Access reviews are important? In the modern digital landscape, companies are shifting from traditional legacy applications to cloud apps to benefit from increased productivity, collaboration, analytics, or remote access to information. While in theory companies can build software additions to their legacy applications to offer these functionalities and more, but the reality is that it typically doesn’t happen. Only about 11% of annual IT budgets get spent on application development, usually centered on purchasing enterprise software.
Access Reviews for Cloud Applications
As more companies begin to adopt cloud-based applications, a major concern becomes data security and the availability of resources. With legacy on-premise applications used for decades by companies around the world, hackers would often need to physically access information from computers within the system. With cloud applications, hackers may need as little as a password to gain access to sensitive information.
While companies with legacy applications should be implementing regular access reviews of the accounts on their system, cloud applications need access reviews just as much, if not more. During access reviews, every user account is audited to ensure that it can only access systems and data that it should. The NIST recommends the principle of least privilege when it comes to user access, meaning that the user only has access to the minimum amount of resources necessary to carry out their duties. When done regularly, access reviews reduce the potential risk of hackers exploiting vulnerabilities in user access capabilities to steal sensitive information.
This is essential in the case of cloud applications. Users can use their login credentials to gain access to the information they are authorized to access from anywhere: at home, in the office, or across the globe. If hackers gain access to this login information, they are also able to access the data the account has been authorized to. Monitoring account access activity can indicate whether anything uncharacteristic is taking place.
When access is limited by the roles of a user, sensitive information not relevant to their position is not compromised in the event of unauthorized account access. Plus, it is essential that companies quickly modify or revoke access to information when a user’s role changes so that they cannot continue to access sensitive information they no longer require access to. If someone ends their employment, their ability to access sensitive information can pose serious security risks to the company, especially if they may have malicious intent.
As cloud applications continue to be adopted by companies around the world, security should be one of their top priorities. Conducting regular access reviews, if they’re not already, will become essential for ensuring that sensitive information can only be accessed by authorized parties. It will also become quickly apparent that conducting access reviews for cloud applications is more important than with traditional legacy applications as well.
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