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Security Education

Cybersecurity Tip #7: Utilize Role-Based Permissions and Track Login

By SolarWinds Passportal

#CyberSecurityTip: Help ensure you’re cybersecure by restricting your technicians’ access to sensitive data. Instead of giving everyone on your network access to sensitive information, only provide access based on what your employees need to perform their jobs. Not only does this increase security, it can also help streamline employee roles and responsibilities for maximum efficiency.

The best way to do this is by putting in place an identity and access management (IAM) framework, a policy and technology outline that helps ensure the right people in an organization have access to sensitive information—while unauthorized users do not. As a managed services provider (MSP), utilizing an IAM framework for your customers can help ensure sensitive data is exposed to as few vulnerabilities as possible, even if it means restricting your own access in some cases.

What is IAM?

IAM is a framework that protects your sensitive data by restricting access to it within your network. It is typically implemented through centralized technology that either deeply integrates with existing access systems or simply replaces them. Most IAM technology uses role-based access control (RBAC) to assign roles and access permissions to people in different positions within your organization.

RBAC is a process that lets you set specific security policies and permissions for different users (or groups of users) using predefined job roles. By utilizing RBAC, you can help ensure access to your information is on a need-to-know basis, and you don’t have to monitor the actions of your end users as closely as you would if access were not restricted. IAM is particularly beneficial in environments with many employees or where third parties or contractors are employed, as in the case of MSPs.

MSPs and IAM

MSPs can access a significant amount of their customers’ sensitive data. For that reason, those customers need to be certain they can trust the MSPs they work with to protect their data from cybersecurity risk. That’s why we advise MSPs go beyond recommending the IAM process to their customers and actually employ it themselves. With IAM and RBAC, MSPs can get granular in their access control policies to control which subsets of data are accessible to which users, as well as what types of actions users can take with said data. For example, a user’s level of access may allow them to view and edit sensitive data, but not transmit it.

In addition to the restrictions to user access involved in IAM, password control is another core element that aids in reducing security risks. Typically, IAM systems involve either single sign on (SSO), multifactor authentication, or privileged access management for passwords, all of which help reduce cybersecurity risks further by helping ensure employees can only sign into their own accounts with their own levels of access.

With IAM and RBAC, you can control and track what information the people who enter your network have access to. When implemented end-to-end, IAM is extremely helpful to security risk management, helping reduce the likelihood of data breaches—as well as their impact if they do occur.

Additional reading

SolarWinds® adds Passportal suite to its MSP product portfolio. MSP security, simplified. SolarWinds® Passportal + Documentation Manager is a SOC 2 certified, RAPID 7 tested, award winning platform.

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