Unlocking User Access Review: A Beginner's Guide for 2023


Ensuring the security and efficiency of your company's data and applications is paramount. As an IT manager, you are at the forefront of safeguarding your organization against potential threats and vulnerabilities. 

This is where user access review comes in, playing a crucial role in fortifying your business against unauthorized access and data breaches.

Managing users' access becomes a multifaceted challenge in a modern organization with a hybrid work environment. Whether it's an employee's departure, the arrival of a new team member, the adoption of cutting-edge applications, or collaboration with external service providers for a project, each event profoundly impacts daily operations. These changes inevitably reverberate throughout the organization's systems, potentially introducing discrepancies and security vulnerabilities.

One critical aspect affected by these shifts is employee access rights. Given that access rights grant individuals entry into sensitive data, applications, and infrastructure, it becomes imperative for companies to prioritize their protection while adhering to regulatory compliance requirements. 

This is where the user access review steps in—a crucial practice that allows you to control and monitor authorizations and permissions, effectively addressing the dual challenge of security and compliance.

What is User Access Review?

User access review, also referred to as access audit, entitlement review, account attestation, or account recertification, is the systematic evaluation of user access rights and privileges within your organization. It involves periodically reviewing and validating the permissions granted to every user interacting with your company's sensitive information, including employees, vendors, service providers, and other collaborators.

By conducting regular access reviews, you ensure that the access rights assigned to users align with their roles and responsibilities. This proactive approach mitigates the risk of unauthorized access and potential data breaches, protecting your organization's valuable assets from both internal and external threats.

Incorporating user access review into your IAM strategy is essential for maintaining a robust security posture and optimizing operational efficiency. Implementing an automated access review solution can streamline the process, minimize manual effort, and enhance accuracy and accountability.

The Process of User Access Review

The user access review process is essential for maintaining control over systems and data, minimizing unauthorized access and data breaches, ensuring compliance with regulations, and safeguarding their information assets.

  • Access permissions assessment

During the review, a thorough examination is conducted to identify the individuals or user accounts that have access to specific resources, systems, applications, or data within the organization. This assessment helps determine the scope and extent of user privileges, providing a clear understanding of who has access to what.

  • Access levels evaluation

The review evaluates the level of access each user has, whether it's read-only, read-write, administrative, or any other defined access levels. It ensures that users have the necessary permissions to perform their job responsibilities effectively.

  • Authorization & approval compliance

To maintain a secure access control environment, the review scrutinizes the authorization and approval process for granting access rights to users. It verifies if access rights align with the organization's policies, procedures, and security requirements. This examination guarantees that access rights are only granted based on legitimate business needs and through proper approval channels.

  • Unauthorized access detection

The review plays a crucial role in identifying instances of unauthorized access within the organization. It proactively detects users with excessive privileges, dormant or unused accounts, or accounts associated with former employees or contractors. By promptly identifying such vulnerabilities, you can mitigate potential security risks and take necessary actions to prevent unauthorized access to sensitive information.

By implementing a comprehensive user access review process, you can effectively manage their access controls, mitigate security risks, and protect their valuable information assets. This practice promotes a secure environment while ensuring compliance with regulations and industry standards.

The Challenges Associated with the User Access Review

User access review is a critical process, but it comes with several challenges that must be addressed effectively. By understanding and overcoming these challenges, you can strengthen your access control practices and ensure a secure environment for your systems and data.

  • Lack of proactive security risk detection

The dynamic nature and complexity of access rights make the detection of security risks challenging during the user access review. It is crucial to overcome this challenge as promptly identifying and rectifying errors in access rights assignment is paramount in preventing security breaches, fraud, and the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive information. 

You can enhance your organization’s overall security posture by proactively detecting and addressing security risks.

  • Non-compliance with industry regulations

Achieving compliance with industry regulations and standards is a significant challenge you face. User access review plays a pivotal role in adhering to regulatory constraints. Many standards and frameworks, such as ISO 27001, SOX, HIPAA, and others, mandate regular access control reviews to ensure compliance. 

Overcoming this challenge is vital to meet regulatory requirements, facilitate smooth audits, and avoid penalties or reputational damage.

