of access issues
Improve your IT risk posture
As for many organizations, one of the main challenges of our client, active in the manufacturing industry, was to keep up with the rapid changes in the application and employee landscape. Over the years this has led to an accumulation of access issues that our client was determined to take care of.
They were aware of the fact that they had some issues lingering around, but the task of cleaning them up was too overwhelming. In addition, their current tools and systems did not give them the insights they needed to get started, nor to follow up on the progress.
Instead of randomly cleaning up issues, we used our platform in order to apply a risk-based, data-driven and iterative approach, enabling our client to see value, in terms of risk reduction, immediately. In addition, we put monitoring and alerts in place to help them follow up and prevent another build-up of access issues.
Iterative: By choosing manageable chunks of access issues to clean up, we avoid a big bang approach and enable a quick-win approach. Quick wins, in terms of signs of improvement, stimulate motivation and secure support from management.
Risk-based: Each iteration starts with identifying those access issues that entail the biggest risk. We aim for maximal and immediate risk reduction by addressing the biggest access risks first.
Data-driven: We put the identity to work in every step: to identify, to act and to transform. This enables for a cost-efficient and intuitive way of addressing access issues.
3 Step Approach
Identify: Typically, a cleaning project follows an assessment - for which identity data from the most important applications gets imported in our platform. This was also the case for our client. Performing the assessment, using our platform, allowed us to quickly discover the various access issues that were present in our client’s IT environment and assess the risk that each of those entailed. Based on that risk-prioritization the client decided on the scope of the first clean-up iteration: orphaned accounts.
Act: Starting to clean up all orphaned accounts was still quite overwhelming. So, within those orphaned accounts we made another prioritization based on risk and effort: focussing first on those accounts that entailed the greatest risk but required the least effort to clean up. This prioritization was then used to define subgoals, enabling risk reduction fast (see figure below). One of the first subgoals was cleaning up 80% of the privileged orphaned accounts.
With extensive analytics capabilities, our platform assisted our client in finding which accounts to remove or which team lead to address in case of doubts. We built dashboards specifically to follow up on the progress that was being made. Burndown charts, for example, helped our client to see whether the situation was improving and whether they would achieve their goals, enabling them to make timely adjustments if necessary.
Transform: Besides dashboards to follow up on the progress we also set up alerts to avoid backsliding after the clean-up iteration. Because it’s not as if orphaned accounts would never come back. With the alerts, we gave our client the ability to automatically detect these so action could be taken before they started to pile up again.
We used our platform to enable an iterative, data-driven and risk-based approach to cleaning up access issues, enabling our client to establish quick wins and see value in terms of risk reduction immediately.
Our client now uses our platform to follow up on the progress that they make, monitor the remaining access issues, and get the insights they need to continue the next clean-up iterations. Next scope: access accumulation.
Our client significantly improved their IT risk posture by dealing with the access issues in a focussed and achievable way. Seeing the progress they were making kept the motivation going and the business engagement strong, enabling them to reach higher with every iteration.