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Access Controls | January 27th, 2021

Three Access Control Habits to Break in 2021

The new year typically signifies a new start. It is a chance to reflect on the year before and set goals that will make the next 365 days better – whatever “better” means to you. For some, it may mean expanding their knowledge, perfecting a craft, or improving their health while for others it may mean breaking bad habits such as repeatedly hitting the snooze button or drinking too much caffeine to get through the day. In this blog, we will cover three bad access control habits to break in 2021 to improve your company’s internal security and keep it secure and compliant.

#1 Revoking Access After the Deadline

For many security professionals, provisioning emergency or privileged access requests is just one of the many tasks they are expected to do in a day. Depending on the size and location of the company, there can be anywhere from one to hundreds of requests coming at any moment, day or night. With many security professionals still manually tracking their access requests, it can get overwhelming to keep up with each request and revoke the access on time. There may even come a time when you forget to revoke access after the deadline expired. Whether it has been an hour after the deadline or days or worse months, this unrevoked access poses a security risk. An account that has access to privileged information after the deadline has passed and with little oversight can not only pose a real risk to the security of your company’s data but can also pose a real risk to the success of your next audit.

#2 Having Too Many “Ticketing” Avenues

Another habit that should be broken this year is allowing access requests to come from different avenues that are not your standard/preferred ticketing system. Many security professionals have standardized ticketing systems for emergency or elevated access requests but may sometimes receive requests through their email, a text message, or a phone call. Allowing requests to come from different avenues can cause confusion or may create overlapping requests if the access was not granted fast enough. This can be a very stressful situation for the security professional who has to work backwards, tracking who requested what access from where, which can cause inaccurate records that may jeopardize future audits.

#3 Tracking Emergency Access Management (EAM) on Excel Sheets

With hundreds of manual EAM requests, come hundreds of excel sheets/tabs to keep track of every request, approval, execution and review. If you have a large volume of requests coming in from different sources, manually tracking the process on excel sheets can get very complicated and become disorganized quickly. Though most of us would like to think that our data organization works for us, it may not be the most compliant method. Manually tracking requests on excel sheets is not only time-consuming and laborious for the security team but can also pose a security risk to your organization. The manual approach to tracking access requests is error-prone and may ultimately threaten the success of your audits if the excel sheets show irregularities or are not organized efficiently.

While breaking three habits in one year may seem very ambitious, these habits, unlike drinking too much caffeine, have a simple solution: automated access controls. By implementing automated access controls, your security team can spend more time focusing on business-critical tasks, there is a smaller margin of error, and automating the process can shorten your audits making them less costly. Automating the process with a solution such as ERP Maestro’s Emergency Access Management (EAM) can provide a detailed and integrated audit trail for end-to-end visibility that can better prepare your organization for audits and give authorized users pre-approved access – reducing the amount of time between requests and when the access is granted, streamlining the entire process.


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