E-Handbook: Security access controls over identities must be priority Article 1 of 3

Prioritize security access controls to preserve security

When identity and access management doesn't get the attention it deserves, there tends to be trouble. For both cloud and on-premises systems, a strong set of security access controls and a tight grasp on identity governance can save enterprises from data exposure or data loss, embarrassment and a damaged reputation.

Enterprise systems are becoming increasingly complex as they add networks and applications, as well as the number of customers or users who access those systems. As the systems become more complex, the management of data and identities do too. Enterprises are not only responsible for keeping customer and user data secure, but they are also responsible for making sure security access controls for that data are as locked down as possible.

The use of zero-trust models is becoming more prevalent in the world of security access controls, as is the principle of least privilege. The message is clear: The fewer people who can access data, the more secure it is. And for those who can access the data, make sure they access only what they absolutely need.

The policy-based identity governance aspect of identity and access management is also becoming increasingly important to data security.

When these measures aren't put in place, or when they're not enforced, enterprises may find themselves experiencing data exposure. No company should take IAM for granted. Every business faces the potential of a breach, as evidenced by the access control struggles experience by Amazon Web Services customers and the more recent Reddit data breach.

As we watch more companies fail to properly configure and enforce IAM policies, it becomes even more clear how important a role identity- and access-based security plays in keeping enterprise and individual data safe.