Overview of Recertification Policies

Given the sensitive nature of many organizational IT resources, and the complexity of current regulatory and oversight initiatives, maintaining the transparency of "who has access to what, where, and when" in a readily available format requires more than just following the path of an audit trail layered with page after page of reports. Although these are indispensable to any compliance strategy, employing an "after-the-fact-only" approach to resource security can prove to be disastrous, as many recent insider breaches have shown. EmpowerID provides a powerful Attestation and Recertification platform that gives any organization the ability to take a more proactive approach to rectifying potential security issues before they occur through the crafting of EmpowerID Recertification Policies.

Recertification Policies are snapshots of data that reveal the access to resources granted to people and to roles, the assignments of people to roles, and the security assignments that have been made against protected resources like Exchange mailboxes, applications, and groups. These snapshots are routed for review to authorized personnel such as managers, role owners, or data owners. The review process allows the reviewer to verify the access and to certify whether it is valid. Internal processes can use this data to remediate and rectify exceptions or to certify the exceptions as permitted. EmpowerID maintains an audit trail of these access snapshots as well as the decisions made concerning the access. This combination of Recertification Policies with EmpowerID's robust reporting capabilities allows organizations to create a more thorough and effective resource management strategy.

EmpowerID Recertification Policies come in the following types.

Recertification Policy Type

Creates a snapshot of

Recertification Policy Type

Creates a snapshot of

Assignee Granted Security

the Access Level Assignments (Resource Roles) and Management role assignments to an assignee as an actor.

Management Role Membership

current assignees of a Management Role.

Management Role Access Granted

current Resource Roles assigned to a Management Role, allowing you to quickly glean the resultant access to resources people have by virtue of their assignment to the Management Role.

Resource Granted Security

who currently has access to any given resource object for which the policy is created. 

Direct Reports

who reports to whom.

Group Membership

who currently has membership in a given group.

Folder Permissions

who currently has what type of access to a given Windows folder.

Exchange Mailbox Permissions

who currently has what type of access to a given Exchange mailbox.

Each Recertification policy is targeted or scoped to apply only to specific people, roles, or resources using EmpowerID Query-Based Collections (SetGroups). These are comprised of Sets, which are LDAP or code-based queries. These Sets are re-evaluated by the EmpowerID engine on a scheduled basis and can group collections of people or resources based upon queries written against the EmpowerID Identity Warehouse or even external systems in a customer's environment. The use of Query-Based Collections for Recertification policies provides a rich and flexible access review mechanism by which organizations can selectively collect the objects they want to incorporate within a given policy and then schedule that policy to create review tasks in a manner that best meets the security requirements of the organization. As an example, with SetGroups you could create one Recertification Policy that targets high security groups only, scheduling that policy to run more frequently, and create another Recertification Policy for lower security groups with a less frequent run schedule.

Additionally, each Recertification policy runs against resources within a specific location. This allows for even greater flexibility in that a policy could include as many or as few objects as desired, such as all Exchange Mailboxes within an organization or only the people assigned to a specific office room, depending on how your location hierarchy is mapped within EmpowerID. While it is possible to create a Recertification Policy that runs against every resource item in your inventory, such a policy could yield potentially millions of objects, creating a daunting and unnecessary workload for your recertification team if access to those objects have no significant security impact.

EmpowerID Recertification Policies can be scheduled to run periodically, such as on a quarterly or monthly basis, as well as weekly, daily, or at will. When a policy is run manually or at its scheduled time, a Recertification Review task is created for each object in the SetGroup. This allows authorized staff in an organization to review the access to resources that people within the organization have at any given time, and how that access came about, whether by a direct assignment to a specific resource or through being delegated a Management Role with multiple Resource Role assignments.

To maintain the integrity of Recertification Reviews, users cannot recertify themselves. In other words, a user who has the ability to create a Recertification Policy cannot certify that policy. By virtue of this feature, the EmpowerID Admin user is prohibited from participating in the review process.