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ACCESS CONTROL MONTH: Establishing the key pillars of best practice

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Implementing an effective access control regime is paramount for IT security professionals in the UK’s public and private sectors. Access control systems are essential for protecting sensitive information, ensuring that only authorised users can access specific data and systems. Here are the key pillars for establishing a robust access control regime, based from input from attendees at the Cyber Secure Forum…

1. Comprehensive Risk Assessment: The foundation of any effective access control regime is a thorough risk assessment. IT security professionals need to identify the critical assets within their organisation, understand the potential vulnerabilities, and assess the threats. This comprehensive evaluation helps in determining the appropriate level of access control required to protect these assets.

2. Least Privilege Principle: One of the cornerstones of access control is the principle of least privilege. This means granting users only the access rights they need to perform their job functions and no more. Implementing the least privilege principle minimises the risk of accidental or intentional data breaches, as it limits the amount of data and systems to which any given user has access.

3. Multi-factor Authentication (MFA): Relying solely on passwords for user authentication is increasingly seen as inadequate. Multi-factor authentication adds an additional layer of security by requiring two or more verification methods to gain access. This could include something the user knows (a password), something the user has (a security token or mobile device), or something the user is (biometric verification).

4. Regular Audits and Reviews: To ensure that access controls remain effective and relevant, regular audits and reviews are essential. This involves checking who has access to what and ensuring that this access is still required. It also includes reviewing the access control policies and procedures to ensure they are up to date with the latest security threats and technological advancements.

5. User Training and Awareness: An often-overlooked aspect of access control is user training and awareness. Users need to understand the importance of access control measures and how to comply with them. This includes recognising phishing attempts, safeguarding their credentials, and reporting any suspicious activity.

6. Integration and Scalability: As organisations grow and evolve, so too do their access control needs. IT security professionals should seek access control solutions that can integrate seamlessly with existing systems and scale as the organisation expands. This ensures a consistent and manageable access control regime across all areas of the business.

An effective access control regime is built on thorough risk assessment, adherence to the principle of least privilege, the implementation of multi-factor authentication, regular audits, user training, and scalable, integrated solutions. By focusing on these key pillars, IT security professionals in the UK can safeguard their organisations against unauthorised access and the myriad of security threats that accompany it.

Are you searching for Access Control solutions for your organisation? The Cyber Secure Forum can help!

Photo by rc.xyz NFT gallery on Unsplash

Smart access: What if biometrics were the foolproof solution for infrastructure protection?

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By Céline Littré, Product Marketing Manager at Linxens

Biometrics are already well known and used in sectors such as identity and payments, but their use could also be relevant to access control for both IT and physical infrastructures?

Access to IT infrastructures

As the number of reported cyber-attacks has multiplied, companies, which until recently were largely unprepared for the risks, have had no choice but to equip themselves to protect their IT infrastructures.

Today’s companies understand an attack can be costly and damage their business (compromising data, blocking production systems, etc.). According to Cybersecurity Ventures, in 2021 the cost of cyber-attacks was 6,000 billion euros…

Various technologies already exist to strengthen the security of digital access, in particular multi-factor authentication (MFA). However, these systems often rely on the use of a smartphone, which poses two main problems: firstly, not all employees have a work phone and may be reluctant to use their personal device to identify themselves, and secondly, the use of these devices in industrial or sensitive sites may be prohibited for security reasons. There are also USB key identification systems, but again the risk of theft or loss does not provide a satisfactory solution.

In this context, the biometric card can be a welcome alternative: paired with the holder’s computer, it unlocks access to all or some applications. Identity is verified by a biometric sensor on which the cardholder has previously stored his or her fingerprint. If lost or stolen, it’s useless.

Access to physical infrastructure

In addition to protecting digital space, access to physical infrastructure is also a security issue for organisations. Although access cards are the most common form of identification used by organisations, they do not guarantee infallible security. Cards can be lost or stolen and used to gain free access to the building. In this case, the biometric card offers additional protection. Its personalised use guarantees that the user of the badge or card is indeed its owner, thanks to a fingerprint recognition system.

A promising market waiting to grow

The use of biometrics in access control represents a real opportunity to strengthen infrastructure security. Considering what is at stake, and even though it costs more than a traditional card, companies are ready to take the plunge and protect their assets.

Thanks to the work already done for payment applications, cards are already available and in the customer testing phase, with only a few months to go before the first mass-produced models are available. The challenge for the use of biometric cards for physical access remains compatibility with the wide range of existing devices (card readers). Manufacturers are working hard to adapt these systems for rapid, simplified integration and adoption by businesses. 

