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Going Beyond Boundaries. The Need to Define Access Controls   

Going Beyond Boundaries. The Need to Define Access Controls   

It is about that time of year when employees submit for their vacation. Will you allow them to take their work computer on vacation? There are two obvious reasons not to allow their workbag to travel with them. Vacations are a time for rest, relaxation, and spending time with friends and families. Second, a work computer undoubtedly contains sensitive information. A leak of any sensitive information in or out could be catastrophic to your organization.   

What are Access Controls?  

Access controls are security measures or ‘boundaries’ that regulate who can access specific resources, such as data, systems, or physical locations, what actions they can perform when they have access, and where they can access.  “Good access control rules around your tenant” specifically means that your organization must limit “who can access the account, from where, and from what device.”  

As in the illustration, access controls can limit where systems can be accessed by specific machines and even by allowed business hours. So, if a bad actor is trying to access critical systems from outside the normal geography of business (e.g., outside the U.S.), during odd times of the day (e.g., 2:00 a.m.), access would be blocked. This type of control protects sensitive data if credentials are compromised.  

It is important to define where company employees access systems, from what machines, and during what times of the day. If employees are doing work outside of these controls, develop a process for requesting temporary access, for example, working from the beach, and set the beginning and ending timeframes to remove access from these temporary situations.


Why Access Controls?  

Reducing the attack surface: Limiting access to systems and data reduces the potential attack surface for cybercriminals. Even if a malicious actor gains access to login credentials,  part of access controls can prevent them from compromising systems.

There is a lot at stake in addition to protecting sensitive data. Access controls ensure that only authorized users have access to sensitive information. While the experts at Black Bottle IT are focused on cybersecurity and limiting the potential for a cyber incident, when you limit geography, machine, and time systems can be accessed, you also reduce the risk of human errors that cause lost data.   


Three Reasons Why Access Controls Are Fundamental 

Compliance requirements: Many industries have strict regulations governing the protection of sensitive data, such as HIPAA in healthcare or GDPR in the European Union. Implementing access controls helps organizations comply with these regulations by demonstrating that they have measures to safeguard data.

Detecting and responding to security incidents: Access controls can also help detect and respond to security incidents. Organizations can identify suspicious activity and respond promptly to potential threats by logging access attempts and monitoring user behavior.  

Maintaining business continuity: Cybersecurity incidents can disrupt business operations and lead to significant financial losses. Access controls help maintain business continuity by minimizing the impact of security breaches and ensuring that critical systems and data remain protected. 


What Your Organization Must Do to Protect Company Data  

  • Heighten Cybersecurity Awareness & Phishing Training    
  • Enforce Access Controls around all cloud-based tools, i.e., AWS, Google Workspace, QuickBooks Online, Microsoft Office 365   
  • Lock down the Administrative Account to a specific IP address  
  • Monitor Tenants 24×7 — multiple organizations or individuals, referred to as “tenants,” share the same computing infrastructure, resources, and services  
  • Continuous monitoring is crucial for promptly detecting and responding to security threats and incidents as they occur, minimizing the potential impact on tenants’ data and systems.  


Remember: Heightening cybersecurity controls, like access controls, does not indefinitely prevent a cybercriminal from gaining access but makes it more difficult.   

Everyone deserves a vacation. We have you covered.  Contact us today for more information and how to get started with access controls. blackbottleit.com/contact-us.