Regularly Scheduled Access Reviews or simply access reviews are essential for any organization looking to have a strong cybersecurity posture. With a strategically devised security posture, it is easier to predict and react to threats, mitigating their risks and potential effects. This makes regularly conducted access reviews a key line of defense and ensures that unauthorized access to sensitive information is prevented. The NIST recommends that access reviews are conducted at least on a semi-annual basis. With this in mind, how do regularly scheduled access reviews give your organization an advantage against cybersecurity threats?
Perhaps the most obvious advantage is that you know exactly who has access to the information that needs to be protected. With inappropriate access permissions granted to users, these can be exploited by hackers to access the information they can use to cause damage to an organization, whether the damage is to their reputation or financial. As access reviews occur, it can be easily determined where too much access has been granted and eliminate unnecessary access before it may cause security issues.
While semi-annual access review may be enough, ISACA recommends an increased frequency based on the following risk scenarios; when a user leaves a team, when a user changes roles, when a user leaves the organization, or when a current reporting manager is reassigned. In each of these instances, when users retain their previous access permissions, they (or hackers) can access information that should no longer be accessed and poses a significant security risk.
Regularly Scheduled Access Reviews
With regularly scheduled access reviews, organizations can determine whether accounts need to have certain access permissions removed as these scenarios arise. If access reviews are only conducted at 6-month intervals, users can have access to information they shouldn’t for up to half a year. ISACA’s best practices for regularly scheduled access reviews include conducting reviews as new users get added, when users change roles, when users leave an organization, and at predetermined intervals. Plus, these recommendations make it easier to catch potential threats before they become a real problem.
Regularly scheduled access reviews are essential for ensuring that the information your organization is responsible for remains safe and secure. When integrated as a key facet of your cybersecurity protocols, access reviews are highly advantageous in helping you to stay ahead of hackers and cybercriminals looking to steal sensitive information and data.
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