How to evaluate the effectiveness of your company’s access controls?

The NIST 800-171 standard specifies fourteen sets of data security criteria, including access control. The guideline is intended to establish a baseline for restricting access to any critical material, and it is mandatory for any organisation that is part of the Defense Industrial Base (DIB). The DFARS 252.204-7012 provision, which has been incorporated in DoD agreements since 2017, supports this claim. Since complying with DFARS has become mandatory for government contractors, DoD companies can leverage the expertise of DFARS consultant.

What is access management and how does it work?

Because it regulates who has access to critical information, access control is critical to information security. Access controls must encompass all potentially sensitive information relating to the US Defense department in order to comply with DFARS 252.204-7012.

Implementing a detailed policy and a reliable means to enforce it is critical to properly protecting your data. Before users may access confidential material, access control is used to authenticate who they claim they are. While policy specifies who should have permission for what, contemporary authentication mechanisms such as two factor authentication are often used to enforce access.

There are several approaches of implementing access restrictions. Mandatory access restrictions, for example, are governed by a centralised authority that uses numerous levels of protection. Various rule-based access controls, for example, are commonly employed to enforce required access control.

Here are some of the most common techniques to assess and enhance the efficacy of your current access controls:

IT infrastructures that are dispersed

Today’s businesses have increasingly complex IT infrastructures that are spread over a mix of in-house solutions and private, public, and hybrid cloud systems. Data is gathered, stored, and transported across an ever-increasing amount of terminals across a variety of systems. When it comes to implementing and enforcing access restrictions, this presents major issues.

When personnel must log into many platforms merely to complete their jobs, password weariness is a real possibility, which may stifle productivity and, in the worst-case circumstance, promote sloppy security practises. To address these issues, businesses must take a holistic approach to credential and login management.

Many problems might develop if your present access restrictions are not consistent throughout the company and its systems. Some of them may appear to be minor annoyances, such as the need to memorize numerous sets of login credentials. It may, however, motivate staff to repeat passwords across networks, putting access control at risk.

Authentication using two-factor verification

Passwords have long been the focus of data security and DFARS compliance emphasis on protecting them from cybercriminals. However, the ordinary user today needs to memorize lots of different login methods for various services. As a result, there is a common practise of reusing passwords, jeopardising the usefulness of access restrictions. Additionally, passwords are subject to social engineering assaults by definition.

While having a robust password policy is necessary, passwords are not a sufficient access control mechanism on their own. Instead, an extra authentication layer is required, particularly in the case of processing and storing or transfering sensitive data. Two or more authentication factors include two or more verification methods to ensure that a person is who they claim to be.

Multifactor authentication is incredibly successful since it is exceedingly improbable that an intruder will be capable to get all of the data necessary to authenticate a user’s identity. Employees, on the other hand, may face an added strain. As a result, it should preferably be used in conjunction with single sign-on (SSO) to consolidate all logins into a single system.

How to evaluate the effectiveness of your company’s access controls?
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