Advantages of Implementing Conditional Access

Advantages of Implementing Conditional Access

It seems that nearly as long as passwords have  been around, they’ve been a major source of security concern. Eighty-one percent of security incidents happen due to stolen or  weak passwords. Additionally, employees continue to neglect the basics of  good cyber hygiene.

For example, 61% of workers use the same password  for multiple platforms. And 43% have shared their passwords with others.  These factors are why compromised credentials are the main cause of data  breaches.

Access and identity management have become a  priority for many organizations. This is largely due to the rise of the  cloud. As well as the practice of people needing to only enter a username and  password to access systems.


Once a cybercriminal gets a hold of an employee’s  login, they can access the account and any data that it contains. This is  especially problematic when it’s an account like Microsoft 365 or Google  Workspace. These accounts can access things like cloud storage and user  email.

Below, we’ll explain what conditional access is.  As well as how it works with multi-factor authentication (MFA). We’ll also  review the advantages of moving to a conditional access process.

What Is  Conditional Access?

Conditional access is also known as contextual  access. It is a method of controlling user access. You can think of it as  several “if/then” statements, meaning “if” this thing is present, “then” do  this.

For example, conditional access allows you to set  a rule that would state the following. “If a user is logging in from outside  the country, require a one-time-passcode.”

Conditional access allows you to add many  conditions to the process of user access to a system. It is typically used  with MFA. This is to improve access security without unnecessarily  inconveniencing users.

Some of the most common contextual factors used  include:

·          IP address

·          Geographic location

·          Time of day

·          The device used

·          Role or group the user  belongs to

Conditional access can be set up in Azure Active Directory.  It can also be set up in another identity and access management tool. It’s  helpful to get the assistance of your IT partner. We can help with setup and  the conditions that would make the most sense for your business.

The  Benefits of Implementing Conditional Access for Identity Management

Improves  Security

Using conditional access improves security. It  allows you more flexibility in challenging user legitimacy. It doesn't just  grant access to anyone with a username and password. Instead, the user needs  to meet certain requirements.

Contextual access could block any login attempts  from countries where no employees are. It could also present an extra  verification question when employees use an unrecognized device.

Automates  the Access Management Process

Once the if/then statements are set up, the  system takes over. It automates the monitoring for contextual factors and  takes the appropriate actions. This reduces the burden on administrative IT  teams. It also ensures that no one is falling between the cracks.

Automated processes are more accurate and  reliable than manual processes. Automation removes the human error component.  This helps ensure that each condition is being verified for every single  login.

Allows  Restriction of Certain Activities

Conditional access isn’t only for keeping  unauthorized users out of your accounts. You can use it in other ways. One of  these is to restrict the activities that legitimate users can do.

For example, you could restrict access to data or  settings based on a user’s role in the system. You can also use conditions in  combination. Such as, lowering permissions to view-only. You could trigger  this if a user holds a certain role and is logging in from an unknown device.

Improves  the User Login Experience

Studies show that as many as 67% of businesses don’t use  multi-factor authentication. This is despite the fact that it’s one of the  most effective methods to stop credential breaches.

One of the biggest reasons it is not used is  because of the inconvenience factor for employees. They may complain that it  interferes with productivity. Or say that it makes it harder for them to use  their business applications.

Using  conditional access with MFA can improve the user experience. For example, you  can require MFA only if users are off the premises. You can put in place  extra challenge questions on a role or context-based basis. This keeps all  users from being inconvenienced.

Enforces  the Rule of Least Privilege

Using the rule of least privilege is a security  best practice. It means only granting the lowest level of access in a system  as necessary for a user to do their work. Once you have roles set up in your  identity management system, you can base access on those roles.

Conditional access simplifies the process of  restricting access to data or functions. You can base this on job needs. It  streamlines identity management. This is because it contains all functions in  the same system for access and MFA rules. Everything stays together, making  management simpler.



Get Help Implementing Conditional Access Today!

Once conditional access is set up, the automated  system takes over. It improves your security and reduces the risk of an  account breach. Contact us today for a free consultation to enhance your  cybersecurity.

Article used with permission from The Technology Press.