Capitol building cybersecurity vulnerabilities

Breach - Enabling emergency data protection

Warren Parad

Published on January 08, 2021

The importance of data security has not been left off anyone’s radar. And, in the wake of unauthorized access to the US Capitol building the approach for some is to wipe everything. Potentially malicious attackers on premise, able to access user data and user sessions left unlocked. The historical lack of sufficient technical experts in leading government areas have left reasonable controls out of the picture. The lack of attention to data security in some of the most critical areas results from a number of antiquated mindsets and overall deficit in talent.

The situation

However, many companies also find themselves, while not in possession of highly classified and confidential materials, equally sensitive and vulnerable to unauthorized access. Security experts will point to increased availability of cloud solutions with a bifurcation of security responsibility “Of the Cloud” and “In the Cloud”. Cloud usage helps, that’s no longer a question, but it’s only the beginning of the story. As an organization you are in control of your data, your security, and possible remediation strategies when there is a critical incident. But how will you help your users tackle these issues when something happens to them outside of your control?

A quick browsing through social media will expose just how many possible vulnerabilities where in place:

Having the appropriate security controls in place is important for a variety of reasons. While not everything protects your users’ data inside your cloud solution, some of it helps protect your users’ digital identity. We’ll iterate through the available options below to see what additional controls can be implemented.

Physical Management

The first layer is everything physical and connected to a network. This is known as endpoint management. Users log in to physical devices in a dedicated location or one that is treated as a zero-trust network. These endpoints need to offer basic protection:

User Authentication

Once your users are past their device login, network and internet access have further protections. Many apps in 2021 still lack some of these basic protections, so when choosing what to use ensure that they follow these guidelines.

Many authentication SaaS providers have at least some of these features if not all of them. Building a custom login solution will always be less secure unless it contains at least these mentioned criteria.

User Authorization

Authorization or identity access management (IAM) is critical for securing user connected applications. As we’ve seen above there are important areas missing from physical and authentication security that need to be closed.

Conclusion

Using these different pieces together is the only way to ensure security amid data emergencies and not have to resort to drastic measures to clean up. Combining physical management with federated user login and authorization apis gives a full working security approach to almost any digital infrastructure. The solutions for teams and organizations that are responsible for these resources are available, all it takes is simply to implement them.

Interested in figuring out which auth and physical data security tools, checkout how to pick the best auth solution.

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