What is an Access Review and How Does it Relate to Your Identity Audit?

Managing user accounts is essential to maintaining the security and integrity of your company’s data.  But what is an access review and how does it relate to your identity audit?   This is why the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, 800-53 (Rev 4) section PR.AC-4 recommends that access reviews are conducted on a semiannual basis.

When you fail to manage access to sensitive information, you expose your company to the risk of data breaches and fraud, leading to an inability to comply with identity governance regulations. To protect vital information, completing regular or periodic access reviews will ensure that only those who are meant to access secure data can. This will also play a key role when performing identity audits for your organization.

What is an Access Review?

To start, what is an access review? An access review requires business administrators to review what each user in their system has access to. The process allows a company to keep track of what information users have the privilege to access so that they can change or revoke access when necessary.

This process is vital to information security. As work lifecycles become more complex, it becomes more challenging to monitor when people have changed roles or have ended their work relationship with their employer. For example, when someone’s employment is terminated, they may still retain access to the employer’s systems and the sensitive information it contains. Alternatively, if someone transitions to a new role, they may still be able to access information their previous duties required. These scenarios both cause vulnerabilities in the security of the data they have access to. An access review serves to remedy this, making sure that those only those who need access are given it.

Image #1: Access Reviews are key part of both compliance and security for your Identity audits. (access review and how does it relate to your identity audit)


Access Review And How Does It Relate To Your Identity Audit ?

Access reviews play directly into an organization’s identity audit, whether internal or external. To ensure compliance with identity governance regulations, such as HIPAA/HITRUST, SOX, PCI-DSS, SOC 2 Type 2, ISO 27001 and others –  identity audits analyze user accounts within an organization’s system. During an identity audit, companies want to make sure that those accessing sensitive information are authorized and maintaining compliance with information security protocols and regulations. Those who are not compliant with regulations can face steep fines and penalties that their organization will have to pay.

Conducting regular access reviews and identity audits ensures that there are no violations of regulations before information gets into the wrong hands. If data is breached, it can severely impact a company, whether it garners them fines, the loss of business, or a negative reputation in their industry. Without the combination of the two processes, companies cannot gain a true understanding of the information they are allowing their employees to access.

Keeping sensitive information safe and secure from malicious actions and threats is a key responsibility of organizations that require their employees to access the information to perform their responsibilities. Access reviews allow the organization to ensure access to the information is controlled so that breaches can be prevented and they maintain compliance with the regulations that they are required to follow.

YouAttest Automates and Simplifies the Access Review Process

Acces Reviews can be messy and downright imprecise.  Studies have shown that manual audits are fraught with errors and omissions.

Image #2: YouAttest allows enterprises to automate and quantify their access reviews with minimal installation effort and overhead.

YouAttest automates the creation and review of identity and application access reviews.   It allows the auditors, internal or external – to step through all of the relevant information:

  • Users
  • Groups
  • Managers
  • Roles
  • Applications

And pivot on the data to review as an enterprise would wish to reivew:

  • Audit by User
  • Audit by Group
  • Audit by Applications

YouAttest enables the audit lead to manually or auto-delegate acces reviews to the proper manager – to achieve the best results on the review.

To learn more about YouAttest,  please register for our next webinar:  “User-Centric Audits Executed from the Cloud” or schedule an appointment to have an access review specialist give you a demo and learn your requirments.

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