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Access Control and Data Security

Access Control and Data Security

Within the security industry, there is debate amongst its professionals over what the most important integrated security measures are. Some claim that surveillance systems are the most important first line of defense, while others posit that access control should take priority. While both are considered important facets of a full security suite, it could be argued that the ability to physically limit access to areas and information is the more powerful advantage to have, especially in the event that a dangerous situation emerges. In today’s world, it is also an essential step for data security.

What is Access Control?

Access control is the concept of blocking off access to areas or data by working on two key factors: authorization and authentication. It is a system made up of various implementations of technology that works to verify that an individual has the authorization to be in a given area, and ways to authenticate that the person is actually who they claim to be.

Basically, authorization systems are there to determine whether the user has the authority to be in the area or make the desired transaction. It also includes methods to record who was where, accessing what, at what time.

Authentication measures are there to check and double check that the person performing the transaction is the person who is authorized to be doing so.

Another important step is auditing. Many companies wisely enforce the Principle of Least Privilege when determining levels of employee access. Essentially, this is the practice limiting employee access rights to only what is needed for the current job or position. Companies and the employees that work for them change over time. As such, users may still retain access privileges higher than what is required by their current position, creating a potential hole in security. Performing regular audits is one of the best ways to catch potential issues like these.

Access Control and Data Security

Data is one of the modern world’s most traded commodities, and its value is often directly tied to who has access to it. It seems like we hear about a new high-profile data breach every week. If a company is in control of valuable data, whether that be internal company information or collected customer data. As such, the task of protecting it should not be taken lightly, and up-to- date access control methods are one the most important foundations to include in a multi- layered security plan.

In the event of a data breach, an audit of the access control systems and records is almost always the first step taken in the ensuing investigation. It should be one of the first lines of defense in the battle to maintain cybersecurity. If it is time to update or audit your IT security, JCOMM can help you to form a plan that will keep your data safe.

By JCOMM 7-7-2021