an office with a computer, you should consider locking the door to the office.
#5) Log Out Idle Users
Another access control best practice is to log out idle users. If a user hasn’t performed any actions in the past 30 minutes, for instance, he or she is probably no longer present. Keeping idle users such as this logged in poses security concerns. If the user’s account has been compromised, it could be used for nefarious purposes. Therefore, you should configure your business’s information technology (IT) infrastructure to log out idle users automatically.
#6) Conduct Regular Account Audits
You should conduct regular account audits. An account audit, of course, involves analyzing your business’s user accounts and their respective permission levels. If a user account is no longer needed, you can delete it. If a user account has a higher-than-necessary privilege level, you can lower it.