Access Administration Automation for Digital Transformation

As part of your digital transformation strategies, your organization may be moving business-critical data to the cloud. Whether using an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) or Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) provider to enable your strategies, you need to balance data privacy and security with employee access needs. To create a holistic approach to digital transformation, using access administration automation with intelligent analytics can help streamline operations while protecting data. 

What is Access Risk?

Access risk occurs when a business grants a single user or role privileges or permissions to edit data or engage with resources in a way that potentially compromises data security and privacy because the lack of access control violates the segregation of duties (SOD) policy or the principle of “least privilege,” creating a fraud or unintentional error risk.   

How Digital Transformation Strategies Create Access Risk

As organizations migrate sensitive information to the cloud, they increase the number of access points. 

Vendor Risk Management

Whether human or non-person vendors, your digital transformation strategies increasingly provide more access to more external users. Cloud-based collaboration tools, which often use an email address to create user accounts, enable your vendors to access the information they need to complete their contractual obligations. Service accounts and other non-person identities require access to your ecosystem to engage in updates and other scheduled functions. However, the additional access you grant to these external users also increases the potential for privilege misuse. 

Privilege Misuse

As organizations increase their cloud data storage and use, insiders often request new access to new resources. Managing the access requests as the organization scales its cloud strategies leads to an inundation of requests, leaving your access admin and department managers overwhelmed. Often, they grant access without going through a meaningful review so that users remain productive. Unfortunately, this can lead to excess access and potentially violate your privacy policy as users obtain unnecessary access, violating the principle of “least privilege.”

Segregation/Separation of Duties (SOD)

With the influx of resources and access requests arising from your organization’s decision to scale its digital transformation strategy, gaining visibility into potential SOD violations becomes another access risk. Monitoring multiple dashboards and reconciling disparate definitions of roles, group, user, and identity open the organization up to human error risk. 

Auditability

Embedded within the other access risks facing organizations as they incorporate cloud services lies the potential inability to meet audit and compliance documentation requirements. Managing the access request/review/certify process for a large enterprise also means documenting the reasons you granted users access which is when risks like Shadow IT, or applications added via a Chrome extension or browser extension, create problems. Unfortunately, whether arising from legacy identity management products or from multiple locations for review, many organizations fail to adequately document their governance over their access administration processes. As such, the lack of auditability in complex ecosystems becomes a legal and compliance access risk. 

What is Intelligent Analytics?

Intelligent analytics collect large amounts of information then use complex algorithms to compare access so that organizations can make informed, proactive decisions based on the statistical analyses. These predictive analytics, also called business intelligence, offer insights that streamline reporting and provide key performance indicators.  

How Intelligent Analytics Mitigate Access Risk

Creating a holistic Identity Governance and Administration (IGA) program across the enterprise can be overwhelming. However, using intelligent analytics, organizations can streamline their business operations by mitigating access risk. 

Context-Aware Access Reviews

With Attribute-Based Access Controls (ABAC) rapidly becoming the accepted “best practices,” organizations need to establish context-aware access policies. Intelligent analytics enable you to strengthen your access controls by using peer- and usage-based analytics to compare access entitlements and restrictions to resources within and across applications to better support contextual policies. 

User Access Requests

Intelligent analytics can streamline the user access request process by providing predictive access. The same context-aware access reviews that help better secure data access also provide a streamlined approach to reviewing access requests. Once the intelligent analytics compare peer and usage data, organizations can use them to speed up the access request process by automatically suggesting the access necessary based on their algorithms. 

Segregation of Duties

Just as intelligent analytics can enable provisioning, they can also alert your IT administrator to risky access requests and suggest remediation actions. By aligning the controls across the ecosystem, you can create a more secure digital transformation strategy. 

How Automation with Predictive Access Technology Enables Digital Transformation Strategies

Automation using predictive access technology reduces the time it takes to provide access while also strengthening your data privacy posture. 

Lower Operational Costs 

Since predictive access technology reduces the amount of manual review necessary to provision access, organizations reduce operational costs. For example, if your IGA solution automatically predicts who should or should not have access, your IT administrator needs to spend less time reviewing all access requests. Since she saves time by having the provisioning automated, she can spend more time reviewing the potentially risky access requests. 

Increase Productivity

The primary reason IT administrators and department managers engage in rubber-stamping is to rapidly provide access so that users can rapidly gain access to the information they need to do their jobs. Organizations that incorporate an IGA solution whose predictive access analytics make it easy for users to request access to increase employee productivity by removing the barrier that prevents access to resources. 

Prove Governance

Predictive access analytics enable organizations to provide the documentation necessary for proving governance. After aligning your access policies with your IGA solution, the intelligent analytics ensure enforcement with the policies by continuously monitoring user access requests. 

Why Saviynt? Intelligent Identity for Smarter Security

Saviynt’s intelligent analytics streamline the access administration process so that organizations can create a frictionless approach to managing the identity lifecycle. With Saviynt’s predictive analytics, organizations can increase productivity while maintaining a robust data privacy and security posture. 

Our cloud-native platform provides flexible options for both on-premises and cloud-based deployments. As your organization creates digital transformation strategies, Saviynt’s platform can create a standardized authoritative identity source across the ecosystem. Our intelligent analytics provide role-mining capabilities that help establish “least privilege necessary” entitlements to control access to and within your IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS environments. 

Moreover, Saviynt’s peer- and usage-based analytics enable you to create context- and risk-aware ABAC rules. Our analytics compare users’ requests to their peers’ access to automatically grant or limit access. 

For more information, contact us to see how our platform can protect your organization and keep you compliant.

Karen Walsh

About author

Organic content marketing manager with 12 years experience in education and compliance. Using this experience, she focuses on bridging the gap between CISOs and the CSuite by educating through content to enable organizations to strengthen their cybersecurity posture.

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