7 Tips for creating an authorization matrix

Written by Ivar van Duuren

August 21, 2023

security island
An authorization matrix is an important tool within organizations to manage access rights to systems and sensitive data. It provides insight into who has what rights and ensures that only authorized individuals have access to relevant information.

In this article, we share tips for creating an effective authorization matrix as part of the company’s information security policy.

What is an authorization matrix?

An authorization matrix is a document that links the various roles and responsibilities within an organization to specific access rights. It provides a structured overview of who may perform what actions and what data he or she may access or share.

The importance of an authorization matrix

Having a well-thought-out authorization matrix has several benefits:

1. Information security

By allowing only the right people to access specific information, an authorization matrix minimizes the risk of inadvertent or malicious access to sensitive data.

2. Compliant with regulations

An authorization matrix helps your entire organization to comply with laws and regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (AVG). It ensures that only authorized individuals have access to personal data.

3. Efficiency in work processes

By clearly defining who is allowed to perform which tasks, you streamline the processes within your organization. This increases efficiency.

4. Transparency of responsibilities

An authorization matrix provides transparency within an organization. Everyone knows what rights and responsibilities belong to each role, leading to better collaboration and communication.

7 Tips for creating an authorization matrix

Here are 7 tips for creating an effective authorization matrix:

1. Analyze the roles within the organization

Identify all functions and roles within the organization that require access rights. Consider department heads, team leaders, employees with specific tasks, and any external parties.

2. Link specific tasks to each role

Determine which tasks and actions belong to each role. Use input from the relevant employees to get as accurate a picture as possible.

3. Define the access rights needed

For each role, identify the data and systems required to perform the function. Document these access rights accurately, including any restrictions or exceptions.

4. Establish responsibilities

Clearly describe who is responsible for maintaining and updating the authorization matrix. For example, this could be a specific department or person.

5. Involve all stakeholders

Ensure that all relevant parties are involved in creating the authorization matrix. Think of IT staff, HR staff, and executives. This way you will create support for its content and you won’t overlook important input.

6. Take into account changes in roles and functions

Organizations are dynamic and roles can change. Make sure the authorization matrix is flexible enough to accommodate changes quickly without compromising security and compliance.

7. Evaluate regularly

Schedule regular review moments to verify that the authorization matrix is still current and meets the needs of your organization. Adjust it as needed.

Conclusion

By following the above tips, you can create a solid authorization matrix that ensures secure, efficient, and transparent data access control within your organization.

Having an up-to-date authorization matrix is part of ISO 27001 – 2022 certification. This certification provides a solid framework for complying with all laws and regulations and taking data protection to the next level.

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