Defining your Access Control in line with business requirements

Ensuring access to your business assets are controls improves their protection and this can be tailored in accordance to your business needs. Segmenting your network and having different controls for different segments that are guided by organization wide policies can have a great impact in reducing threat vectors and protecting your company.

9.1.1. Access control policy.

Access to assets is a key concern for any organization. Access should always be based on the businesses needs and tailored to the specific employee and asset type. Employees need just the right amount of access to perform at their job. Too little access and key functions in an organization may be left unfulfilled. Too much access and the organization may suffer a data breach, tampering of services and outages, either by accident or by malicious intent. The best way to approach access controls, and is the way recommended by ISO, is documentation! This is a reoccurring theme but we need documented process to ensure repeatability, uniformity, and fairness. In this case we should consult with asset owners on what access levels different users, or user roles, require and document them. It is important to ensure we protect both physical and logical access. Restricted SSH access is only so helpful if the server hardware is physically protected.

Keep in mind when granting rights to users that the user must have both the correct security clearance to access that data and a legitimate business need to require it. By keeping these in mind we can avoid granting excessive access to individuals. Periodic reviews can also help us prevent privilege creep as roles and requirements change.

9.1.2. Access to networks and network services.

This is similar to the above control but where 9.1.1 focuses on access to assets, 9.1.2’s scope is focused on network access. Best practice for access control should expand to the entire network, not just the assets. This policy should specify which networks and services should be accessible with authorization and authentication procedures for access, consideration for workers accessing the network from public areas using VPN or Wi-Fi and monitoring requirements should all be detailed. Consider segmenting your network into separate areas with VLAN’s, DMZ’s or similar to control network access between different areas of your organizations.

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