Cloud IAM: What Do You Need to Know?
With the adoption of remote work by most organizations, the need to join cloud computing and invest in solutions that provide security in this context has also increased.
Therefore, we recommend using Cloud IAM to limit the privilege of users according to their roles, ensuring the protection of data and corporate files in the cloud.
This is only possible through practices such as the use of mechanisms with multi factor authentication (MFA), as we will explain in this article. To facilitate your understanding, we divided our text into topics:
- What Is Cloud IAM?
- What Does IAM Mean?
- How Important Is Cloud IAM?
- Advantages of Cloud IAM
- How Does Cloud IAM Work?
- Cloud Types
- The Principle of Least Privilege in Cloud Environments
- What Is the Difference Between Cloud IAM and ICES?
- About senhasegura
What Is Cloud IAM?
Identity and access management (IAM) consists of a process structure that enables information technology managers to manage users’ access to critical information in their companies.
Its capabilities include privileged access management and mechanisms such as two-factor authentication, multifactor authentication, and single sign-on systems.
All this ensures the security of sharing only the necessary data and also the possibility of storing profile and identity information in a protected manner.
You can deploy IAM systems using a cloud-based or hybrid subscription model through the services of a third-party provider. In an IAM system:
- One can protect sensitive information within a system;
- Users and groups can have different levels of access;
- Users and their roles can be added, removed, and updated in the system;
- One can identify roles in the systems and verify their attribution to each user;
- One can identify the users in the system.
What Does IAM Mean?
IAM stands for Identity and Access Management.
It is a technology that allows people to have access to a company’s data in a limited way, in order to ensure a higher level of information security.
As mentioned in the previous topic, this is possible through the following resources:
- Single sign-on systems;
- Privileged access management; and
- Multifactor authentication.
How Important Is Cloud IAM?
When we talk about cloud computing, we refer to the possibility of accessing data and files from any environment, not just from a company’s devices, which is increasingly common with the growth of remote work.
This situation creates great challenges for leaders responsible for protecting corporate documents and data, after all, if access control was made possible based on the network perimeter in the past, today, this is no longer possible.
Thus, what should be considered when granting access to cloud data is the user’s identity.
However, manually assigning and tracking user privileges can be quite a risky procedure. With that in mind, we recommend using IAM, an automated solution.
Affordable for businesses of all sizes, it has a wide range of capabilities, including AI, behavior analysis, and biometrics.
Advantages of Cloud IAM
Cloud IAM brings several benefits to the companies that invest in this solution. Check out the main advantages below:
It Contemplates Cloud Services
In the context of digital transformation, organizations prioritize the migration of identity infrastructure to the cloud. With Cloud IAM, this process occurs faster and more affordably, since cloud services do not require investment in staff and hardware.
Performing an upgrade also becomes easier, especially for companies that rely on cloud providers.
It Reduces Operational Costs
With remote work on the rise and professionals using personal devices for work, there is a greater mobilization of IT teams to manage these resources, which increases the costs of hiring experts and purchasing and maintaining equipment.
By investing in Identity as a Service (IDaaS) and Cloud IAM, these costs can be reduced.
No matter how many employees a company has to add in a new location or if its website will attract numerous visitors to shop online during a sale: one can scale Cloud IAM solutions easily for new users.
With Cloud IAM, you can use features such as multifactor authentication, which ensures more cybersecurity for your company. This is possible because this technology strengthens password security, as it requires more than one authentication factor.
To make the procedure even simpler, eliminating the need for passwords, it is also possible to opt for authentication without using them.
It Saves User Time
Through Cloud IAM, single sign-on allows one to log in and access resources in an agile manner. With this, customers of e-commerce can log in seamlessly and employees can use several applications to perform their activities without wasting time.
It Decreases the Need to Reset Passwords
IAM reduces the need to reset passwords, as well as the occurrence of problems with stolen access. Today, it is believed half of IT technical support tickets are aimed at resetting passwords and each reset would cost about $70.
How Does Cloud IAM Work?
With an IAM solution, one can control people’s access to a company’s critical data. This control is based on the roles of each user within the organization, defined according to their position, authority, and responsibility.
IAM systems capture and record login information, manage the user identity database, and enable the assignment and removal of access privileges, allowing the oversight and visibility of all user base details.
In addition to managing the digital identities of humans, they manage the identities of applications and devices to ensure more security.
It can work as identity or authentication, and the service provider is responsible for registering and authenticating users and managing their information.
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They are hosted by cloud service providers, such as Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and Amazon Web Services (AWS).
They are usually hosted in the organization itself, providing flexibility and security.
They are often hosted in a public cloud by a partner who manages the environment.
They combine different types of cloud to ensure security, flexibility, and value for money.
In general, they combine more than one of the top three public cloud providers, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Microsoft Azure, and Amazon Web Services (AWS).
The Principle of Least Privilege in Cloud Environments
Each cloud provider offers different capabilities for access permissions. Therefore, IT security teams need to control entitlements when migrating the infrastructure to the cloud, following the principle of least privilege.
This is because conventional IAM permission models are not appropriate for cloud environments, but are designed to protect systems and applications deployed in an organization’s data center.
Cloud environments are accessed by a larger number of people, from any environment, which makes their management much more complex to monitor.
Unlike traditional data centers, a cloud environment belongs to and is operated by the cloud provider by following a shared responsibility model.
In this case, traditional privileged and non-privileged access designations do not apply to the cloud. Information security makers should extend permission models to cloud environments.
IAM permissions control access to cloud resources such as Kubernetes containers, virtual machine servers and files, and cloud services such as database, virtualization, storage, and network services.
What Is the Difference Between Cloud IAM and ICES?
More and more organizations use public cloud providers to simplify their operations and ensure innovation, with many adhering to multi-cloud solutions in order to increase availability and reduce costs.
In this sense, conventional identity and access management (IAM) practices are not enough to protect these dynamic resources, since they are designed to protect static local applications and infrastructure.
For this reason, cloud services create their own IAM resources to contribute to companies that need to protect cloud environments.
Despite this, the diversity, scalability, and dynamism of this solution still generate challenges when it comes to information security.
But with CIEM solutions, one can address these challenges by viewing and correcting incorrect IAM settings and enabling access with the least privilege in this context.
In practice, the difference between Cloud IAM and CIEM is that while CIEM manages privileges (entitlements) and their policies in the environment, Cloud IAM manages, including provisioning credentials such as users and access keys.
We at senhasegura believe in the importance of promoting digital sovereignty, providing our clients with control over privileged actions and data, and avoiding theft and leaks of information.
When it comes to Cloud IAM, we offer a unique solution in relation to competitors, allowing provisioning, de-provisioning, and access flow for users and access keys.
By reading this article, you learned that:
- IAM is a process structure that enables information technology managers to manage users’ access to critical information in their organizations;
- One can deploy IAM systems using a cloud-based or hybrid subscription model through the services of a third-party provider;
- In Cloud IAM, the user’s identity is considered when granting access to cloud data.
- Some advantages of this solution are the fact that it includes cloud services, allows cost reduction, provides scalability, security, and saves user time, in addition to reducing the need to reset passwords.
- In Cloud IAM, three authentication factors are usually used. These are: knowledge factor, possession factor, and inheritance factor.
- CIEM solutions allow one to address viewing and fixing incorrect IAM settings in cloud environments and enable access with least privilege.
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