Admin Access is Full Access
In today’s digital age, businesses rely heavily on their IT infrastructure to remain competitive and efficient. Many management teams do not realize that this often requires giving some employees full administrative access to the company’s IT systems. This access allows them to access any information, including emails sent or received by anyone at the company, as well as the ability to access any files or folders on a server. If the same admins are responsible for managing cloud applications, they can also see all the information in there.
When it comes to administrative access, businesses must be mindful of the potential risks that can arise from having an internal IT department manage sensitive systems and data. While it is important to have a skilled and experienced team managing IT infrastructure, granting access to sensitive data and systems to a select group of individuals within the company can create potential security risks.
Risks of an Internal IT Department
One of the potential risks of an internal IT department having administrative access is the lack of oversight and accountability. The admin access described above allows admin to access sensitive data and systems. If an employee with administrative access were to abuse their privileges the organization could be at risk of a security breach or data theft. Additionally, if an IT employee leaves the company, they may still have access to the organization’s systems, posing a risk to the organization’s security on an ongoing basis. This risk is particularly high in cases where there is poor oversight or weak security protocols in place.
A common way admin access is abused is by leaking payroll and other sensitive HR information. Often this is motivated by personal gain, the perceived gain of a colleague, or in the name of arising social movements.
Benefits of Having an MSP
Using a Managed Service Provider (MSP) for administrative access can be more beneficial for several reasons. Because the MSP exists outside the hierarchy of the business, there is less motivations for abuse. This lowers the risk of insider threats. MSPs are often contractually obligated to adhere to specific security protocols and regularly review to ensure that they are maintaining high standards of security. MSPs are typically held to higher security standards than internal IT departments, due to the nature of their business. MSPs are responsible for managing the IT systems of multiple clients, so they have a vested interest in ensuring their security protocols are robust and effective.
Another key advantage of using an MSP is that admin access by MSP employees into clients networks is logged and cannot be altered or removed by the MSP employee. This adds accountability to the admin access, which is missing by default for Internal IT employees.
The Pit Crew of IT
While administrative access is necessary for IT departments and MSPs alike, businesses must be mindful of potential risks associated with granting access to internal employees. Internal IT departments can create potential security risks if not managed carefully, while MSPs can provide greater oversight and accountability and may have more experience and resources to handle security threats. Ultimately, the decision of whether to use an MSP or internal IT department for administrative access will depend on the specific needs and resources of the organization.