Organizational security is not just about providing user credentials; it’s also about being able to easily answer questions such as the following: “Who has access to what systems or resources? Who granted the access? Was it approved properly? Are there users who need accessed modified or revoked?”
As organizations grow, the number of objects that require secure access also expands; management of ‘who has access to what’ becomes critical.
Risks of not managing Security Access Requests
Security access is a wide umbrella that covers multiple aspects of your infrastructure and affects every department:
- Computing Systems: Databases, files, sites, hardware, software, etc.
- Physical Assets: Conference rooms, building entrance/exit, printers, machinery, parking, etc.
Problems occur when user access to these resources is not managed at an early stage — the longer it’s ignored, the more challenging it is to fix. In the absence of a reliable access request methodology, security risks will flourish. At the least, access requests will be mismanaged or lost; at the worst, malicious threats will compromise your company’s sensitive data or assets.
Key functionality required in a successful security access request system (for both computing and physical assets) includes:
- Ability to create, edit, revoke, track, and audit access;
- Implementation of access request logs for auditing purposes;
- Granular level insight into exactly when access was granted, who granted it, and the scope of access provided;
- Capability to create reports based on security access requests, particularly summary and detail data that conveys the nature of the requests, grant decision, and reasoning in the case of denial;
- Ability to handle multiple scenarios that feature security access requests, such as new employee onboarding, promotion-based midboarding, exiting employee offboarding, and ad-hoc access requests;
- Automatic sending of notifications and alerts to users when requests are submitted.
Microsoft SharePoint for Security Access Requests
Microsoft SharePoint is particularly well-suited to handling security access requests. Lists and forms can be used to create access templates, handle log data, and provide data-centric views for reporting. Automated tasks can be designed that route access requests to the correct employee. Approvals/denials can be facilitated via the use of customized forms and workflows, with final decisions automatically included in audit logs. Outlook can be integrated to enable employees to simply e-mail their access requests and received updates.
The collaborative nature of SharePoint allows employees from multiple departments to work together on complex access requests. For example, a customer-facing employee may require access to printers assigned to multiple departments or need permissions to use a database that is operated by an IT department. In an Office 365 environment, a SharePoint access request system works hand-in-hand with other productivity tools such as Excel (for reporting), Outlook (for managing requests via e-mail), and Access (for database usage).
From a management perspective, knowing who has access to your data and assets is key, but being able to manage those permissions in a convenient interface is critical. SharePoint can offer full access request management capabilities in an environment that is familiar and without the need to purchase an additional third-party security management solution.
Crow Canyon provides a Security Access Request system as part of its suite of applications for SharePoint. Contact sales to discuss further or for a demo at 1-888-706-0070 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Crow Canyon Systems has 16 years’ experience building applications on Microsoft collaboration platforms, such as Outlook, SharePoint and Office 365. We give organizations the tools they need to provide excellent service to customers and employees while reducing costs and helping operations run more smoothly.