Organizations are increasingly relooking at their identity management programs nowadays in the face of internal and external threats to their system network. The earlier identity programs followed by enterprises are not sufficient. With most operations moving towards a cloud-based system, in-house IT hardware physical security risk is redundant. Data theft is no longer restricted from on-premises networks but also becomes easier to access password-based cloud data or install ransomware by hackers.
Many organizations still have a hybrid system environment. Therefore, it is essential to have a cloud identity as well, which can safeguard cloud data. Before migrating to a public cloud environment, enterprises must make themselves aware of what type of security measures are provided by major cloud platforms such as Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and AWS. The objective is to ensure these cloud platforms efficiently manage the identities of all the organization's employees along with their system access rights. An organization must ensure that resources are available to the employees whenever they need them.
Before implementing a cloud-based security solution, the organization's key decision-makers and the IT team need first to understand what the entire identity management solution will encompass in the cloud security framework. An organization needs to have the right plan, a strategy intrinsic to the business goals, checklists for stakeholders, and end to end process for securing data is required before outsourcing the services.
The connection between cloud security and cloud identity
For an individual, identity is important for them to exist and carry out personal and professional activities. Similarly, for an organization, identity encompasses a host of activities and a large number of individuals. To regulate its activities, identity management becomes compulsory. It helps the organization identify, authorize, and validate individual users or a group of users who can have access to specific information. This critical information can be system applications, data, system networks. These components are the business's crucial information assets, which are susceptible to data hacking, phishing, ransomware, and malware attacks. These threats are just not on paper as they were carried out in reality. The damage from Ransomware attacks exceeded $20 billion globally.
Nowadays, cyber threats are constantly lurking, which means strict control of access to the system. Permissions to users or the level of restrictions deployed what an employee can access or cannot is compulsory. This can only happen once identities are established, configured, and controlled efficiently.
The Identity and Access Management (IAM) in an organization is considered as a security process that earmarks employees authorized to access the access resources for the right reasons and at the right times. Cloud computing has made it flexible for people to access data from anywhere from their mobile apps or laptops at any time. This is why cloud security is linked to identity closely to monitor any data breach. Whatever be the nature of the industry, it is now imperative for organizations to first safeguard confidential information.
Complete security for cloud-based identity
With the physical boundaries for system network vanishing, identity is the new boundary layer in the cloud environment. Many cloud-based applications allow a user to access data from anywhere as SaaS (Software-as-a-Service). The three major cloud providers, namely Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and AWS, have been offering secured identity and access management tools on their platforms to different industries.
Cloud technology complemented by third-party service providers
As businesses grow, the number of SaaS applications increases, more employees work remotely, and systems are scattered across locations. Thus, the cloud system of the organization ensures the perfect IAM services that provide a strong identity foundation and are managed efficiently and continuously. This means delegating the process to a third-party identity services provider (IDaaS) such as Okta. They strengthen identity management by keeping track of all the employees' passwords and renewing them or deactivating them in employee separation and manages access and permissions as part of user management and lifecycle management.
As an IDaaS, Okta's most significant advantage is its agnostic approach to all types of platforms. It can integrate all kinds of applications irrespective of the platforms. Its single and adaptive sign-in along with multifactor authentication helps to bolster and improve identity and access management across all types of business. It also has its access gateway technology for on-premises integrations.
5 top benefits of cloud identity tools
Some of the benefits which identity tools like Okta are mentioned below on how they provide better cloud security, identity management, and data protection for an enterprise are:
1.Centralized Identity Management
They help organizations with hybrid infrastructure (on-premise network and cloud) to integrate the data seamlessly and enable IT managers, to manage accounts centrally from one location irrespective of multiple account locations. This not only makes it easier for admins to manage but also helps employees be more productive. They can access data from both local networks and the cloud with a single common identity without any authentication roadblocks. The integration between on-premises and cloud identity eliminates mistakes, security breaches. The overhead costs also reduce as managing accounts become less.
Monitoring of IP addresses helps to secure access. If the IP address is different and external from the authorized corporate network IP address, the system will ask for additional authentication, often known as 2-factor authentication.
3.Role-based access control (RBAC)
The in-built RBAC assigns privileges to users, groups, and applications for specific roles. This allows better enforcement of data and resources access control by not giving authorizations more than necessary to users.
4.Single Sign-On (SSO)
It allows businesses to enable Single Sign-On to all devices, apps, and services so that employees can use the same credentials to access cloud and on-premises without having to worry about remembering multiple passwords.
5.Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML)
Allows businesses to configure applications and use them as a SAML-based identity provider. This means that users can sign into third-party applications once the service provider issues a token to sign into the application.
The final takeaway is that identity remains the main security layer for any organization. Taking the help of IDaaS solutions like Okta, which has features to help businesses leverage best practices in identity and security more efficiently.