Types of Access You May Provide to a Third Party in 2024

Table of Contents

Third-party access is an operating mechanism used by organizations that allow third parties to secure access to data assets. Organizations can protect their internal systems, applications, and infrastructure by managing third-party access to ensure routine support and administrative functions.

For various reasons, organizations often need to grant access to third parties in today’s interconnected landscape. The level of third-party access is fundamental, since failure to manage third-party access will expose your organization to data breaches and reputational damage.

The article explores third parties’ different types of access and management processes to ensure corporate compliance and data protection.

Key Takeaways

  • Third-party access management is crucial in maintaining corporate compliance and data security.
  • Third parties can access the data warehouse through data access, system access, or physical access.
  • Best practices for effective third-party access management include the least privilege principle, role-based access control, periodic reviews, and documentation. 

Types of Access

Third parties can access the data warehouse in various ways depending on the nature of the activities, including the organization’s policy and regulatory principles. Depending on the type of access, you must know what kind of access third parties intend to take to ensure the necessary steps for data protection. 

Data Access

There are always concerns about access control with data access, as it is a security technique to regulate who or what can view or use resources for data assets. It is a fundamental way to minimize risk to your organization.

Permissions and Restrictions 

Part of the access control concerns the level of restriction and permission you have on data access based on roles to conduct regular audits and monitor accesses. To reach an effective data access control, consider these factors into account:

  • Enable two-factor authentication for an additional layer of security
  • Back up your data regularly 
  • Stay informed about regulatory updates
  • Include clear data protection terms in legal agreements with the third-party 

Data Encryption and Security Measures 

Data encryption involves transforming data into an unreadable format, decoded by anyone with a decryption key. Encryption should be used when people give out personal information to register or transfer their personal information, such as credit card numbers and home addresses, online. 

By encryption techniques, you allow only the qualified and intended third parties to have access to the data warehouse. Using encryption algorithms and methods, organizations must consider some points in choosing the correct encryption:

  • Ensure the encryption service provider is trusted. If the service provider goes out of business due to data compromise or cyberattacks, it can expose your organization’s data. 
  • Consider in-house third-party encryption and invest in your organization’s encryption infrastructure. It will bring more control over the encryption process if you employ expertise with the same expertise as a third-party service provider.

System Access

Vendors can have access to your IT system more securely if you consider access to IT systems.

  • Access management solutions or virtual private network (VPN) solutions can help your organization authenticate and authorize third parties to access the IT system, and you can monitor their access if there happens to be access from outside your network.
  • Third-party privileged access management (PAM) solutions allow vendors to connect to data resources by logging on to an intermediary web portal, through which any access can be controlled and audited. PAM solution will help to identify any suspicious activity before it questions your organization’s accountability.

User Authentication and Authorization

Organizations usually use a system of authentication and authorization to deal with data flow and access control. To ensure access control, you can use third-party authentication services to authenticate vendor registration, social login, email verification, and more. Authentication usually accompanies authorization to check the third parties’ request to access your organization’s database. 

Though many websites don’t want authentication or authorization, these security drive methods can mitigate the risk of unauthorized access when they offer: 

  • Robust authentication multifactor authentication (MFA) 
  • Long, complex, and unique passwords for each third-party user or account
  • Securely generated SSH keys for each third-party 
  • Biometric authentication through fingerprints, voices, retinas, and facial features for identification 

Monitoring System Access Activities 

Activities within the system can be varied and complex. That is why you must have a comprehensive framework to manage access to the data and, consequently, third-party risk management (TPRM). To reach that level of data protection, try to consider these points next time you want to monitor data access:

  • Select an appropriate third-party management (TPM) monitoring system or tool. Developing a monitoring plan, schedule, tools, and templates can help collect and report monitoring parameters and indicators on insecurity and access monthly, quarterly, or bi-annually.
  • Implement regular monitoring to evaluate the effectiveness of the third-party monitoring system. The monitoring can ensure the data access input and outcomes in your chosen monitoring framework.

