Expert Insight: A Few Quick Tips Regarding Logical Access 

by Lorna Willard / June 2nd, 2023

Data security is often seen as a burden, not a business-driving tactic. However, in today’s world with the proliferation of IT, the internet, the cloud, and risk associated with these systems and data, properly securing your data is essential to the success of your organization. Logical access is a key factor to data security that could easily be neglected, leaving your organization vulnerable to the growing threats of today’s security landscape. Implementing access controls to your organization’s systems and to your organization’s data is an essential element of data security, continuity of operations, and correct functioning of your information systems.   

Logical access has been one of the top technology initiatives every year since 2005 and was ranked first in the 2010 ISACA controls list. It exists in all information security frameworks, and not having secure access controls in place can hurt your compliance goals for many different compliance frameworks such as SOC, HIPAA, PCI, etc. For example, logical access controls are part of SOC 2 common criteria 6.1 controls that require that you put into place logical access security software, infrastructure, and architecture in order to protect your critical access devices and make sure they’re protected against security events. By failing to implement the appropriate logical access controls, your organization will not be compliant.  

Logical access has two components: authentication and authorization. Authentication refers to the ability to validate a user’s identity. Authorization refers to allowing a user to access certain data once their identity is authenticated; authorization levels will vary throughout an organization. For example, a security officer within your organization will most likely have a higher authorization level than someone on the sales or marketing team due to the nature of their organizational duties. Keeping these two components of logical access in mind increases the understanding of how to put good controls in place.  

Logical access includes controls for things such as encryption keys and key owners, user access, passwords, group policies, multifactor authentication (MFA), single sign on (SSO), and access review and monitoring (logs).  Logical access applies to both virtual and physical resources and crosses over into physical security access controls; logical access controls are not successful without good physical security controls in place too.   

Think broadly when implementing logical access controls by defining assets and how it would impact your organization if those assets were compromised. Identify what frameworks apply to your workspace and review best practices using different resources. Logical access is a lifecycle, something that is continuously evaluated, modified, and improved, so make sure you’re reviewing your access controls regularly to minimize vulnerabilities within your organization.  

Partner with KirkpatrickPrice for All of Your Logical Access Needs 

At KirkpatrickPrice, we know that logical access can be an overwhelming project to tackle withing your organization. However, we want to partner with you to make framework requirements like logical access feel less intimidating. If you still have questions about logical access or how to start working towards your compliance goals, connect with one of our experts today.  

About the Author 

Lorna Willard has 39 years of experience in information technology and security. She has a BS with a concentration in Information Sciences and Security Analysis. She has earned the CISSP, CEH, Security+, Networking+, and numerous other certifications. She has a passion for educating and empowering clients and co-workers and enjoys working with people and organizations to help them secure their networks and systems. Lorna lives in Spokane, WA where she hikes, skis, and enjoys every aspect of nature. She also enjoys reading Science Fiction Fantasy novels.