The benefits of identity and access management to your organization

Every technology you use — whether it’s a cloud-based program, a mobile application, or on-premises servers — contains sensitive business data vital to conducting operations. So how can you ensure the security of such data from cyberthreats like identity theft, phishing attacks, and other forms of fraud? Identity and access management (IAM) is the answer to this.

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 to those who have permission to use them. System administrators can enforce this system to give employees access to only the apps and data they need for work.

Other solutions that go into IAM 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 sent via 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 exactly 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.

This post was originally published on this site

Microsoft 365 data loss protection: A quick and easy guide

Businesses of all sizes and across all sectors are turning to Microsoft 365 for the productivity-boosting benefits it offers. Many also choose the subscription service for its robust security features designed to safeguard against cyberthreats of all kinds. To make the most out of these functionalities and ensure your business data’s security, follow these tips.

Take advantage of policy alerts

Establish policy notifications in Microsoft 365’s Compliance Center to help you meet your company’s data security obligations. With these in place, your employees will receive policy tips about sending confidential information anytime they’re about to send messages to contacts outside of the company network. These preemptive warnings can prevent data leaks and also educate users on safer data sharing practices.

Secure mobile devices

Since employees often use personal smartphones or computers to access their work email, calendar, contacts, and documents — especially if they’re working remotely — securing employee-owned devices should be a critical part of protecting your organization’s data. Installing mobile device management features for Microsoft 365 enables you to manage security policies and access permissions/restrictions, and remotely wipe sensitive data from mobile devices if they’re lost or stolen.

Use multifactor authentication

Relying on a single password to protect your Microsoft 365 accounts could lead to account hijacking, which could put your data at risk of being compromised. Instead, enable multifactor authentication (MFA). MFA requires users to supply additional credentials on top of a password before they can access their accounts. This makes it difficult for hackers to access your accounts since they not only have to guess user passwords, but they also need to provide a second authentication factor like a one-time SMS code or a fingerprint scan.

Apply session timeouts

Many employees usually forget to log out of their Microsoft 365 accounts and keep their computers or mobile devices unlocked. This could give unauthorized users unfettered access to company accounts, allowing them to steal sensitive data. By applying session timeouts to Microsoft 365 accounts, email accounts, and internal networks, users will be automatically logged out after a period of inactivity, preventing hackers from taking over users’ devices and accessing private information.

Avoid public calendar sharing

Microsoft 365’s calendar sharing feature allows employees to share and sync their schedules with their colleagues. However, publicly sharing this information is a bad idea because it helps attackers understand how your company works, determine who’s away, and identify vulnerable users. For instance, if security administrators are publicly listed as “Away on vacation,” an attacker may see this as an opportunity to unleash malware on unattended computers.

Employ role-based access controls

Access management is another Microsoft 365 feature that will limit the flow of sensitive data across your organization. It lets you determine which users have access to specific files in your company. For example, rank-and-file employees won’t be able to read or edit executive-level documents, minimizing the risk of data leaks.

Encrypt emails

Encrypting classified information is your last line of defense against data breaches. If hackers intercept your emails, encryption tools will make files unreadable to unauthorized recipients. This is a must-have for Microsoft 365, where files and emails are shared on a regular basis.

Partner with us to ensure your organization’s Microsoft 365 accounts are always secure and compliant with changing data security requirements. Give us a call today — our team of experts are here to help.

This post was originally published on this site

Microsoft 365 data loss protection: A quick and easy guide

Businesses of all sizes and across all sectors are turning to Microsoft 365 for the productivity-boosting benefits it offers. Many also choose the subscription service for its robust security features designed to safeguard against cyberthreats of all kinds. To make the most out of these functionalities and ensure your business data’s security, follow these tips.

Take advantage of policy alerts

Establish policy notifications in Microsoft 365’s Compliance Center to help you meet your company’s data security obligations. With these in place, your employees will receive policy tips about sending confidential information anytime they’re about to send messages to contacts outside of the company network. These preemptive warnings can prevent data leaks and also educate users on safer data sharing practices.

Secure mobile devices

Since employees often use personal smartphones or computers to access their work email, calendar, contacts, and documents — especially if they’re working remotely — securing employee-owned devices should be a critical part of protecting your organization’s data. Installing mobile device management features for Microsoft 365 enables you to manage security policies and access permissions/restrictions, and remotely wipe sensitive data from mobile devices if they’re lost or stolen.

Use multifactor authentication

Relying on a single password to protect your Microsoft 365 accounts could lead to account hijacking, which could put your data at risk of being compromised. Instead, enable multifactor authentication (MFA). MFA requires users to supply additional credentials on top of a password before they can access their accounts. This makes it difficult for hackers to access your accounts since they not only have to guess user passwords, but they also need to provide a second authentication factor like a one-time SMS code or a fingerprint scan.

Apply session timeouts

Many employees usually forget to log out of their Microsoft 365 accounts and keep their computers or mobile devices unlocked. This could give unauthorized users unfettered access to company accounts, allowing them to steal sensitive data. By applying session timeouts to Microsoft 365 accounts, email accounts, and internal networks, users will be automatically logged out after a period of inactivity, preventing hackers from taking over users’ devices and accessing private information.

Avoid public calendar sharing

Microsoft 365’s calendar sharing feature allows employees to share and sync their schedules with their colleagues. However, publicly sharing this information is a bad idea because it helps attackers understand how your company works, determine who’s away, and identify vulnerable users. For instance, if security administrators are publicly listed as “Away on vacation,” an attacker may see this as an opportunity to unleash malware on unattended computers.

Employ role-based access controls

Access management is another Microsoft 365 feature that will limit the flow of sensitive data across your organization. It lets you determine which users have access to specific files in your company. For example, rank-and-file employees won’t be able to read or edit executive-level documents, minimizing the risk of data leaks.

Encrypt emails

Encrypting classified information is your last line of defense against data breaches. If hackers intercept your emails, encryption tools will make files unreadable to unauthorized recipients. This is a must-have for Microsoft 365, where files and emails are shared on a regular basis.

Partner with us to ensure your organization’s Microsoft 365 accounts are always secure and compliant with changing data security requirements. Give us a call today — our team of experts are here to help.

This post was originally published on this site