Which user accounts have access to sensitive data is an important factor when it comes to the various data privacy guidelines that organizations need to comply with.
When the wrong parties access sensitive data, it can result in a loss of business reputation, expensive remediation costs, and compliance violations that result in penalties.
When a company is seen as negligent in its cybersecurity efforts, the compliance penalties are at their highest. For example, not responsibly protecting account access can be seen as being negligent.
Whether you need to comply with GDPR, NEN, AVG, BIO, or another one of the growing industry, federal, or local data privacy regulations, account access security is an important system to have in place. One of the most compliance-friendly ways to do this is through an automated account provisioning tool.
What Is Automated Account Provisioning?
User accounts will need to be made whenever you have a new employee or subscribe to a new cloud tool. This is often a task given to someone in an IT role. Or, in smaller companies, it may just be the office manager or the person that is “good with computers” that sets up user accounts manually.
Many things can go wrong with manual account creation, including:
- Entering incorrect information (typos, etc.)
- Granting a user the wrong permissions or too much access
- Creating a weak password
- Failing to close accounts when employees no longer need them
Approximately 25% of people still have access to data from a former job’s technology systems.
Automated provisioning automates the entire process of adding user accounts, assigning permissions, and ensuring those accounts are secure. In addition, account details are connected to a “single source of truth,” meaning that data is consistent across all your business applications.
As any employee details change in your HR system, such as name or position, the system will automatically update their account settings according to your policies.
For example, say someone is a Payroll Administrator, and this role has a privileged account in your accounting application. They then move to an executive role as VP of Finance, a position that only needs view access to certain areas of the accounting system. An automated account provisioning tool will make that permission change automatically as soon as the role is updated in the HR system.
How Automating Account Provisioning Reduces the Risk of a Compliance Breach
Fulfills An Important Requirement of Many Data Privacy Guidelines
Many data privacy guidelines and regulations will include a list of basic cybersecurity best practices that companies must adhere to for compliance. Among these is account access security.
With so much data being stored in cloud accounts these days, properly managing how accounts are provisioned is important to ensure sensitive data is protected from a breach. Automating this process helps to fulfill a major requirement you’ll find in all data privacy and data protection guidelines.
Streamlines Audit Reporting
Audit reporting for your account access activities helps you uncover abnormal behavior before it results in a breach. It also helps you pinpoint the source of a breach if one happens.
Being able to show how accounts were accessed in the event of a breach through an accurate audit trail can reduce your liability with a compliance enforcement organization. It can also help you identify the problem quickly so it can be addressed and resolved so it won’t happen again.
Automated account provisioning tools take care of the audit process for you and ensure accurate reporting.
Better Control Over Who is Granted Access to Sensitive Data
When account provisioning is performed manually, you can end up with violations of the “Rule of Least Privilege.” This is a data security best practice that states that users should only be granted the lowest account access as is necessary for their daily tasks.
When decisions on permission granting are left up to one individual, you can end up with users having access to sensitive data that shouldn’t. As a general rule, the fewer high-privileged accounts you have, the lower your risk of one of them being breached.
Automating the account creation process takes the guesswork out of provisioning. You have a preset policy that your system adheres to when it comes to granting user permissions in all your various business apps.
Reduces the Risk of an Account Breach
Ultimately, automating this important piece of cloud data security reduces your organization’s overall risk of a data breach. You have fewer account provisioning mistakes as far as permissions, and there are no orphaned accounts left open after employees leave to provide an invitation to hackers.
Eliminating the risk of a breach means you also mitigate costly compliance penalties.
Learn More About Automating Your Account Provisioning Process!
Improve security and data privacy compliance with an automated and easy-to-use identity and access management solution.
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