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Do You Know What Your Partners Access in Your Network?

Updated: Apr 24

It’s inevitable that both large and small enterprises need to let trusted third parties, like contractors, auditers, consultants and partners, access their environment. These external people (or agencies) typically provide specialized expertise or resources that the enterprise lacks internally, enabling them to provide valuable services or support.

They may facilitate business operations by assisting with specific projects, audits, or consultations that require access to the enterprise's systems or data. Additionally, partnering with external entities can promote collaboration, innovation, and growth opportunities for the enterprise. However, it's crucial for enterprises to implement robust access controls and monitoring mechanisms to safeguard their sensitive information and mitigate potential risks associated with third-party access. Balancing the need for collaboration with security measures is essential to ensure that trusted third parties can contribute effectively while maintaining the integrity and confidentiality of the enterprise's environment.


Shedding Light on a Neglected Cybersecurity Threat

Granting third parties access can easily become a cybersecurity weakness that doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. In order to tackle this glaring weakness in the enterprise, the organization must make sure they gain visibility into any blind spots while also ensuring their actual identity infrastructure is secured.  And most importantly, it’s vital to make sure that an IT contractor, for example, doesn’t access unauthorized assets. There is a real need for observability and tracking capabilities that arm the organization with the visibility required to accurately define what third parties can actually access. Third-party entities should only be granted access to resources and data that the organization has explicitly deemed acceptable. Any attempt to access information or systems beyond these authorized parameters must trigger real-time alerts. This proactive approach ensures that unauthorized access attempts are immediately detected and addressed, minimizing the risk of data breaches or security incidents. By enforcing strict access controls and monitoring for deviations from authorized access, organizations can maintain the integrity and security of their digital environment, safeguarding sensitive information and mitigating potential risks posed by third-party entities. Applying these measures to third parties is just as important as doing so for employees. 


Companies' Apprehensions Regarding Third-Party Access

A lot of companies are concerned about the third party access they’ve already granted. This concern arises from the potential for these third parties to inadvertently or maliciously compromise the company's sensitive data or systems. Instances of data breaches, insider threats, or inadequate security practices among third-party entities can have severe consequences, including financial losses, reputational damage, and regulatory penalties. Furthermore, as cyber threats evolve and regulations become stricter, companies face increasing pressure to ensure the security and compliance of their entire supply chain, including third-party vendors and partners. Therefore, ongoing monitoring, risk assessments, and enforcement of security measures are essential to mitigate the risks associated with third-party access and maintain the security posture of the company's environment. 


The Fragmented State of Cybersecurity and IAM Solutions

The current landscape of cybersecurity and Identity and Access Management (IAM) solutions is characterized by siloed and disjointed systems that fail to encompass all access paths. This fragmentation results in an incomplete picture and limited visibility into who is accessing which resources, from where, and whether these actions comply with organizational policies. Because existing solutions operate in isolation and often cover only specific aspects of access management, they cannot offer comprehensive insight across the entire infrastructure. Consequently, critical gaps emerge in monitoring and oversight, leaving organizations blind to potential security threats and unauthorized access points. Without a unified approach that integrates all access paths and systems, organizations struggle to enforce security policies effectively and respond promptly to security incidents. Thus, bridging these silos and adopting integrated cybersecurity and IAM solutions are imperative for achieving holistic visibility and ensuring compliance with security policies.


The Importance of Comprehensive Identity Observability in Cybersecurity

We often require an ID for people to enter facilities, but we don’t always use the same diligence when it comes to our network. Just as we wouldn't allow just anyone to freely roam the halls of our corporate headquarters, it's essential to apply the same level of scrutiny and control within our critical IT environment. Our IT infrastructure houses sensitive data, valuable assets, and vital systems that are the lifeblood of our organization. Allowing unrestricted access to this environment is akin to leaving the doors of our headquarters wide open to anyone who wishes to enter. Just as we implement security measures to regulate physical access to our premises, we must also enforce strict controls and protocols to govern access to our IT systems and networks. By doing so, we can protect our digital assets, mitigate security risks, and safeguard the integrity and confidentiality of our organization's operations.

Visibility into third-party activity is crucial for maintaining proper security measures and identity-related defenses. From auditors to service providers and every role in between, these external entities can potentially introduce vulnerabilities or security breaches, even within seemingly well-protected organizations. Without adequate oversight, these third parties may inadvertently compromise sensitive data or systems, leading to significant disruptions and financial losses. Therefore, having comprehensive visibility into their activities allows organizations to monitor for any suspicious behavior, enforce security policies, and respond promptly to any incidents that may arise. This proactive approach helps mitigate risks and ensures the integrity and security of the organization's digital assets and operations.


Get the Observability You Need With the AuthMind Identity Security Platform

AuthMind is the first identity security platform that provides continuous identity observability by monitoring and analyzing all the activities and behaviors associated with human and non-human identities within an organization's networks. By observing identity-related events and access patterns, organizations can gain insights into security gaps and blindspots. It provides visibility into user behavior, detects anomalies and unauthorized activities, and ensure compliance with security policies.

AuthMind enables organizations to define granular access policies for external third-party contractors, and provides detailed alerts on policy violations, empowering security teams to respond in a timely manner and prevent unwanted exposure. AuthMind tracks both unauthorized identity access and unauthorized asset access:

  • Unauthorized identity access ensures that identities do only what they are allowed
  • Unauthorized asset access validates that only authorized identities access specific asset, using the required security tools (VPN, PAM tools, etc).

By establishing robust identity security practices, across all the identities in their networks, organizations can enhance their ability to detect and respond to security threats, prevent unauthorized access, and maintain the integrity of their IT environment.


To set up a call to learn more on how AuthMind can detect and alert on any unauthorized third party activity, click here.

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