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The Need for Access Reviews for Azure AD

Azure AD is the dominant identity store for enterprises under compliance:  SOX, SOC2, HIPAA/HITRUST, ISO 27001 and others – and thus the need for access reviews for Azure AD.

To mitigate the risk of data breaches and other security incidents, it is essential to conduct regular access reviews. Azure AD is a cloud-based system that allows businesses to regularly manage their access permissions and security within your company’s system with the help of YouAttest. This helps ensure that confidential data remains secure, and only those who need access have it.

A Necessity for Access Reviews

Azure AD is a cloud-based service that enables you to manage users and groups while securing your organization’s resources because of its strong authentication and authorization capabilities. It is necessary to review who has access or risk a hack within your organization. Azure AD provides a scalable enterprise-grade cloud directory service for managing network access, enforcing policies, and exposing services with a comprehensive set of capabilities for authentication and authorization. Some of the benefits of Azure AD include:

Image #1: Access Reviews of Azure AD are imperative to a secure and compliant enterprise.

  • Azure AD can be deployed both on-premises and in the cloud.
  • A comprehensive set of capabilities for authentication and authorization.
  • Manage users and groups while securing resources with just a few clicks.
  • Manage access of users to cloud-based applications and services in-house.
  • Integration with cloud services such as Office 365 and Dynamics CRM Online.
  • Azure AD integrates with your existing identity infrastructure or use it by itself.
  • Identity and access management capabilities, including multi-factor authentication.

An access review is an activity where an organization reviews its users’ access to determine if it is still appropriate. The goal is to ensure that only the right people have access to the right content. Otherwise, the organization is at risk. If a user’s access to content expires, they can be denied access resulting in a better-protected environment for the organization. Typically, Microsoft recommends that Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) access reviews are completed every 90 days or sooner, depending on your organization’s security needs, helping your organization understand whose access needs to be revoked and who needs more access.

Azure Active Directory enables organizations to efficiently manage group memberships, access to enterprise applications, and role assignments. Businesses should conduct access reviews regularly to ensure that only current employees of a specific security level have access, otherwise sensitive information is at risk.

Improve Operational Effectiveness with Access Reviews

When an access review is conducted, the organization may find that some users no longer have the appropriate access to content. In this case, the organization needs to resolve the issue. There are several ways to resolve access issues such as:

  • Updating RAP assignments if no longer relevant.
  • Ensuring users continue to belong to the appropriate groups.
  • Revoking access if a user no longer needs access to content.
  • Requesting a review of a user’s current access status and activity.

From an operational perspective, Azure AD access reviews improve your business by helping to ensure that only the right people have access to the resources they need, increasing efficiency and reducing the risk of unauthorized access. By eliminating the need to review permissions for each user with automation, managing access rights is easier and frees up employee time for more critical tasks. Azure Active Directory can help manage access by enabling organizations to easily manage their users and access to cloud and on-premises applications. This provides benefits including increased security, reduced cost and complexity, and ease of use for small and large organizations.

It is now more vital than ever for businesses to ensure that their Azure AD implementation is as secure as possible. One way to do this is through the use of access reviews. An access review allows you to examine all of the permissions that have been granted to users in your Azure AD environment and determine if any of those permissions should be revoked or adjusted. This process can help improve operational effectiveness by ensuring that only authorized users access the resources they need to do their jobs. YouAttest can help you set up and implement an access review process for your organization’s Azure AD environment to secure your organization.

YouAttest is an automated identity audit tool for your identity and access control resources. Trace3’s Sr. Practice Director, GRC & Security Intelligence, Kyle Gillland, will join YouAttest on Wed, Feb 23rd for webinar:  “Auditing your Azure AD for SOX, SOC2, HIPAA/HITRUST, ISO 27001 and Other Compliance Measures”.