Is Your Data Access Management Program Keeping Up With New Threats?

Is Your Data Access Management Program Keeping Up With New Threats?

Your approach to data access management requires ongoing action. The program you set up last year gives you a foundation to build on. You cannot rest on your laurels, though. New threats are coming for your company’s data, and it is up to you to protect your organization.

Why spend time evaluating new threats?

Your IT department has many different priorities to manage. Why does it make sense to spend time reviewing and responding to newer IT security threats specifically? The answer is simple. Your original goal with data access management was to protect your data from theft and inappropriate use. If you still care about that goal, you need to keep up with changes inside and outside your company’s four walls.

The Top New Threats You Need To Know About

Fine-tune your data access management program by reviewing these five threats. You will also find out some options for preventing these issues or reducing their impact.

Threat 1: Ransomware Attacks

Ransomware attacks have recently increased in severity. Specifically, the media has reported more examples of hackers demanding payment to restore access to an organization’s data. These threats still usually depend on some employee actions like clicking a link in an email.

Possible solution: Provide training to employees on the dangers of ransomware so that they exercise greater caution.

Threat 2: Internal Threats

Unfortunately, one of the more significant threats for data access management lies inside your company’s workforce. According to the 2020 Cost of Insider Threats Global Report, “the overall cost of insider threats is rising, with a 31% increase from $8.76 million in 2018 (Ponemon) to $11.45 million in 2020.” Insider threats mean employees making mistakes or seeking to act against the company’s best interests.

There are several possible solutions to this data access management threat. You can use the principle of least privilege to reduce employee access rights as much as possible. As a result, internal threats will have less opportunity to do damage. Besides, you can counter this threat by equipping your workforce with increased IT security awareness. Increased awareness will reduce the likelihood of mistakes and oversights.

Threat 3: Employee Turnover Changes

Continuing on the employee-related threats, this particular threat to data access management is one of the lesser-known problems organizations face today. Yet this threat is quite real, and it can quietly erode your data access management program if it is left unmanaged.

Picture the following scenario. Your company has 500 employees. Last year, 50 new employees were hired, and 20 changed jobs within the organization. That means you have at least 70 data access management changes that need to be managed effectively. If a large number of those changes happened at one time, mistakes are more than likely.

The possible solutions to this threat are two-fold. You can start by providing better training to your employees, especially managers. Guide your managers about the importance of taking fast action to address user account changes. There is still a high chance for human error, though. To reduce this threat’s impact even further, consider installing a specialized IT security software solution like Group Requestor.

Threat 4: More Realistic Phishing Attacks

Five or 10 years ago, phishing emails were easy to spot. These malicious emails would have spelling mistakes and poor grammar. As a result, IT leaders found it easy to train employees to avoid these threats. Today’s phishing attacks are a different animal altogether.

The increasing volume is part of the problem in combating phishing. A 2020 industry survey of 317 business and  technology professionals found that “organizations are remediating 1,185 phishing attacks every month.” In addition, more than 70% of companies only offer employee training once per year. It’s no wonder that employees and IT staff struggle to keep up with this threat to data access management.

Depending on your resources, there are different ways to cope with this problem. You can use anti-phishing tools to keep the threat away from the inbox. That’s an excellent option that is well worth considering. However, it is unwise to put all of your security defenses on one tool or technique. What if an employee still clicks on a malicious attack? It would help if you had a way to investigate those attacks afterward and tighten your defenses. To achieve that end, leverage a tool that makes IT compliance easier, like Compliance Auditor.

Threat 5: Large Scale Remote Working

In 2020, millions of people have started to work from home for a prolonged period. That is a significant change to business practices. It means that old assumptions about security no longer apply. For instance, in a physical office setting, you could discourage unauthorized entry with physical keycards. That type of access control doesn’t apply to remote work.

There are a few different ways to cope with the potential security risks associated with large scale remote working. Start with easy fixes like installing VPN security and verifying that your VPN is correctly configured. Next, your IT security team needs more time to answer employee questions. That’s why you might want to install Apollo, an IT security chatbot. Once Apollo handles the majority of IT security administration changes, you will have a more agile staff.

The Simple Way To Keep Your Data Access Management Program Up To Date

Analyzing all of these threats will take some time. If you keep at it, you will find reasonable ways to reduce and eliminate these threats. Fully responding to all five of these data access management threats is a big win! After you celebrate that success, you need a simple way to keep your program current. The best way is to schedule some time on your calendar each week to scan for new threats. Putting 30 minutes on your calendar to review reports from industry groups like ISACA and internal threats is the easiest way to stay current. During these reviews, ask yourself how you can act on what you learn. If the problem is incredibly complex, your next step might be to gather further information and discuss your team’s solutions. Or you might need to install new software like a single sign-on solution to streamline the login process.

Written by Nelson Cicchitto