Do you know who has access to your most sensitive data? If not, you need to start thinking about access governance. Access governance is the process of ensuring that only authorized users have access to sensitive data. It can be challenging, but it is essential to keep your data safe. This article will discuss six best practices for implementing an effective access governance strategy.
Table of Contents
Application Portfolio Inventory
The first step in any access governance strategy is to inventory the applications that contain sensitive data. You need to know what data is stored where and who has access to it. This information should be documented and updated regularly.
Regular auditing is essential to ensure that data is being accessed appropriately. Auditing can be manual or automated. This will make automate internal controls and auditing more efficient and effective. But it will require a robust access governance solution.
Standard Web Applications
Once you have an inventory of your applications, you need to decide which ones should be accessible from the internet. Any application containing sensitive data should not be accessible from the internet unless necessary. If possible, you should use VPN or other security measures to protect these applications.
Nonstandard Web Applications
Some applications are not meant to be accessed from the internet. These applications should be behind a firewall and only accessible to authorized users. If unauthorized users try to access these applications, they should be logged in and alerted.
Authentication and Authorization
All users should be authenticated and authorized before they are given access to sensitive data. Authentication is verifying that a user is who they claim to be. Authorization is the process of determining what a user is allowed to do. Both authentication and authorization should be done using reliable methods, such as two-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication is when a user must provide two pieces of information to verify their identity. This could be something like a password and a fingerprint.
Role-Based Access Control
Once you have an inventory of your applications, you can start to implement role-based access control. This means that you will assign users to roles and then give each role the appropriate level of access to the data. For example, you might have a role for HR staff that allows them to access employee information.
User Provisioning and Deprovisioning
Another essential aspect of access governance is user provisioning and de-provisioning. This is the process of adding and removing users from applications. It is essential to do this carefully to ensure that only authorized users can access sensitive data.
Classifying your data is another critical step in implementing an effective access governance strategy. You need to know what data is sensitive and where it is located. This information will help you determine who should access the data and how to protect it.
Data Least Privilege
Regarding data security, the principle of least privilege is essential. This means that users should only have access to the data needed to do their job. Any unnecessary access should be removed. This will help to reduce the risk of data breaches.
Finally, it is essential to review your access governance strategy regularly. You should audit who has access to sensitive data and ensure that only authorized users have access. You’ll want to automate internal controls and auditing. And you should also regularly review the roles and permissions to ensure they are still appropriate.
Access governance is essential to keeping your data safe. By following these best practices, you can ensure that only authorized users can access sensitive data. Implementing an effective access governance strategy will help to protect your data and reduce the risk of data breaches.