Access Control at your Business
Most businesses collect and store confidential information, and we need safeguards in place to protect that sensitive data. Access control is a fundamental security measure that every organization needs to have in place. Even if your business is operating a hybrid work environment, it’s important that sensitive information is protected from unauthorized access. In this blog, we will share some tips on improving access control security at your business.
Confidentiality and Access Control
Confidentiality is the ability to keep data protected while access control is a fundamental aspect of any organization’s security that determines who is allowed to access certain data, apps and resources.
Access control policies rely heavily on techniques like authentication and authorization, which allow organizations to explicitly verify both that users are who they say they are and that these users are granted the appropriate level of access based on context such as device, location, role, and much more. -Microsoft
Exposing sensitive information, whether intentionally or unintentionally, can lead to irreversible consequences. It's important that your organization limits and protects access to confidential information to prevent:
- Financial loss
- Reputational damage
- Legal action
- Loss/breach of sensitive data
Access control doesn’t require expensive tools, especially with Microsoft 365 identity and access management solutions, information protection is more affordable and more accessible than ever before. Here’s a list of some of the simplest security best practices you can implement to lockdown confidential information at your business:
Limit Access to Information: It’s no secret that business leaders want to keep certain information secret. By limiting an individual's access to information, you're limiting the risk of exposing that information. This is referred to as "Need to Know." Only information that is relevant to each person’s job should be available to them. Microsoft 365 makes limiting access easy with Multi-factor Authentication access control policies that grant or limit specific permissions to employees.
Lock Computers: A best practice at your business should be that computers are always locked when unattended, regardless of an employee’s location. This prevents anyone, even a family member, from viewing your business data or using their device while they are away.
Protect Physical Information: Not all sensitive information is digital. Protecting physical copies of sensitive information is just as important to be classified and properly protected. Think about who may have access to your office building, or even home office. Always ensure you keep sensitive documents physically protected in a safe and secure place when not in use.
Limit Downloads: Your organization can make it harder for security leaks to happen by limiting how information can be downloaded and shared. Keeping sensitive information behind secure portals, and limiting the ability to download, can help keep info secure.
Classify Data: Not all data is created equally. Your organization should have a data classification program to identify the sensitivity level of data. This should include a distinction between public and non-public information and how to store, protect, and dispose of sensitive information.
Keeping sensitive information protected requires a multi-layered approach. A Managed Services Provider can help ensure that you have the right access control policies implemented to reduce the risk of your customer data or intellectual property getting stolen by bad actors or other unauthorized users. They can also provide Security Awareness Training to ensure your employees are aware of your security best practices and policies when it comes to protecting what matters most. Reach out to us to learn more!
Microsoft Access Control: https://www.microsoft.com/en-ca/security/business/security-101/what-is-access-control