Information security increasingly important when sharing data with partners, still no need to compromise user experience
Changes in working life and the growing importance of networks for business mean that sharing information with third parties is vital for any company. When third-party access is built and implemented correctly, information security can be guaranteed without harming the user experience. And when balanced security practices are combined with an improved user experience, the security solution adds value instead of bringing constraints.
Hybrid work, more and more complicated subcontracting chains, and increasingly common consulting work are some examples of the changes in working life that require more cooperation and sharing of information with third parties. The risks are also increasing; for example, data breaches through subcontracting chains hit the news more often than before.
Correct solutions bring significant benefits
At best, solutions for third-party access accomplish a lot for the company. Working becomes easier, and the level of automation in cooperation rises. Work is more productive, flexible, and fluent. At the same time, information security is improved, and the probability of a data breach is significantly diminished.
Data shared in business has a high value, and it must be protected effectively. When third-party access is implemented correctly, it is possible to reach a situation that has been very rare in past decades: a good user experience with information security at the same time.
The processes for managing third-party access are the starting point for everything. These principles define how a person can gain access, for how long, and to what extent. Regulations and rules can affect these principles, depending on the field of business. One important aspect here is the data privacy of the end user, and rules concerning consent management and the sharing of personal data.
For information security and data protection, the key is to grant access only as far as necessary. Time and the extent of access are essential dimensions. Access should be granted only while you need to share information, and it should only cover what is necessary for efficient work. Access should be as limited as possible, to minimize all risks.
In order to guarantee efficient work with third parties, following these principles should be as easy and automatic as possible.
When implemented properly, IAM for third parties ensures data security and a smooth user experience.
Multi-cloud environment adds challenge
In most organizations, data is scattered around different places, such as the organization’s own data center and different cloud-based services and applications. The data may also be geographically distributed between American and European services. It may be difficult or even impossible for a company to know which parts of the scattered data content have been shared, with whom, and for how long.
Privacy and data protection are always important for individuals and organizations. Nowadays, there are also regulations concerning how to take care of privacy and protection on personal information. It is important to be able to manage the data location and processing based on these factors, too.
The combination may be technically challenging, which also makes managing third-party access more difficult. On other hand, technology is hardly ever the main obstacle. Solutions are available, as long as you know how to use them.
The best solutions are invisible to the users
When third-party access is built correctly, it is practically invisible to the users. The user is identified and gets the required authorizations along the way without even noticing it. At the same time, the risk of a data breach has been minimized and the valuable data is secured.
The reality looks different in most companies: information security is still very often guaranteed at the expense of the user experience. This does not have to be the case; third-party access can be built without compromising either.
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Author: Mika Käck works as Principal Consultant in Enfo’s Digital Trust team in Finland, building new Digital Identity services for our customers.
The acticle has been published in Tivi Magazine on October 26, 2022. (In Finnish.)