Compromised cybersecurity is one of the biggest impediments to many firms’ global growth, particularly following a cloud migration. According to a recent study by IBM, the average cost of a data breach in Australia is now 4.1 million dollars, up from 4 million dollars in 2021. As a result, although transferring your company’s network to the cloud provides greater opportunity and flexibility, it also increases cybersecurity concerns because users have several access points.

You need a mechanism to authenticate or validate individuals and devices accessing your network and data to secure your organisation from cybercriminals. On the other hand, a conditional access policy allows you complete control over your company’s network by forcing users to undertake specified allowed behaviours before receiving access.

This post will cover everything you need to know about conditional access policies and why they are essential for your company’s cybersecurity.

So, what exactly is a Conditional Access Policy?

A conditional access policy is a policy or condition that adds an extra layer of protection to your company’s network by allowing administrators to control distant connections. The policy goes beyond traditional identification-based authentication to govern the user’s location, application access, and device utilised, among other things. If the user does not comply with these regulations, they are refused access or required to give extra login credentials, such as an additional password or mobile device verification.


What role do conditional access policies play?

Cybercriminals are continually finding new ways to undermine organisations’ cybersecurity in today’s tech-driven environment. Fortunately, you can defend your organisation against cyberattacks by implementing various safeguards, including a restricted access policy. Outlined below are some of the importance of having a conditional access policy to secure your business.


Enhances Admin Experience

Conditional access technology reduces your burden as an IT administrator by automating cloud and network security. With a well-thought-out conditional access policy in place, you can be confident that the network login procedure is adequately secure and does not necessitate further effort.

Furthermore, the policy eliminates the requirement for MFA at every login attempt, minimising user login problems and, as a result, the number of help desk requests you must handle. This policy also allows you to provide varying levels of network access to particular users based on their authorisation rank or requirement.

For example, you can restrict access to sensitive data to people whose tasks need them to use sensitive resources or files. Other users’ access requests will be rejected in this scenario, or they will be required to supply extra authentication information to be permitted access.


Blocks Access to Unauthorised Users

A conditional access policy prevents unauthorised individuals from accessing your confidential or sensitive digital assets. Additionally, the technology stops authorised users on your company’s network from making or distributing copies of private or proprietary information. You lessen the likelihood of cybersecurity issues by preventing unauthorised individuals from accessing your network and sharing your company’s sensitive data.

You may implement a conditional access policy to prevent users from accessing your network from specified geographical regions. You may also use the technology to define constraints that accept access requests from specified geographical locations, such as branch offices. If that isn’t enough, you can seek further security authorisation for access requests originating from sites that aren’t under your control.


Enhances the User Experience

Multifactor authentication (MFA) is used by more than 80% of enterprises globally to authenticate their users’ login attempts securely. However, implementing MFA requirements throughout your network might be daunting, leading users to evade the authentication requirements.

Conditional access policies eliminate the need for multifactor authentication at every entry point by automatically checking login attempts, hence improving cybersecurity. Furthermore, the technology lets you control access requests from your employees’ devices, such as mobile devices and personal laptop computers.

For example, enforcing compliance policies can restrict access to the organisation’s assets. Ensuring all devices meet a certain level of compliance before access is granted. These devices may need to be hybrid domain joined, preventing access from devices not managed by the organisation entirely, or further granular controls can be developed to allow only web-based applications or restrict access to particular applications.


Conditional Access Policies for Financial Services

Cloud services have revolutionised the way we access information. However, for those with strict regulatory compliance, such as the financial services industries, creating granular controls for sensitive data is imperative to a robust cybersecurity strategy. To ensure customer data is safe restricting access to devices that we know are compliant and authorised by the company is essential.

With recent breaches seen in high-profile attacks such as the Uber breach, where the attackers exploited a tactic called multifactor fatigue, organisations must develop strategies that leverage multiple controls beyond reliance on just MFA to restrict access to sensitive data. By limiting access to a device, particular locations and applications, organisations can reduce their attack surface and keep sensitive assets safe.


In Summary

Adopting a well-thought-out conditional access policy in your firm is critical if you want to improve your network’s cybersecurity. The policy prevents malicious and negligent agents from accessing your company’s network by requiring extra authentication details and prohibiting access to unauthorised users.

While a conditional access policy efficiently deters intrusions, it would be advantageous to collaborate with a reliable cloud security provider to secure your company from cyber disasters. When it comes to adopting cloud security for your organisation, Plex IT has the experience to align your organisational cyber security strategies with business operations.