  • The complexity of user access review 

As organizations grow in size and complexity, conducting user access reviews becomes increasingly challenging. Managing access rights for numerous systems, applications, data repositories, and a large user base can be overwhelming. 

Overcoming this challenge entails implementing scalable and efficient processes that can handle the volume of access rights while ensuring comprehensive coverage. Streamlining the user access review process is essential to manage complexity effectively.

  • An inadequate balance between security & user productivity

Striking the right balance between security requirements and user productivity poses a challenge in user access review. Restrictive access controls can impede employee efficiency and hinder smooth business operations, while excessive privileges can introduce vulnerabilities and heighten the risk of data breaches. 

Overcoming this challenge requires understanding business needs, evaluating risks, and implementing appropriate access controls that promote both security and productivity goals.

  • Complex automation & technology implementation

 Leveraging technology and automation tools can significantly streamline the user access review process. However, implementing and managing these tools can present challenges. These include complex integration, ensuring data accuracy, and addressing user resistance. Security, maintenance and costs pose additional concerns. You must balance automation with human oversight and stay compliant with regulations while ensuring scalability for growth.  

Overcoming this challenge involves selecting suitable solutions, integrating them seamlessly with existing systems, and ensuring the accuracy and reliability of data. Adequate staff training and resource allocation are also crucial for effectively utilizing technology in the access review process.

  • Failing to govern access rights & identities

User access review is a fundamental component of access rights and identity governance. Ensuring effective governance necessitates the involvement of managers at all organizational levels. 

Overcoming this challenge requires establishing clear processes and fostering coordination among stakeholders. Managers play a crucial role in approving or revoking access rights, validating their relevance, and ensuring their alignment with job roles. Effective access rights governance enhances visibility and control over resource accessibility.

We’ve established that managing and monitoring user access can be challenging for you and your IT admins. But what if there was a solution that could simplify this process and provide advanced features to enhance your organization's security? Enter Zluri, a leading identity governance and administration (IGA) solutions provider.

Enhancing User Access Monitoring with Zluri's IGA Solution

In today's business landscape, time is an invaluable resource. Every second counts and delays in critical processes can have severe repercussions on an organization's security posture. Traditional access reviews were often slow and laborious, requiring exhaustive manual efforts from administrators. But with Zluri's IGA solution, the paradigm has shifted. Harnessing the power of automation, Zluri enables lightning-fast access reviews, leaving your admins with more time to focus on core tasks that drive business growth.

The key to Zluri's success lies in its comprehensive approach. To effectively track app access, Zluri provides a centralized platform that consolidates all SaaS systems and applications utilized in your organization's ecosystem. This holistic view equips your IT teams with complete visibility, enabling them to efficiently manage user access across the SaaS stack.

Unified Access: Gain a 360-Degree View of Digital Identities

Zluri's IGA provides a unified access management approach, ensuring that your teams with an all-encompassing view of your organization's access landscape. It seamlessly consolidates user access-related information from various sources within a singular, intuitive platform. Say goodbye to juggling multiple directories or disparate identity repositories; with Zluri, everything you need to understand access privileges and user activity is at your fingertips.

  • Access Directory: At the core of Zluri's IGA lies its robust capability to capture and organize user information from various sources, including active directory and other identity repositories. This meticulous recording ensures that every user identity and their associated access privileges are readily accessible for review. Say goodbye to the hassle of dealing with multiple directories and disparate identity repositories.

  • Access Privileges: Zluri's unified access empowers administrators with unprecedented visibility to oversee and manage user access privileges across the entire organization. This heightened oversight allows admins to swiftly identify potential access discrepancies or suspicious permissions, thus fortifying the organization's defense against cyber threats. 

    By having a clear view of access privileges, organizations can ensure the principle of least privilege, reducing the attack surface and minimizing security risks.

  • Activity & Alerts: Zluri's IGA takes a proactive approach by tracking user activity in real-time and triggering instant alerts for anomalous behavior or unauthorized access attempts. This vigilant alert system acts as an early warning mechanism, enabling swift action against any potential security risks. 

