business security

The business benefits of IAM

Your employees access applications and confidential business data every day. Hackers, on the other hand, are trying to do the exact same thing but for more malicious reasons. What’s worse, even employees can go rogue and steal your data, which is why it’s crucial that you have an identity and access management (IAM) solution in place.

What is IAM?

Identity and access management is a system that secures, stores, and manages user identities and access privileges. It ensures that users are who they say they are and will grant access to applications and resources only if they have permission to use them. System administrators can make it so that employees can only access apps and data they need for work.

Other solutions that go into identity and access management include single sign-on (SSO) and multifactor authentication (MFA). The former allows users to securely log in to multiple applications that they are authorized to access. Meanwhile, MFA sets an additional method of user verification other than passwords. This includes fingerprint scans, facial ID, or a one-time security code from an SMS.

These security solutions are designed to protect digital assets even if users attempt to access company accounts through mobile devices and the cloud.

Centralize access control

Too much access to certain systems is risky, while too little can hamper productivity and frustrate users. IAM strikes the perfect balance by letting you set centralized policies for the right access privileges. For example, you can deny your design team access to the accounting system while granting it to your CFO.

Each user’s role and attribute can be used to determine which resources they’re allowed to access and to what extent. This not only offers better security, but also more flexibility and ease of management.

Lower chances of data breaches

With SSO and MFA, your employees will no longer have to remember multiple passwords. Instead, they’ll be able to prove their identity using evidence-based authorization such as answering a personal question that only they would know. IAM also comes equipped with advanced encryption tools to protect sensitive data, reducing the risk of compromised user credentials.

Improve user experience

Customers today interact with your company across multiple channels, whether in the cloud or via third-party applications. This is where IAM helps provide a better experience through SSO, self-service capabilities, and unified customer profiles that make communication processes quick and easy.

Your employees, on the other hand, will be able to access the information they need securely and conveniently no matter where they are. This means productivity will no longer be confined to their office desk.

Achieve regulatory compliance

Businesses today must meet the constantly changing regulatory requirements concerning data access governance and privacy management. IAM was designed with just that in mind and provides control over who can access data and how it can be used and shared.

Reduce IT costs

IAM automates and standardizes many aspects of identity, authentication, and authorization management. This means you’ll be able to minimize significant labor costs associated with keeping your business environment secure.

An identity and access management solution equips you with much-needed security without compromising on usability and convenience. To operate in a digital business environment, it’s not a matter of “if” but “when” you’ll adopt IAM within your company.

If you’re looking to enhance company-wide security, whether with IAM or other solutions, why not give us a call? We’re sure we can help.

Fix these enterprise security flaws now

As businesses have become more reliant on digital technology for day-to-day operations, they’ve also become a favorite target of internet threats. If you want to protect your organization from cyberattacks, make sure your security is clear of the following flaws.

Open wireless networks

With one main internet line and a couple of wireless routers, a whole office can go online. A wireless internet connection saves money, but there is an inherent risk that it’s an unsecure network.

If you need a secure network, plugging in a wireless router and creating a basic network is not enough. If you don’t set a password on your routers, then anyone within range can connect. With fairly simple tools and a bit of know-how, hackers and criminals can start capturing data that goes in and out of the network, and even attacking the network and computers attached.

Therefore, you should take steps to ensure that all wireless networks in the office are secured with strong passwords. Many internet service providers that install hardware when setting up networks will often just use an easy password for the router, such as the company’s main phone number. These need to be changed.

Email is not secure

Most companies that have implemented a new email system in the past couple of years will most likely be secure. This is especially true if they use cloud-based options or well-known email systems like Exchange, which offer enhanced security and scanning.

The businesses at risk are those using older systems like POP, or systems that don’t encrypt passwords (what are known as “clear passwords”’). If your system doesn’t encrypt information like this, anyone with the right tools and a bit of knowledge can capture login information and compromise your systems and data.

If you are using an older email system, it is advisable to upgrade to a newer one, especially if it doesn’t use encryption.

Mobile devices that aren’t secure enough

Mobile devices offer a great way to stay connected and productive while out of the office. However, if you use your tablet or phone to connect to office systems but don’t have security measures in place, you compromise your networks.

Imagine you have linked your work email to your tablet but don’t have a screen lock enabled, and you lose your device. Anyone who picks it up will have access to your email and all your sensitive information. The same goes if you install a mobile device app with malware on it. Your infected device will spread this malicious program to your entire network and cause major disruption to your business.

Take steps to ensure that employee devices have adequate security, such as passcodes, and that your company has sufficient security policies in place to govern their use. Lastly, mobile device management solutions are specifically designed to prevent your bring your own device (BYOD) policy from being a risk with employee devices causing havoc to your network.

Anti-malware software that isn’t maintained

These days, it is essential that you have anti-malware software installed on all devices in your company, and that you take the time to configure these properly.

It could be that scans are scheduled during business hours. If you install these solutions onto your systems and they start to scan during work time, most employees will just turn the scanner off, leaving your systems vulnerable.

The same goes for not properly ensuring that these systems are updated. Updates are important for software, especially anti-malware applications, because they implement new databases that contain recently discovered threats and the fixes for them.

Therefore, anti-malware software needs to be properly installed and maintained if they are going to even stand a chance of keeping systems secure.

Lack of firewalls

A firewall is a network security tool that can be configured to block data traffic from entering and leaving the network. For instance, it can protect data from being accessed from outside the network. While many modems or routers include firewalls, they are often not robust enough for business use.

What you need is a firewall that covers the whole network at the point where data enters and exits (usually before the routers). These are business-centric tools that should be installed by an IT partner like a managed services provider (MSP), in order for them to be most effective.

How do I ensure proper business security?

The best way a business can ensure that their systems and networks are secure is to work with an IT partner like us. Our managed services can help ensure that you set up proper security measures in place and that they are managed properly. Tech peace of mind means your focus can be on creating a successful company instead. Contact us today to learn more.