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Access Controls | August 5th, 2019

Access Control: What It Is and Why You Need it Now

Access Control – What is it?

While access control can have various definitions pertaining to different professions, the definition we’ll focus on relates to access approvals for IT general controls. This is when a system or person decides to grant or reject an access request from an already authenticated subject, based on what the subject is authorized to access. The mechanism that carries out access controls can be manual or automatic in nature, although automating access controls means increased security and protection against fraud, as well as a smoother Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) compliance audit for publicly traded companies.

Why Do You Need Access Control?

Almost every company has an ERP (enterprise resource planning) system, such as ones from SAP or Oracle, that helps to enable procurement, payment, transport, human resources management, product management, and financial planning among other tasks. With all this information, plus hundreds or thousands of employees with access to the company’s ERP system, the risk of improper access or carrying out a fraudulent task increases as the volume of users and security settings also rise.

With access controls, companies can implement cybersecurity measures, such as Segregation (or separation) of Duties (SoD), to better secure the data in ERP systems. This means that certain functions, payment processing of an invoice, for example, must be carried out by multiple users to ensure fraud or errors don’t occur. This instance of checks and balances can be carried out via access controls, since it can grant or deny access to functions for users. At the same time, access control can help implement the Principle of Least Privilege (PoLP) in ERP systems, which is a cybersecurity measure that limits user access to the bare minimum needed to perform a job. Considering that typical companies lose five percent of their annual revenue to fraud and internal threats and breaches are becoming more common, access controls are a necessary defense for any company with one or more ERP systems.

What an Access Control Solution Can Do

Instead of implementing access controls manually, an access control solution can automate the process of delegating user access – from approving or rejecting access to identifying access risks that aren’t mitigated in the ERP system(s). Today’s access control solutions go a step further by providing in-depth reporting on access risk, even down to the authorization object level. Some are entirely cloud-based and can be customized to fit the risk management needs of the organization, while others are part of larger, more complex, on-premise software solution that are older, more traditional approaches with less flexibility. With these factors to consider, plus ones that may not be as obvious, it’s difficult to decide on what access control solution would be best.

That is why we created the Access Control Solution Buyer’s Guide. Co-authored by four professionals having combined experience with KPMG, SAP and IBM, our guide will help you figure out what you need, what should be weighted most heavily in your choice and what solutions provide the best long-term value. Whether you’re new to access controls or looking to replace an existing solution for your ERP system, first read this comprehensive buyer’s guide before deciding. Download it here. 

Have any questions? Contact us at info@erpmaestro.com and we’ll be happy to help. 

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