Six best practices to follow in access control
Finding the right access control for your organization is best done in stages. In this way, you’ll be able to foresee costs and activities that you must tackle both on short-term and long-term basis, and keep your staff and business assets consistently safe.
Access control best practices include activities where you need to pay attention to how much you will spend upfront for which product, who will be your preferred vendor, how will you set up the access control within your organization, and how will you maintain the access control system as the company grows.
By learning from users who have tested the waters previously and borrowing their best practices, you can implement a pain-free access control solution. To make things simple, take the process step-by-step, and organize the access control in three stages:
- Planning for access control
- Setting up an access control solution
- Operating an access control system.
Let’s look into some of the best practices for each of the above stages.
Planning for access control
This is the most important stage of organizing access control since what you do here will affect the next two stages. Start by paying attention to the following:
Create role-based access – Your company will probably incorporate several departments with various responsibility levels. Not everyone needs to get access to all areas. Therefore, it’s best to create a scheme in which your employees will be clearly identified by roles and given appropriate authorizations based on the type of job that they do. Examples of role-based access are the network administrator who gets access to the server room or the accountant who can unlock the company safe. When you create roles, make sure to check regulatory compliance practices for each of these roles.
Implement security layers – When planning for access control, consider several access options. Various technologies enable making your company more or less secure. Implement each of these technologies at the appropriate level so that you encircle specific areas with strict access requirements while leaving others more open to a wider audience. Establish two-factor or multi-factor authentication to prevent fraudulent use of stolen passwords or PINs. Think of what tools you will install to support the access control infrastructure – for example – cameras, sensors, door locks, readers, and wireless technology, and make sure that each security layer is appropriately supported by the right authorization level and access control tools.
Setting up an access control solution
Despite the careful planning things can get awry if you don’t set up the system as planned. Here is what’s critical to take care of when you get to the second stage:
Apply the least privilege access control – Most security experts will advise you that applying the least privilege rule is one of the best practices when setting up access control. In general terms, least privilege means that access should be granted only to persons who explicitly need to get it. Access control privileges shouldn’t be given out of convenience. In addition, any IT staff or security personnel that have specialized roles in terms of deciding about the access control privileges should be closely monitored since they can cause the greatest damage to your organization.
Install software to automate processes – User provisioning is best done with an automated solution. Once you establish the roles and the responsibilities, it’s difficult to keep track of all assigned authorizations, especially if you employ hundreds or thousands of people in a large enterprise. Therefore, instead of relying on manual tracking, deploy a user provisioning software that will automate activities and keep records of all changes as they happen in real time. Automate IT integrations, workflows, role hierarchies, password management, and auditing to avoid costly mistakes.
Operating an access control system
Once that all is set and done with the best practices from the first two stages, you need to make sure that the established system will stay functional for a long time. Here are a few of the best practices you need to implement to maintain an effective access control system and a long-term safe workplace.
Secure data – Using an integrated access control system can effectively solve many enterprise security problems, but it can also pose greater risk because the integration can create additional challenges, such as more points of vulnerabilities for hacker’s attacks. Having that many account information, stored passwords, PINs, personal user details in the same system is a risk unless it’s properly secured. Consequently, secure all data by applying logical and physical access protective measures.
Run system audits – One of the easiest ways to audit your access control system is to use the software reporting capabilities, naturally, if you have them. By inspecting the reports you will be able to monitor if the system is up and running as it should be and whether you need to implement fixes, changes or updates. Make the audit process a mandatory activity in your enterprise security policies so that you are not able to forget about it since it will become a regular part of how you manage your business.