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Securing Cloud with Identity and Access Management

Curbing unauthorized access to resources is an important security measure, as human lapses still account for a large number of security incidents in organizations. In theory, access management is a straightforward step to take but it is quite challenging in practice given the constantly evolving security landscape, the ever fallible human nature, and the cost implications. Identity and access management (IAM) can shield you from the vulnerabilities and business challenges involved in managing disparate IT infrastructure and user roles.

Identity and Access

Identity and Access Management as a Service

IAM service is central for enterprises adopting cloud infrastructure as a variety of applications and other cloud resources are deployed rapidly. Apart from leading cloud service providers like Google and AWS, there are specialized IAM as a Service (IAMaaS) providers such as Hitachi ID Systems and Auth0 among others whose services differ in their management functionalities and support for various protocols. Enterprises that have their own cloud infrastructure may want to consider deploying their own IAM solutions. Vendors like Hitachi ID Systems provide deployment on own infrastructure while Google Cloud IAM and AWS IAM are services only.

IAM Governance

IAM Governance

One of the key requisites for successful risk management is identity governance, which involves having clear policies and processes in place for all access management-related functions. These must be established taking into cognizance the security ecosystem, which includes different types of users and applications. Policy-driven access control helps tackle the complexity inherent in deployments and minimize security risks. With different cloud services offering different conceptual models, a thorough analysis of both the selected IAM services and how their models can be mapped to your organization’s processes has to be carried out.

Multi-Factor Authentication

Multi-Factor Authentication

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) takes security a step further. It brings in layered protection by making access contingent on multiple factors. MFA may seem like a burden because of the cost involved but it is a necessary component for increased security. Unlike traditional IAMs, cloud IAM suites offer support for built-in MFA or ability to integrate with third-party MFA products. The nature of support for MFA is, therefore, an important consideration while selecting IAM solutions. Selecting the right MFA approach and integrating it appropriately in IAM (like requiring MFA for privileged access) can improve security dramatically.

IAM Monitoring and Audit

IAM Monitoring and Audit

IAM governance is effective only when it is backed by reliable monitoring. IAM systems should have built-in audit trails that can be continuously monitored. Monitoring audit trails has dual benefits—it improves regulatory compliance and enhances security. The increased visibility into user and resource activity by monitoring logs using suitable systems helps to track down risky events and ensure swift response before damage is done. Active monitoring also helps automate the security response. Trails also allow for analysis of past events to create actionable insight into future strategies to secure systems.

QBurst Services in Identity and Access Management

As part of our cloud security offering, we help you design and implement IAM solutions that answer the exact requirements of your organization. Right from the formulation of your governance policies to the selection, configuration and deployment of the right solution, we handhold you through all the critical stages of a successful IAM implementation.

3 Steps towards IAM Implementation

Gap Analysis

1. Gap Analysis

We take stock of your current applications, governance policies, processes, user roles, permissions, and service-level agreements (SLAs). Existing technological practices like Active Directory usage and on-premises IAM solutions are considered along with the challenges of integrating these with on-cloud infrastructure. Our analysis takes into account not only the present requirements of your organization but also your future needs. This serves as the input for the next phase.

Design and Implementation

2. Design and Implementation

Based on the assessment, we develop an IAM architecture and governance plan for your organization. The need to adhere to standards like ISO 27001 or regulatory requirements for MFA such as FFIEC authentication guidance determines the choice and design of IAM solutions. The decision on standards to be followed (such as SAML and OAuth) is taken based on our initial assessment. The plan is implemented ensuring minimum disruption to operations and by engaging key stakeholders of your organization.

Evaluation

3. Evaluation

Through audit trails, the deployment is monitored for impact and further process refinements. Based on user inputs and audit reports, the IAM governance processes and policies may have to be realigned to meet your security requirements.

Secure your cloud resources with IAM