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Simplify Access PoliciesSimplify access policies and ensure consistency across complex data landscapes to ensure that sensitive data is protected without compromising legitimate users. In the age of multiple Software as a Service (SaaS) applications and hybrid cloud-based analytics, managing access to sensitive data is more critical and more complex than ever. Access control rules are the rulebooks that dictate who can access what data, and under what circumstances. 

Let's explore how Pathlock and Satori can be implemented to create robust access policies for your SaaS applications and analytics environments.

Understanding Access Policies

Access control policies define the permissions users have for accessing data. They typically consider factors like user identity, department, role, and the specific data being accessed. Granular access policies ensure that only authorized users can see the information they need, reducing the risk of data breaches and unauthorized access.

Challenges in Managing Access 

Modern organizations face several challenges when it comes to ensuring appropriate access levels:

  • Data sprawl: Organizations today use a vast array of SaaS applications, cloud storage solutions, and on-premises data sources. This creates a scattered data landscape, making it difficult to track where sensitive information resides and who has access to it.
  • Dynamic workforce: The rise of remote work and temporary staff means organizations need to constantly grant, revoke, and adjust access permissions. This fluidity can make it challenging to maintain consistent access control practices.
  • Evolving user roles: User roles and responsibilities can change frequently within an organization. This constant change requires ongoing review and updates to access policies to ensure they remain appropriate.
  • Legacy systems: Many organizations still rely on legacy systems with outdated access control mechanisms. Integrating these systems with modern access control solutions can be complex and time-consuming.
  • Balancing security and productivity: Organizations need to strike a balance between data security and user productivity. Overly restrictive access policies can hinder employees' ability to do their jobs, while overly permissive policies can increase the risk of data breaches.
  • User awareness: Even with robust access control systems, human error can still be a factor. Ensuring users are aware of access policies and understand their responsibilities for data security is crucial.

These challenges can lead to several negative consequences, such as:

  • Data breaches: Inconsistent or overly permissive access controls can make it easier for unauthorized users to gain access to sensitive information.
  • Compliance violations: Failure to properly manage access controls can lead to violations of data privacy regulations like GDPR and CCPA.
  • Reduced productivity: Overly restrictive access policies can hinder employees' ability to access the data they need to do their jobs effectively.
  • Increased costs: Managing access control across a complex data landscape can be time-consuming and resource-intensive.

Best-Practise Considerations for Managing Access Policies

To manage complex data landscapes organisations must consider access management systems that offer:

  • Centralized Management: Platforms that provide user-friendly interfaces for creating and managing access policies in a single location. This eliminates the need for managing disparate policies across different SaaS applications and analytics tools, saving time, reducing complexity and enforcing consistency.
  • Consistent Enforcement: Platforms that enforce consistent access permissions regardless of where your data resides (SaaS applications or analytics environments). This eliminates the risk of policy gaps or inconsistencies that could lead to security vulnerabilities.
  • Granular Control: Platform's that implement ABAC allow you to define highly granular access policies based on various attributes. This ensures that users only have access to the specific data they need, and only under the conditions you define. Pathlock complements this by adding a layer of control at the application entry point.
  • Reduced Risk of Errors: By managing policies centrally, you minimize the risk of human error that can occur when managing complex access controls across multiple platforms. 
  • Improved Compliance: Satori and Pathlock can help you meet compliance requirements like PoPIA and GDPR by ensuring you have a consistent and auditable access control framework in place.

Pathlock: Centralise Access Policies for SaaS Applications

Pathlock excels at securing access to SaaS applications. Here's how Pathlock enhances access policies::

  • Identity and Access Management (IAM): Pathlock verifies user identities through multi-factor authentication (MFA) and SSO, ensuring only authorized users can even attempt to log in to SaaS applications.
  • Just-in-Time (JIT) Access: Pathlock grants access only when needed, based on pre-defined policies. This minimizes the window of opportunity for unauthorized access.
  • Session Management: Pathlock monitors and controls user sessions within SaaS applications, automatically terminating them after a period of inactivity or upon reaching predefined risk thresholds.

Satori: Simple Access Policies for Analytics

Satori takes control of analytics environments, where data access is crucial for deriving insights. Here's how Satori enforces data access controls:

  • Attribute-Based Access Control (ABAC): Satori goes beyond traditional role-based access control. It allows you to define policies based on various attributes, such as a user's department, location, data type being accessed, and even the specific queries they can run.
  • Data Masking and Redaction: Satori can automatically mask sensitive data based on security policies. This ensures authorized users only see the data they need for their analysis, protecting sensitive information.
  • Dynamic Authorization: Satori allows you to define access policies that adapt in real-time. For instance, access could be restricted based on time of day or suspicious activity.

Summary: Pathlock and Satori - A Powerful Combination

By combining Pathlock and Satori, you can create a comprehensive access control strategy for your entire data ecosystem:

  • SaaS Applications: Pathlock secures access at the entry point, ensuring only authorized users can log in, and enforces PoLP.
  • Analytics Environments: Satori refines access within the environment, granting granular permissions based on user attributes and data sensitivity.

This layered approach strengthens your overall data security posture, fostering a secure environment for collaboration and data-driven decision-making.

FAQ Data Access Policies

Data access policies define who has access to what data, why, and under what conditions. They're crucial for:

    • Protecting sensitive information: Limiting access to authorized users minimizes the risk of breaches and misuse.
    • Complying with regulations: Data privacy laws like GDPR and CCPA require robust access control.
    • Ensuring data integrity: Controlled access reduces accidental or unauthorized modifications to data.

Traditional access control often grants access at the system or application level. FGAC takes it a step further, providing granular control down to individual data elements or fields within a record. For example, restricting access to passport numbers within employee files instead of blocking access to the entire file.

Pathlock goes beyond static policies to dynamically enforce and monitor access control:

    • Granular Control: Pathlock implements FGAC, enabling precise data access permissions based on user roles and data sensitivity.
    • Real-Time Monitoring: Pathlock tracks and analyzes all data access activity, detecting suspicious behaviour even from authorized users.
    • Automated Enforcement: Policies can be pre-configured to trigger automated responses to violations, like account suspension or security alerts.
    • Comprehensive Audit Trails: Pathlock provides detailed audit logs for demonstrating compliance and investigating incidents.

There are many benefits to using Pathlock, including:

    • Enhanced Data Security: Reduced risk of data breaches and unauthorized access by safeguarding sensitive information with granular control and real-time monitoring across ERP and business applications.
    • Simplified Compliance: Pathlock helps organizations comply with data privacy regulations by demonstrating robust access control and comprehensive audit trails.
    • Improved Efficiency: Streamlined access management processes and automated responses minimize friction and administrative workload.
    • Increased Transparency and Accountability: Detailed audit trails and violation alerts promote transparency and accountability within the organization.

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