Access discovery provides administrators with a clear picture of who has access to what applications, resources or privileges across the organization. Performed within an Identity Security Platform or an Identity Governance and Administration (IGA) tool, access discovery can:
- Reduce security vulnerabilities and mitigate risk by making it easy for administrators to gather and view entitlements information across SaaS solutions, privileged accounts and hybrid IT environments.
- Help organizations identify stale user accounts, tamp down privilege creep and ensure the right users have the right access to the right resources for the right reasons.
- Verify that role-based access controls and least privileged access policies are properly enforced across all enterprise applications and systems.
In many businesses, a diverse collection of users (including employees, contractors, temporary workers and support vendors) require access to a wide variety of applications (such as SaaS solutions, traditional on-premises software applications and line-of-business apps running in public clouds) to perform their jobs. Yet many organizations rely on manual processes to manage user identities and track privileges across distributed IT environments — a labor-intensive, error-prone approach that can lead to visibility gaps and security risks.
Many businesses have no formal or automated processes for reprovisioning user privileges or deactivating user accounts when workers take on new roles or exit the company. Accounts often remain in place long after employees leave the business or change positions. Malicious insiders and external threat actors can exploit over-permissioned accounts or dormant accounts to carry out attacks or steal data.
Improving Regulatory Compliance
Businesses use compliance-focused capabilities within IGA tools or Identity Security platforms to manage digital identities and access rights across systems. Compliance solutions can help organizations strengthen security and improve compliance with government regulations and corporate policies. Access discovery functionality also makes it easy for central administrators to demonstrate compliance with various data privacy and cybersecurity regulations.
Examples of relevant data privacy regulations include:
- The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – a directive intended to strengthen and unify data protection for individuals within the EU
- The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) – a California law that aims to prevent the unauthorized disclosure of personal data
- The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) – a U.S. law requiring businesses that offer consumer financial services to protect confidential data
- The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) – a U.S. law intended to protect patient privacy and safeguard personal data
Examples of relevant cybersecurity regulations include:
- The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) – a U.S. law intended to fight financial fraud and abuse
- The Society of Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) Customer Security Controls Framework (CSCF) – a regulation enacted to secure the global interbank messaging network
- The EU Directive on Network and Information Systems – an EU-wide cybersecurity regulation providing guidelines for securing IT infrastructure and reporting cybersecurity incidents
- The North American Electric Reliability (NERC) Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) standard – a regulation safeguarding the integrity of the U.S. and Canadian electric power grid
- The Federal Information Security Modernization Act (FISMA) – a U.S. regulation that aims to strengthen the security of federal government IT systems
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