Simple Ways To Improve Security And Avoid Breaches

Computer Security

Recent security breaches continue to shed light on just how easily hackers can access complex systems and steal important information from organisations and their customers. While this is scary for customers, it is equally devastating to the organisations. This type of news shocks and scares organisational leaders as they realize that their organisations and their data are not safe, and perhaps that their security measures are not as strong as they may think.

Organisational leaders need to ensure that their client information is truly secure. One major breach of information can cause major damage — not only monetarily, but also affect the public’s trust in an organisation. Secure information can easily be accessed if the correct measures aren’t in place. Leadership may feel that their network is secure, but many security measures can actually cause additional issues.

Take, for example, organisational policies for end users having to change their password every month or so. Many leaders feel that this approach ensures security since there is not a static password that can be stolen. If employees have to do this for each of their many passwords, though, chances are they are writing their passwords down to remember them. This counteracts the intention of ensuring security through frequent password changes.

Organisational leaders need to re-evaluate their security measures and consider if they truly are the best solutions they can have in place or if they are hurting themselves more than they are helping. The following are some suggestions that might help ensure the security of the network and applications, with minimal effort and investment:

Eliminate The Need To Write Down Passwords

As mentioned earlier, many organisations require their employees to use complex passwords with length and characters requirements. Then these passwords need to be changed on a regular basis. It is not feasible to think that employees are going to be able to remember several of these ever-changing complex passwords or their rules.

This is where single sign-on comes in. A single set of credentials for all of the employee’s systems and applications is actually much more secure. Single sign-on allows the employee to log in with a single set of credentials and thereafter is granted access to all the systems and applications in which they need to access. This single password can follow the organisation’s password conventions, but also means employees are less likely to write down credentials to remember them.

Monitor Exactly Who Has Access To What Applications & Systems

Organisations often deal with a great deal of employee movement and fluctuation of account access. Employees join and leave the organisation; employees lend their access information to each other on vacation, borrowing credentials, etc. This often leaves the team leaders with no clear idea of who has access to what and the types of changes they are making in their systems.

An automated user account management solution has the ability to allow system admins to see exactly who has access to what systems and applications, when those users are logging in and what types of changes they are making. These solutions also allow team leads to easily make access changes if necessary and correct any issues before they lead to problems; this type of information is also extremely useful when it comes to audits.

Ensure Accounts Are Properly Disabled

Another issue many organisations face is overlooking the disabling of accounts for employees who are no longer with the firm. This is extremely common for temporary or contract employees who only require access to systems for a short period of time. Since system admins have to manually disable an employee from all systems and applications, doing so can sometimes get overlooked or lost along the way.

This means that an employee who is no longer with the company can still access important information. Automated account management solutions allow for easy disabling of accounts with one click, which means a manager or team lead can easily make changes without having to contact a system admin. In addition, temporary employees’ access can automatically be revoked after a specified period of time so that no manual action has to be taken at all.

Identity and access management solutions, such as the ones mentioned, help to ensure extra security of networks and can deter or prevent security breaches. Taking some time to evaluate current security measures can bring an organisation’s security protocols to the next, more protected level.

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Dean Wiech

Dean Wiech is managing director at Tools4ever. Wiech is responsible for the Tools4ever operations the United States. His duties include direct sales, as well as the responsibility for the sales, technology and consulting team along with the day-to-day operations for the company. He attended the University of Akron and studied Chemical Engineering before deciding to pursue a career in technology. Tools4ever supplies a variety of software products and integrated consultancy services involving identity management, such as user provisioning, role-based access control, password management, single sign on and access management, serving more than 5 million user accounts worldwide.