Access Control

Do you specialise in Access Control? We want to hear from you!

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Each month on IT Security Briefing we’re shining the spotlight on a different part of the cyber security market – and in February we’re focussing on Access Control solutions.

It’s all part of our ‘Recommended’ editorial feature, designed to help IT security buyers find the best products and services available today.

So, if you’re an Access Control solutions specialist and would like to be included as part of this exciting new shop window, we’d love to hear from you – for more info, contact Jenny Lane on j.lane@forumevents.co.uk.

Here’s our full features list:

Feb – Access Control
Mar – Intrusion Detection & Prevention
Apr – Phishing Detection
May – Advanced Threat Dashboard
Jun – Browser/Web Security
July – Authentication
Aug – Penetration Testing
Sep – Vulnerability Management
Oct – Employee Security Awareness
Nov – Malware
Dec – Network Security Management
Jan 2024 – Anti Virus

Growing demand for future-proof mobile solutions for access control

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

With convenience being a major theme, 42% of respondents worldwide indicate plans to upgrade to mobile-ready systems.

That’s according to the latest State of Access Control report produced by IFSEC Global in partnership with HID Global, which surveyed just over 1,000 respondents from across North America (56%), EMEA (29%) and Asia Pacific (15%) to detail trends in the procurement, installation, specification and operation of physical access control solutions.

The report describes the current state of the market, the technology being used, and trends that security and IT professionals are witnessing and foreseeing in the years to come, including:

Convenience: Ease of use is the most crucial reason to upgrade to a new access control system, according to 60% of the respondents. This means that in addition to securing premises, a new system must provide a smooth and straightforward process for both users (employees, residents or visitors) and administrators (security, facilities and IT teams).

Mobile Access and Touchless Capabilities: It’s no surprise then, that demand for mobile access is showing an uptick, with 42% of respondents planning to upgrade to mobile-ready systems. While security system administrators benefit from increased operational efficiency, employees and visitors may find mobile access more convenient and secure since they are more likely to have their mobile devices at hand than their access cards. The pandemic also played a role in the demand for touchless physical access control. About 32% of respondents cited they would upgrade systems to introduce touchless solutions in response to the pandemic, with contactless biometrics also being considered among them.

System Interoperability: Future-proof support is also a growing concern as users are pushing for long-term convenience while achieving cost savings. In fact, almost half of the respondents (49%) selected the ability to support new tech in the future as one of the top three features in a new access control solution, and 33% included integration with existing security platforms as being important. As a result, consultants and integrators are moving away from proprietary models and embracing open standards-based technology, where software upgrades can be securely managed through the cloud. One in five respondents added that interoperability and open standards will be one of the top trends set to shape the industry in the near future.

Sustainability: Organizations across all regions are making a clear effort to understand how new purchases and upgrades in access control technology can have an impact on sustainable practices, with about 28% of respondents having consulted their sustainability departments about their buying decisions. Access control readers that have Environmental Product Declarations and intelligent power management, for example, support green building ratings such as LEED. Additionally, deploying mobile access and virtual credentials removes the need for plastic cards and so spares the carbon footprint associated with their lifecycle. When integrated with a building management platform, it is possible to maintain for continuous adjustment of building resources based on occupancy.

The full report provides a more in-depth analysis and data points on what is driving the physical access control industry now and into the future. Read it here.

‘Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication’ for Access Control

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By Tim Boivin (pictured), Marketing Director, PortSys

Leonardo DaVinci’s philosophy in the headline has never rung so true as it does today in IT – especially when we’re talking about providing users secure access in our perimeterless world.

If your access approach is wrong, your risk of being hacked ramps up exponentially. Counterintuitively, installing more security solutions can make access less – not more – secure. Each different access solution, each port opened to the outside world, increases your attack surface.

That’s where a Zero Trust Access Control approach helps paint your own sophisticated, yet simple, security masterpiece. For instance, Total Access Control (TAC) offers single sign-on to a central portal that gives users seamless, secure access to resources they need to do their jobs – and only those resources.

With TAC, you can inspect every connection to evaluate a user’s full context – including robust endpoint inspection, credentials verification, device validation, location of the user and more – prior to granting access to any resources, local or cloud. In addition, each connection to each resource through TAC must first pass the security policies you set – and not those set by some third party such as a cloud provider – before that access is granted.

With TAC’s microsegmentation, users are granted access only to the specific resources they are authorized to access, effectively making users captive within the application resources – rather than gaining access to your entire network infrastructure. Each resource can also have its own rules for access – an advanced level of microsegmentation that allows for variable or even partial secure access to resources, based on the user’s context of access for each request.