Physical Access

Third parties occasionally require physical access to the system, which entails your organization and third party having an advance agreement on a code of practice and a non-disclosure agreement to protect information. By leveraging physical access control, you can ensure the entry card to access data to trusted third parties with different access levels. In contrast, sensitive data is only encrypted to vendors with the proper authorization.

Visitor Policies and Controls 

For better control over third-party access, define the security procedures that any visitor must follow to access the data on your website. This way, all the visitors to your website, along with third parties, must sign in and back out with a temporary ID badge. 

Security Measures for Physical Access 

Granting onsite access permissions to third parties requires careful consideration:

  • Establishing visitor policies and controls, such as issuing visitor badges and escorting them within the premises 
  • Implementing security measures like surveillance cameras and access control systems 

Considerations in Granting Access

Third parties include vendors and suppliers, contractors and consultants, business partners, and customers within your organization.  To manage the risk associated with third parties, you must assess the risk compliance requirements and constantly monitor and audit their access status. 

Risk Assessment

To have a comprehensive risk assessment plan for the third party, consider the risk assessment, security evaluation, and risk mitigation. All three stages can work together to mitigate all kinds of risks associated with third parties, including:

  • Security Vulnerabilities: Third-party inadequate security measures, outdated software, or weak access controls access to your system can be a point of unauthorized access to your systems for attackers. 
  • Compliance and Regulatory Risks: Your organization will be subject to data privacy protection regulations. A third party’s failure to meet regulatory requirements can result in legal, financial, and reputational damage to your organization.
  • Supply Chain Risks: A cyberattack can affect the whole data network, causing supply chain risk. It may start with the operating system, but it can affect the data of different systems and departments from top to bottom. 
  • Operational disruptions: Lack of cooperation among different departments in your organization and inadequate third-party security practices can affect your organization’s operational quality and business continuity.

Evaluating Impact on Security 

Since third parties can access different system parts, they can significantly impact data security and protection. To align their secure access with your organization’s security measures, always keep these steps: 

  • Evaluate Level of Access: Through continuous collaboration with third parties, you must have a regular evaluation schedule to check the status of their access to your system. You can check their access automatically through access control tools like SolarWinds Access Rights Manager and ManageEngine AD360
  • Review Background: Through Third-party background, you can investigate for compliance status, financial losses, and reputational damage you intend to have business with.  
  • Reconsider Interconnectedness: The interconnected data network within your system makes it vulnerable to supply chain attacks. If a vendor’s system is compromised, attackers can create a supply chain attack and cause widespread damage and disruption of operations.  
  • Build Trust: Building trust with third parties can avoid any insider threats. This trust building can prevent any leak of sensitive information and impact your organization’s security. 

Mitigation Strategies 

In the data protection landscape, mitigation strategies can be a panacea to protect data. These strategies can keep your organization’s compliance framework defined by industry standards through: 

  • Periodic Reviews of Third-party Access: Routinely check if third-party access to the data is necessary and appropriate. This constant checking allows you to identify and remove unnecessary or excessive access rights, reducing security risks.
  • Clear Policies and Protocols for Third-party Access: One of the critical points to prevent the risks associated with third parties is to define lines of procedures and protocols that can work to maintain security controls. This pre-cautionary line of agreement can highlight the critical rules concerning access restrictions, data encryption, and regular access certifications for third-party access.
  • Access Monitoring and Auditing: Through regular monitoring, you can check any logging access events and track changes to permissions, enabling you to reach more comprehensive reports about compliance and security status.

Compliance Requirements

Compliance risks refer to any risk your organization can face for not following regulatory requirements. One principal player that can highly affect the compliance status of your organization is third parties you work with. One of the critical issues compliance agencies like Captain Compliance put on the frontline in its compliance solution is how to monitor third-party compliance status to avoid reputational and financial penalties. 

