5 Access Control Best Practices You Need to Secure Your System

Do you have valuable data assets in your system? It’s prudent to secure them with the right strategies; otherwise, you’ll expose them to theft or manipulation.

Free entry to your network is an invitation to cybercriminals. Access control helps verify who is eligible to access your system to prevent malicious activities. So what can you do secure access to your system?

1. Connect Access to User Roles

People shouldn’t be able to access your system without proper identification. It’s like letting strangers into your house without asking for their ID. You need to assign access roles and credentials to everyone who wants to enter your system. It’s on this premise that usernames and passwords exist.

Connecting access to user roles promotes accountability. If anything goes wrong, you can trace it back to individual users. Every user must have a single username and password. Otherwise, they might create multiple identities to manipulate the system.

2. Prioritize Use Cases

Don’t implement access control just for the sake of it. You should focus on how your access control efforts serve and enhance the security of your system. Start by identifying the vulnerabilities within your network. What areas pose a high-security risk?

For instance, if you suffered a data breach because a cybercriminal guessed your password correctly, you need to pay greater attention to generating stronger passwords. In this case, consider using passphrases and password-generating tools to create passwords that are hard to guess.

3. Implement the Principle of Least Privilege

A user who has unlimited access to your system can cause more damage than a user with limited access. As much as people need to execute certain tasks on your system, you should be wary of how much access they have.

To be on the safe side, only grant users access to areas that concern them. Restrict them from exploring areas they have no business with. While this might seem strict, it’ll help you check users’ activities on your system, and limit any damage if their account is compromised. This is called the Principle of Least Privilege (POLP).

If anyone needs to access areas that aren’t within their coverage, they should request access from you. Should you choose to grant such a request, keep an eye on their activities to detect any foul play and rescind it as soon as you can.

4. Use Numerous Security Layers

Visualize the worst-case scenarios in securing your system, so you can make provisions for them. This entails taking a proactive approach to cybersecurity instead of a reactive one. What happens if cyberattackers bypassed the username and password single authentication you have installed?

Creating additional layers of security with tools such as multi-factor authentication strengthens your access control. Someone must then be able to bypass all the stages to successfully break into your system.

5. Review and Improve Access Control Regularly

There’s a tendency to neglect existing access control systems, especially when you are busy with other activities. But change is constant. The people accessing your system today may not always be in your corner. You need to terminate users’ access to your system when they are no longer working with you. If you fail to do this, they may take advantage of the situation and compromise your data.

If you need to engage contractors and grant them access to your system to perform their duties, ensure that you remove their access once they complete their job.

There’s a chance that you might forget to revoke the access of users that you no longer need. To prevent that from happening, have a policy for reviewing your access control periodically.

Securing Your Digital Assets With Access Control

There’s a reason why people mount strong security at the entrance of their physical buildings: they need to stop intruders and attackers at the gate, so they don’t enter the building where their loved ones and valuables assets are.

Access control is a vital step in cybersecurity because it secures the entry point of systems. Implementing the best access control practices to ward off cyber threats is better than dealing with a full-blown attack.

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