Is Your Business's Tech Stack a Cybersecurity Risk?

by Damien Justus about a month ago in business

Protect your online business

Is Your Business's Tech Stack a Cybersecurity Risk?

For most businesses, productivity relies on the integration of enterprise app solutions into various workflows. But as your stack grows, so does the potential cybersecurity risk; the average business uses dozens of different apps for file sharing, collaboration, accounting, and more, and each one requires employees to create new login credentials. Employees are understandably more focused on their jobs than on using best practices to create a unique, hard-to-guess password for every application, so they often reuse the same low-quality passwords in multiple places.

If you’re in charge of information security for an organization like this, the prospect of a data breach will always be in the back of your mind, but you can solve the problem for yourself and your users with a multi-layered approach to password management, identity verification, and access control that manages enterprise cybersecurity risks from every angle. Read on to learn how you can implement such an approach for your company.

Trade Multiple Passwords for Just One

Single sign-on password management is the rare security tool that users will appreciate just as much as administrators. That’s because SSO security solutions are good for infosec for the same reason they’re good for users; they minimize the need for humans to come up with multiple unguessable passwords. Requiring users to develop and recall sixteen-character password strings dozens of times is unlikely to get results, but asking for a single excellent passphrase increases the probability that each employee will take the extra few minutes needed to create a good password.

With a smaller set of unique passwords, not only have you denied malicious hackers the ability to reuse stolen credentials, but you’ve also shrunk the target set of useful passwords, meaning that it’ll be harder for hackers to guess any one password. Asking users to change their passwords quarterly will fortify these efforts further.

Verify Identities with Multi-Factor Authentication

When employees need to access financial information or sensitive customer data, it’s best to strategically deploy additional layers of identity verification in concert with SSO. Passwords are only one type of credential, based on what a user knows; MFA tools request at least one other credential, which can be possession, inheritance, or both.

When a service sends a single-use code to your mobile phone that you have to enter before logging in, that’s an example of possession, commonly used in two-factor authentication systems for consumers. However, the increasing prevalence of SIM card swaps mean that this may not be a robust system forever. There are other ways to use possession, such as key fobs or ID cards, but businesses that often handle proprietary information or data that identifies customers may want to invest in an inheritance system that uses biometric data to verify clearance. Fingerprint scanners, facial recognition, and voice identification can all be implemented at enterprise scale.

Structure Security with Access Control Tools

Attribute- or role-based access control protocols take login management one step further by disallowing certain users from attempting to log in at all. Role-based access control, or RBAC, limits permissions to users who are assigned certain roles, not unlike the way you might set up a personal computer with administrator and guest user access. This system is popular for file management because it’s flexible and easy; onboarding new hires becomes a simple process of assigning appropriate roles.

Attribute-based access control, or ABAC, offers much more control and thus more security than RBAC at the cost of increased complexity and a greater need for resources. ABAC filters access to various resources based on a variety of attributes, which can be drawn from users, actions, resources, and environmental features. Allowing different levels of access to requests with different attribute profiles offers a detailed approach to risk management and is suitable for organizations that handle sensitive data frequently.

It’s not reasonable to expect your business to function without the stack integrations that improve workflow and productivity, but it’s important to manage the inherent risk that accompanies numerous connections to your company network. A robust security approach that blends several modern approaches will provide the best outcome.

Damien Justus
Damien Justus
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