TAC makes the lives of end users and administrators alike much simpler, so they can focus on doing their jobs instead of trying to remember what password works where for which application. Along the way, your security becomes much more sophisticated in its ability to close the gaps across your infrastructure and keep hackers out.

That’s an IT security masterpiece Leonardo DaVinci would be proud to paint.

To learn more about TAC, watch our video.

Do you specialise in Intrusion Detection & Prevention? We want to hear from you!

960 638 Stuart O'Brien

Each month on IT Security Briefing we’re shining the spotlight on a different part of the cyber security market – and in March we’re focussing on Intrusion Detection & Prevention solutions.

It’s all part of our ‘Recommended’ editorial feature, designed to help IT security buyers find the best products and services available today.

So, if you’re an Intrusion Detection & Prevention solutions specialist and would like to be included as part of this exciting new shop window, we’d love to hear from you – for more info, contact Chris Cannon on c.cannon@forumevents.co.uk.

Here’s our full features list:

Mar – Intrusion Detection & Prevention
Apr – Phishing Detection
May – Advanced Threat Dashboard
Jun – Browser/Web Security
July – Authentication
Aug – Penetration Testing
Sep – Vulnerability Management
Oct – Employee Security Awareness
Nov – Malware
Dec – Network Security Management

Access Control

Do you specialise in Access Control solutions? We want to hear from you!

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Each month on IT Security Briefing we’re shining the spotlight on a different part of the cyber security market – and in February we’re focussing on Access Control solutions.

It’s all part of our ‘Recommended’ editorial feature, designed to help IT security buyers find the best products and services available today.

So, if you’re an Access Control solutions specialist and would like to be included as part of this exciting new shop window, we’d love to hear from you – for more info, contact Chris Cannon on c.cannon@forumevents.co.uk.

Here’s our full features list:

Feb – Access Control
Mar – Intrusion Detection & Prevention
Apr – Phishing Detection
May – Advanced Threat Dashboard
Jun – Browser/Web Security
July – Authentication
Aug – Penetration Testing
Sep – Vulnerability Management
Oct – Employee Security Awareness
Nov – Malware
Dec – Network Security Management

WEBINAR: Top 5 reasons why you need an access management solution

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By Tenfold Security

Do you know WHO in your organization has access to WHAT systems and data? If you don’t know the answer, chances are you haven’t yet employed an IAM solution. And that means your company is at high risk for data theft.

You might be struggling to invest the administrative efforts required to manage access rights, both in terms of time and resources. And perhaps you’re finding it difficult to adhere to compliance regulations.

What you need in order to solve these problems is an “Identity & Access Management Solution”. IAM software enables you to manage IT users and access rights for different systems from within one central platform.

In this webinar, we will cover the Top 5 Reasons why you should get an IAM solution. We will outline how IAM can protect your business against data abuse and theft and how it can help you stay on top of compliance provisions.

Click Here To Register

Access Control

Do you specialise in Access Control? We want to hear from you!

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Each month on IT Security Briefing we’re shining the spotlight on a different part of the cyber security market – and in February we’re focussing on Access Control solutions.

It’s all part of our ‘Recommended’ editorial feature, designed to help IT security buyers find the best products and services available today.

So, if you’re an Access Control solutions specialist and would like to be included as part of this exciting new shop window, we’d love to hear from you – for more info, contact Chris Cannon on c.cannon@forumevents.co.uk.

Here’s our full features list:

Feb – Access Control
Mar – Intrusion Detection & Prevention
Apr – Phishing Detection
May- Advanced Threat Dashboard
Jun – Browser/Web Security
July -Authentication
Aug – Penetration Testing
Sep – Vulnerability Management
Oct – Employee Security Awareness
Nov – Malware
Dec – Network Security Management

Identity Access Management vs. Access Rights Management – What’s the Difference?

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The terms access management (short: AM; also referred to as access rights management or just rights management) and identity & access management (short: IAM) are often used synonymously. In practice, however, they do not stand for the same thing. In this article, we are going to take a closer look at the difference between access rights management software and identity/access management solutions.

Check out the article at https://www.tenfold-security.com/en/identity-access-management-vs-permission-management-whats-the-difference/

If you are looking to secure data access in your organization by:

  • Getting more visibility out of your Active Directory environment
  • Want to manage file server access rights in a best practice compliant way
  • Want to automate your user lifecycle tasks
  • Let users request access and have your business owners approve requests
  • Achieve compliance for need-to-know permissions

Then try tenfold for free today and see how we will be able to make your IT infrastructure more secure from day one.

Request free trial at: https://www.tenfold-security.com/en/free-trial/

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