Put compliance requirement checks as standard practice for your organization anytime you plan to enter a new relationship with third parties. This precautionary step can prevent further regulatory troubles with third parties and bring a more efficient risk management plan. 

To mitigate the risk of non-compliance from the third party side, you must root the two critical points regarding third parties by establishing a strong relationship with vendors. Open and ongoing communication with third parties can work for a better understanding of vendors’ behaviors and practices. 

Industry Standards

The most known Industry standards governing data protection include the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). These regulatory principles are the main guidelines you must check routinely. Through compliance services, we at Captain Compliance help you outsource compliance with all parties associated with your organization, including third parties.  

Contractual Obligations 

Compliance with legal and regulatory obligations is paramount for any business continuity. Consider a precautionary step by involving appropriate compliance clauses and provisions in vendor contracts and agreements that specify the regulatory requirements they need to take and follow as contractual obligations. 

Monitoring and Auditing

Constant monitoring and auditing are essential to ensuring efficient data access management. Data access control can be formulated through continuous monitoring, regular audits, incident response, and reporting. 

Continuous Monitoring

Third-party monitoring continually gathers and analyzes externally observable data on vendor cybersecurity posture, business ethics, financial status, and geopolitical context to identify potential supply chain risks.

Regular Audits

Continuous audits of third-party access will ensure your organization complies with regulations or standards and is free of vendor compliance violations.

Incident Response and Reporting 

Continuous monitoring of third-party access activities provides significant insights into the final reports and upcoming mitigation strategies. By leveraging tools like third-party incident management (TPIM), your organization can proactively identify upcoming risks associated with third parties and establish procedures and protocols to manage incidents in advance. 

Best Practices

To make more sense of third-party risk management, you must put all these strategies through the best possible practice. Each plan has its way to your organization, depending on your objectives, long-term goals, and compliance roadmap you have for data protection. 

Least Privilege Principle 

The Principle of Least Privilege (PoLP) is a security principle to ensure third parties have access to essential data and resources authorized to have and maintain overall system security. In other words, the principle aims to prevent third-party over-privileged access and minimize the risk of data credentials and data leaks. 

Through least privileged access, you can effectively: 

  • Protect sensitive data
  • Align with regulatory compliance and legal protection
  • Strengthen vendor relationships
  • Prioritize security and risk mitigation

Role-Based Access Control 

As a type of access control, Role-based access (RBAC) can be vital for your organization to protect data assets by ensuring that third parties have access only to the resources required for their tasks.

Periodic Access Reviews

Regularly reviewing and reevaluating third-party access helps identify outdated or unnecessary third-party permissions. Through the review process, you can assess third parties’ access levels and minimize the risk of unauthorized or inappropriate data usage. 

Documentation and Communication

A thorough documentation of access policies, procedures, and agreements promotes transparency and accountability. Likewise, communicating these guidelines to third parties fosters a shared understanding of compliance expectations.


As organizations navigate the complexities of managing third-party access, we at Captain Compliance offer comprehensive data compliance solutions and services to establish robust frameworks to ensure adherence to legal and regulatory requirements. Contact us today to optimize your data compliance efforts and safeguard your organization against risks associated with third-party access.


What is third-party access?

Third-party access refers to ways third parties can access an organization’s systems, data, or physical premises for specific purposes.

Learn about third-party risk management here 

What are the types of third-party services?

Third-party services can vary widely but can include:

  • IT support
  • Cloud storage providers 
  • Marketing agencies 
  • Consultants

Discover how to manage third-party risk here 

What is the third-party access rule?

The third-party access rule is a guideline organizations consider for governing access rights to external parties, ensuring compliance and security.

Check our article on TPRM due diligence here

How do I give access to third-party apps?

You can give access through:

  • Navigating to Setting 
  • Going to Security.
  • Checking the “Unknown sources” option 
  • Taping OK 
  • Selecting “Trust”.

Learn about third-party risk assessment in 2024 here 

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