Kron Telekomünikasyon Hizmetleri: Securing third-party access
Securing third-party access
Today’s businesses move a significant portion of their work online, and for all stakeholders involved, it’s as risky as it is rewarding. Your organization’s cybersecurity architecture plays an important role in avoiding the potential damage caused by a number of risks. Indeed, considering that a cybersecurity architecture is as strong as its weakest component, an important question arises: is there a component in my information system that is not completely under my control?
The most common answer to this question is third party access by partners or suppliers. Companies can grant third-party access to partners or suppliers to keep the workflow running smoothly. If you do not have a sufficiently advanced cybersecurity architecture, it is not possible to effectively control the use of this permission. Individuals or organizations with third-party access can be more flexible in terms of access security and privileged account management compared to another player in the network.
This flexibility can expand your organization’s attack surface and make your IT architecture more vulnerable to many different types of cyber threats. Here, companies must regard the individuals and organizations to which they grant third party access as their own employees and ensure that they meet the requirements of the principle of least privilege. This will make it much easier to maintain the effectiveness of the control mechanism.
What is third-party access?
Third-party access allows external users to connect to the company’s IT architecture through a defined network. The most important issue with third party access security is the ability to effectively monitor the activities of external users. Privileged access granted to external users to ensure the continuity of the workflow carries the risk of abuse.
Identifying external users as third-party privileged accounts in the IT architecture often makes it more vulnerable to cyber attackers. Moreover, this privileged access can also be abused by the external users themselves. Lack of proper oversight of external user access is one of the main reasons hackers attempt to breach data security through third party access.
Third-party access that is effectively granted to smooth the workflow can result in the exposure of sensitive data. Wiz’s research also clearly reveals how third-party access can lead to data breaches.
Research results show that 82% of organizations grant privileged access permissions to external users. Additionally, 76% of organizations also grant full account support privilege to external users with third-party access. Finally, the Wiz study found that 90% of cloud computing security teams are unaware of the extent of permissions they grant to external users.
The prevalence of third-party access leads to various issues related to the security of third-party access. These issues include remote access management issues, in addition to ensuring the access security of applications and devices.
Monitor and verify third party access
Potential third-party access issues should not prevent you from working with external users. On the contrary, it is possible to ensure access security by putting in place the right control mechanisms that offer the possibility of 24/7 surveillance.
In doing so, you should strictly monitor third-party access and implement a multi-step verification process. You can apply the six basic steps below, which you can follow while creating the respective security process, to prevent your IT architecture from being threatened due to the access permissions granted to external users:
The first step should be to separate third party credentials from company credentials. You can use privileged access management (PAM) solutions to allow external users to log into the system without interacting with corporate credentials on the network. In addition, with PAM, you can choose not to assign login credentials to third parties.
The second step is related to VPN access. Because VPN access does not provide adequate third-party access security, sensitive data you hold can be breached. The VPN can be vulnerable to lateral movement, which can lead to problems in the IT architecture rooted in the access of external users.
The means of granting access are also of great importance in terms of third party access security. You must adopt the principle of Zero Trust so that external users cannot threaten the security of your organization’s data. Just like you do to users across the network, you should only grant just-in-time access and limited privileges to external users. In other words, it is not enough on its own to determine which people or third party institutions have access to your system. You must also define the roles in which external users will be granted privileged access. In fact, Privileged Session Manager (PSM), one of the modules of Kron’s privileged access management (PAM) solution, Single Connect, does exactly that. A centralized system, PSM avoids confusion in access management and is able to easily monitor privileged access requests and external user movements.
The fourth step concerns the conditions under which external users will be granted privileged access. Another single sign-on PAM module, Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) takes your security to the next level by monitoring who is accessing your IT architecture and when. Unlike standard authentication systems, 2FA can verify time and location simultaneously. Thus, you can increase the IT security of your organization by requesting verification of the time and place when privileged access is requested.
The fifth step involves keeping records of all privileged sessions. One of our PAM modules, Database Access Manager records all activity on the database. Thus, it becomes easier to monitor deviations in the system and perform root cause analysis if any issues arise.
The sixth step in securing third-party access is to ensure the security of passwords. You can take advantage of high-tech applications such as Dynamic Password Controller to prevent password sharing and keep sensitive data secure. Tools like Central Password Manager isolate privileged account passwords from the rest of the network, preventing third-party users from accessing those passwords. Central Password Manager also stands out for its password vault function, providing a fully encrypted network that allows all sessions of the IT architecture to be authenticated.
The Privileged Access Management (PAM) modules mentioned above will help you ensure the security of your organization’s IT architecture and prevent the breach of sensitive data.
With Single sign-on, you can strengthen the data and access security of your organization. The high level of third-party access security offered by Single Connect will allow you to protect your organization against internal and external threats.
Single Connect, which appeared in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for PAM and Omdia Universe: Selection of a privileged access management solution, 2021-2022 reports for its leading effectiveness, will help you avoid potential damage from various cyber threats.
Contact us for more information about Single Connect and to ask any questions you may have to our experts.