When we think about maintaining and protecting the network, we often focus on hardening the system against outsider threats. It makes sense, since the majority of attacks on a network come from the outside. But when insider attacks occur, they can do a lot more damage. That's where access management comes into play.
Remember the case about a year ago of the disgruntled City of San Francisco IT administrator who locked out other city administrators from the network (TechNewsWorld)? Even after he was carted off to jail, other administrators still couldn't get in. It was a worst case scenario. You had a generously-paid administrator in a good position who sabotaged his own organization after being cited for poor job performance.
Assuming your most senior IT people aren't plotting against you, locking down the system from the inside gets a bit easier than the above example. Access management procedures and tools can help organizations ensure network security as only trusted people have authorized access to specific parts of the network. Ideally, that authorization can be revoked at the click of an IT administrator's mouse. This can also be integrated with key HR and Payroll systems.
Of course, this still assumes at least some level of manual interaction (a mouse click, or several) by people who can be trusted. Access management technologies can greatly help organizations that hire right and have the capacity to realistically assess risks from within. Your network's operations and security depend on it.
Vaclav Vincalek October 20th, 2009 08:30:00 AM