Breakglass Access

Reserved for emergencies, breakglass access allows authorized employees to bypass normal access controls to gain immediate access to critical systems

What is Breakglass Access?

Breakglass access is a type of emergency access that allows authorized personnel to bypass normal access controls in order to gain immediate access to critical systems or data in the event of an emergency or crisis situation.

Breakglass access is typically reserved for situations where access to critical resources is required urgently, and normal access controls cannot be used, such as when a system is down or when there is a security breach. The term "breakglass" refers to the practice of breaking a glass barrier to access a fire alarm or emergency equipment, similar to the concept of breaking through normal access controls.

Breakglass access is considered a last resort and is typically reserved for a limited set of individuals who have been authorized to use it. It is also subject to strict auditing and monitoring to ensure that it is only used in appropriate circumstances.

How to Implement Breakglass Access?

In general, there are a few best practices:

  1. If there are specific instances of breakglass access, such for on-call schedules, try to automate as much of the access as possible. Opal has partnered with the leading on-call provider, PagerDuty, to provide an automated on-call access management solution.
  2. It is essential to regularly review and test breakglass access procedures to ensure that they remain effective and secure
  3. All breakglass access must be clearly documented and logged.

About Opal:

Opal is the unified identity platform for modern enterprises. Opal aggregates identity and access data to provide visibility and defense-in-depth infrastructure for mission-critical systems. With the product, enterprises can discover anomalous identity risks and remediate them in minutes. The world's best companies trust Opal to govern and adapt sensitive access.

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