What Benefits Can You Get After Implementing Conditional Access?

As long as passwords have existed, they have apparently also been a major security problem. Eighty-one percent of security incidents are due to stolen or weak passwords. In addition, employees continue to neglect the basics of good cyber hygiene.

For example, 61% of workers use the same password across multiple platforms. And 43% have shared their passwords with others. These factors are why compromised credentials are the leading cause of data breaches.

Access and identity management have become a priority for many organizations. This is largely due to the increasing adoption of the cloud. It is also common for employees to only need to enter a username and password to access systems.

Once a hacker gets a hold of an employee’s credentials, they can access the account and all the data it contains. This is especially problematic when it comes to an account like Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace. These accounts can access things like cloud storage and user email.

Below, we explain what access control is. And how it works with multifactor authentication (MFA). We will also go over the benefits of switching to a conditional access method.

 

What Is Conditional Access?

Conditional access is also known as contextual access. It is a method of controlling user access. It can be thought of as several “if/then” statements, i.e. “if” this thing is present, “then” do this.

For example, with conditional access, you can set up a rule that says the following. “When a user logs in from outside the country, a one-time passcode is required

With access control, you can include many conditions in the process of user access to a system. It is typically used with MFA. This improves access security without unnecessarily inconveniencing users.

Some of the most commonly used contextual factors are:

  • IP address 
  • Geographic location 
  • Time of day
  • The device being used
  • Role or group to which the user belongs

Conditional access can be set up in Azure Active Directory. It can also be set up in another identity and access management tool. It is helpful to seek assistance from your IT partner. We can help you set it up and determine the conditions that make the most sense for your organization.

 

The advantage of Implementing Conditional Access for Identity Management 

 

Security Enhancement

Using conditional access improves security. It allows you more flexibility in verifying user credentials. You do not grant access to just anyone with a username and password. Instead, the user must meet certain requirements.

Contextual access could block all login attempts from countries where no employees are located. There could also be an additional verification question when employees use an unrecognized device.

 

Automates the Access Management Process

Once the if/then statements are set up, the system takes over. It automates monitoring for contextual factors and takes the appropriate action. This reduces the burden on administrative teams IT. It also ensures that no one falls through the cracks.

Automated processes are more accurate and reliable than manual processes. Automation eliminates the human error component. This ensures that every condition is checked for every single enrollment.

 

Enables Restriction of Certain Activities

Access control is not just for keeping unauthorized users out of your accounts. You can use it in other ways as well. One of them is to restrict the activities that legitimate users can perform.

For example, you can restrict access to data or settings based on a user’s role in the system. You can also use conditions in combination. For example, you can lower permissions to “View only.” You could trigger this if a user has a specific role and logs in from an unknown device.

 

Improves the User Login Experience

Studies show that up to 67% of organizations are not using multi-factor authentication. This is despite it being one of the most effective methods of preventing access breaches.

One of the main reasons it’s not being used is the inconvenience it causes employees. They may complain that it interferes with productivity. Or they may say it’s harder for them to use their business applications.

Using access controls with MFA can improve the user experience. For example, you can require MFA only when users are off-premises. You can set up additional security questions based on role or context. Here is how to keep all users from being inconvenienced

 

Enforces the Rule of Least Privilege

Applying the least privilege rule is a security best practice. It means granting only the lowest level of access in a system that a user needs to do their job. Once you have roles set up in your identity management system, you can base access on those roles.

Conditional access simplifies the process of restricting access to data or functionality. You can tailor access to meet work requirements. It streamlines identity management. That’s because all functions are contained in the same system for access and MFA rules. Everything stays together, making management easier.

Get Help Implementing Conditional Access Today from Onyx IT!

Once conditional access is set up, the automated system takes over. It improves your security and reduces the risk of an account breach. Contact Onyx IT today for a free consultation to enhance your cybersecurity.

Article used with permission from The Technology Press.