The Future of Access Security

As hackers become more advanced, security measures need to stay one step ahead of the game. This is why it is important that security is always evolving. So what is to come for security methods in the near future? While some security measures are futuristic, such as the interesting world of the use of biometrics, it is important to also look at the less interesting methods which will be used in coming years to ensure security.

One of the main focuses of security is access. Healthcare organizations need to ensure that someone who is going to use data for the wrong reasons, cannot access this sensitive company information. Every organization deals with sensitive data, whether it be company or customer information, it can all be stolen and used to the benefit of a hacker. This is why it is important to ensure that only the correct people have access to secure information on the company’s network. While this sounds simple, organizations often become lax and don’t realize that people within their organization have advanced access rights which shouldn’t.

Access Issues

There are three different pain points when it comes to incorrect access rights. The first is that many hospitals over look setting correct access rights during the onboarding process. From the first day of employment, the organization needs to ensure that the new employee has access to only the resources that are needed for their position. Access rights are often incorrectly given or copied from another employee who has a similar position, giving the new hire rights which they should not have.

Next is the issues with the accidently accruing of access rights that occur throughout the career of an employee at the organization. Employees change positions, lend each other access while they are on vacation, borrow credentials, etc. This often leaves the organization with no clear idea of who has access to what and what types of changes they are making in their systems. The hospital often does not realize that some employees have access to secure data for which they have no requirement.

Lastly is the process of off boarding an employee once they are no longer with the organization. Often, healthcare organizations accidently overlook the disabling or deleting of accounts for employees who are no longer employed. This occurs because a manager needs to go into each application the employee had access to and manually disable their account. This is extremely common for temporary or contract employees who only require access for a short period of time. Neglecting this critical task means that an employee who is no longer with the company could still have access to sensitive information.

Methods to ensure correct access

So how can organizations ensure that these issues don’t effect the security of their network? Companies can easily put policies in place to ensure that it is a certain employee’s job to ensure that accounts are created, maintained, and disabled correctly and securely. While this seems simple, it can be difficult to ensure for a large organization, and also requires a full time employee

Future security methods to ensure access rights are correct include automating the account management process. By connecting all of an organizations systems and applications, access rights can easily be ensured without an employee needing to manually go into each application separately. For example when a new employee begins employment HR can easily enter all employee information in the HR system and check off which systems they need accounts created in and access to. This information can then be sent to the appropriate manager who can check the information and give approval with the use of workflow management. If additional approval is still needed then this information can also be automatically sent to multiple approvers.

When it comes to ensuring access rights over time, an automated solution allows system admins to generate an overview of access rights. They have the ability to see exactly who has access to what systems and applications, when they are logging in, and what types of changes they are making. It also allows them to easily make access changes if necessary and correct any issues before it leads to a problem. Additionally with each user activity, the system automatically logs which employee performs a particular management activity, as well as the time it occurred. This is crucial for organizations that must comply with regulations including SOX, HIPAA, SEC and GLBA.

Lastly is the issue of disabling of accounts. When an employee leaves the organization it is important that thier account get disabled in a timely fashion. As previously mentioned this can easily be overlooked since a manager has to go into each application and manually disabled the accounts. With an automated solution a manager can simply disabled the account in the source system and all other connected accounts are automatically disabled. This ensures that once the employee leaves, they no longer have any access to secure data.

While this might not be a fun, futuristic, sci-fi inspired security method, it is the realistic future of security. To ensure that human error is eliminated through manual process, automated solutions are being implemented in many areas of the business world. An automated account management solution ensures that access rights are correct so that there is no breach of secure company data.