Keeping your firm’s permissions hierarchy in check is essential from a security perspective, and yet it can also be tricky to achieve efficiently.
This is where choosing and using the right strategies and tools can put you in the driver’s seat and overcome all sorts of common conundrums.
With that in mind, here are some handy hints on how to master permissions management and turn it to your company’s advantage without compromising the end-user experience.
1. Understand the intent of the Permissions Hierarchy
The primary purpose of a permissions hierarchy is to make sure that the right people have access to the right information while reserving the most sensitive and valuable data for those who need it.
Unless you appreciate this underlying intent, then you will be less able to create and implement access strategies.
The principle of least privilege is the core of any competent permissions hierarchy strategy, and this simply means that users must only be given the minimal level of access to allow them to fulfill their role. If there is no practical reason for an employee to have access to certain data, then this should be restricted until such a time as a change is deemed necessary.
2. Create clarity with a set of guidelines
Another priority should be to document the guidelines governing access Permissions Hierarchy clearly and concisely.
This is important for several reasons, chief amongst which is the need to ensure that all employees are up to speed with their responsibilities and restrictions when it comes to access. Avoiding confusion is key to the management process, and the clarity provided by guidelines will prevent conflicts as well.
Another advantage of implementing guidelines is that by doing so, you will ensure that anyone else who takes charge of data security further down the line does not have to reverse engineer your strategies to establish their inner workings. Transparency and openness are better than complexity and ambiguity.
3. Find the right tools for your team
Empowering your team with tools to help them access and interact with data is crucial, and they need specific tools to do this effectively.
There are all sorts of valuable tools that IT admins can harness to streamline their duties, such as SentryOne SQL Server performance monitor for troubleshooting issues and avoiding downtime.
The tools you require will depend on your aims and your budget. If in doubt, ask team members what they require and use their feedback to inform your next steps. Also, see what platforms competitors are using and follow in their footsteps to simplify procurement decisions.
4. Set a schedule to update permissions periodically
Access requirements will invariably change over time, and while you could choose to make changes as and when they are requested, this can create roadblocks to productivity and disruption to your daily routine.
A better approach is to schedule updates to the permissions hierarchy to occur regularly, letting you execute any alterations in one fell swoop.
Also remember to let employees know when updates are planned to take place so that they can set their expectations accordingly, and alert you to any relevant changes that they might need ahead of the deadline.
5. Utilize your tools
Finally, do not neglect to put the tools you have invested into good use. This means ditching any bad habits or tactics you relied upon in the past and bringing the full power of the software at your disposal to bear on the challenges you face.
If necessary, take advantage of relevant training opportunities to give you and your team the skills and understanding to unlock the potential of access management tools. Likewise, the guidelines that you have created need to be proactively promoted and enforced, as this will encourage all employees to play by the same rules rather than making their own.
No business can afford to neglect data security, and access management is the point at which you can weed out vulnerabilities and minimize the likelihood of a human error occurring. Stay on top of your permissions hierarchy and you should avoid the most frequent missteps made in this arena.