    Your teams can promptly investigate and respond to security incidents, safeguarding sensitive data and protecting against potential breaches.

    With Zluri's IGA, you can achieve a more streamlined and secure access management process, empowering teams with the tools they need to ensure data protection and compliance. By offering a unified view of digital identities, access privileges, and user activity, Zluri ensures that you stay ahead of security threats in today's rapidly evolving digital landscape.

Automated Reviews: Unleashing the Power of Automation

With the power of Zluri's automated reviews, you can significantly bolster the security of your organization and protect sensitive data with utmost efficiency. Additionally, Zluri's solution ensures that your business remains in compliance with various regulatory requirements. Zluri's automated reviews capabilities provide a powerful and comprehensive solution to fortify your access control system, safeguard sensitive data, and maintain compliance with regulatory standards.

  • Access Rules: Access rules enable you to ensure that users have appropriate access privileges tailored to their job functions, reducing the risk of unauthorized access. The platform conducts instant reviews and validations of user access against pre-established criteria, leaving no room for ambiguities in the access management process. This meticulous approach enhances security and compliance, protecting sensitive data and assets from potential threats.

  • Scheduled Certification: It automates system-generated reviews at regular intervals, making sure that access rights remain up-to-date with the organization's evolving security policies. By streamlining the certification process, you can maintain a consistent and compliant environment, minimizing the risk of data breaches or insider threats arising from outdated access permissions. This proactive approach to access certification saves time and effort for IT teams, allowing them to focus on other critical security tasks.

  • Auto Remediation: Zluri leverages automated remediation actions to proactively handle potential risks, strengthening the organization's security posture. By automating these remediation processes, the platform helps your IT team swiftly respond to security threats, reducing the window of vulnerability and preventing potential security incidents. This automation not only enhances security but also optimizes resource allocation and accelerates incident response, ensuring a robust and proactive security approach.

By integrating the above features, Zluri's IGA platform ensures comprehensive and proactive identity and access management capabilities, enabling your teams to enhance security, maintain compliance, and safeguard valuable assets from evolving cyber threats.

Wondering how to automate user access reviews? Zluri’s comprehensive ‘Access certification’ module has got you covered: 

  • Step 1: To automate access reviews, access Zluri's main interface and navigate to the "Access certification" module. Within the module, select the option to create a ‘new certification.’

  • Step 2: Assign a name to the certification and designate an owner who will oversee the automated access reviews.

  • Step 3: Choose the preferred method of reviewing user access by exploring the options: Application, Users, and Groups.

  • Step 4: Opt for the "Application" review method if desired and add the relevant application(s) to be audited for users' access. 

    User Access review

  • Step 5: Select a primary reviewer and a fallback reviewer from the dropdown menu for the automated access reviews.

  • Step 6: Select the users to be included in the automated access reviews process and apply data filtering to refine the user selection based on certification requirements.

    User Access review

  • Step 7: Proceed to the next step and configure the actions to be performed during the automated access reviews, choosing from the provided dropdown list of actions.

Note: If there are multiple applications to be included in the same certification, repeat the process of adding applications as needed.

user access review
  • Step 8: Specify the start and end dates for the automated access certification process, ensuring they align with recurring or scheduled certifications.

  • Step 9: Save the configuration as a template for future use by clicking on the "Save Template" option.

  • Step 10: Monitor the progress and updates of the automated access review process for the specific certification by regularly checking the "Review Stage" section.

Zluri's IGA solution revolutionizes user access reviewing by providing a unified access platform and implementing automated review mechanisms. With its robust features and capabilities, you can strengthen your organization's security posture, minimize the risk of data breaches, and efficiently manage user access privileges. By achieving 10X faster reviews and a 70% reduction in effort, you can optimize access management processes and focus on driving growth and innovation. 

Zluri's IGA solution is the ultimate choice if you’re looking to enhance your organization’s security in the digital age. By streamlining access provisioning, providing comprehensive visibility and control, and offering powerful insights, Zluri empowers you to take proactive measures in user access reviewing. 

So why wait? With Zluri, ensure compliance, mitigate risks, and effectively protect your organization’s valuable data. Book a demo now!


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