In today’s world of enterprise IT, there are many factors that a company must consider in order to decide whether a cloud infrastructure is the right fit. Conversely, there are many companies that are unable make the leap into the cloud, instead relying on their tried-and-true legacy and on-premise applications and software to do business.
Which path is the correct one for your enterprise depends entirely on your needs and what it is you’re looking for in a solution.
On Premises: In an on-premises environment, resources are deployed in-house and within an enterprise’s IT infrastructure. An enterprise is responsible for maintaining the solution and all its related processes.
Cloud: While there are different forms of cloud computing (such as public cloud, private cloud, and a hybrid cloud), in a public cloud computing environment, resources are hosted on the premises of the service provider but enterprises are able to access those resources and use as much as they want at any given time.
On Premises: For enterprises that deploy software on premise, they are responsible for the ongoing costs of the server hardware, power consumption, and space.
Cloud: Enterprises that elect to use a cloud computing model only need to pay for the resources that they use, with none of the maintenance and upkeep costs, and the price adjusts up or down depending on how much is consumed.
On Premises: In an on-premises environment, enterprises retain all their data and are fully in control of what happens to it, for better or worse. Companies in highly regulated industries with extra privacy concerns are more likely to hesitate to leap into the cloud before others because of this reason.
Cloud: In a cloud computing environment, the question of ownership of data is one that many companies – and vendors for that matter, have struggled with. Data and encryption keys reside within your third-party provider, so if the unexpected happens and there is downtime, you maybe be unable to access that data.
On Premises: Companies that have extra sensitive information, such as government and banking industries must have a certain level of security and privacy that an on-premises environment provides. Despite the promise of the cloud, security is the primary concern for many industries, so an on-premises environment, despite some of its drawbacks and price tag, make more sense.
Cloud: Security concerns remain the number one barrier to cloud computing deployment. There have been many publicized cloud breaches, and IT departments around the world are concerned. From personal information of employees such as login credentials to a loss of intellectual property, the security threats are real.
On Premises: Many companies these days operate under some form of regulatory control, regardless of the industry. Perhaps the most common one is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) for private health information, but there are many others, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which contains detailed student records, and other government and industry regulations. For companies that are subject to such regulations, it is imperative that they remain compliant and know where their data is at all times.
Cloud: Enterprises that do choose a cloud computing model must do their due diligence and ensure that their third-party provider is up to code and in fact compliant with all of the different regulatory mandates within their industry. Sensitive data must be secured, and customers, partners, and employees must have their privacy ensured.
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Converged IAM (Identity and Access Management) unifies disparate physical and logical access control systems to create a singular trusted identity and credential to match rights and access them across the enterprise. Converged IAM can’t exist without network connections between these logical and physical identity systems.
Soffid unifies processes, policies and procedures across enterprise access systems, enabling comprehensive governance and simplified compliance. The platform provides centralized and converged identity and access governance that extends across physical, logical and operational access environments. The solution provides preventive risk analysis and active policy enforcement in addition to converged risk and identity analytics, including unified user access view.
The corporate world experienced a significant uptick in physical and cybersecurity threats due to the pandemic sending millions of employees home to work. Nevertheless, technology available today makes linking the physical and cybersecurity realms easier than it ever has been before, and the changing role of today’s CISO provides a more comprehensive view of keeping all forms of security cohesive, and up to date.
CISOs and their supporting departments struggle with providing the right people with the appropriate level of access to the right technology . The process of managing the level of provisioning for identity and credential management for all employees that join, leave, or move within the organization is already a high-volume task. Additionally, the expansion of the gig economy has forced corporations to have to factor in additional users that need access to corporate data, tools, content, and access to physical spaces from third parties and contractors, only adding to the overall risk for the organization.
Due to the level of detail that is required to ensure accurate provisions, mistakes are bound to happen. Unfortunately, the mistake that happens most often is leaving users over-entitled due to access that has mounted over time (physical or virtual) for tasks that then never get removed.
Managing that amount of change requires technology to support the process. Identity and access management tools have been heavily invested in by organizations to create central control over access to their virtual networks, applications, and data such as Soffid. These solutions become the gateway to propagate identities and the correct level of control across the entire environment. These systems are also usually automatically connected to HR solutions to ensure up-to-date and authoritative information is being utilized and is connected to the rest of the organization. Having a link to employee directories allows technology to rapidly identify authorized users and de-provision users to remove facility access quickly and easily.
Forward-thinking CISOs and CSOs are now looking more broadly at security and how to not only mitigate risk but also how they can make their departments more efficient. These leaders are looking at how they connect the IAM solution to other parts of the organization such as physical access control as a more centralized process as well as ensuring that there is a single record of truth on individual access. These CISOs expect access control solutions to integrate their IAM solutions with their physical credentialing and access control. Ultimately, by doing this, their teams save time and effort, by utilizing a single source of truth for access (physical and virtual), automatically eliminating access upon offboarding.
From a data and risk management perspective, with these systems connected, CISOs and threat analysts in the Security Operations Center (SOC) have more data and visibility as they investigate threats and understand the level of risk or exposure from a cyber and physical event.
The IAM industry today needs a solution that can provide holistic solutions with a proactive approach to security – Converged IAM enables this possibility, bringing together Access Management, Identity Governance and Administration, and Privileged Access Management in single platform. This improves the cybersecurity landscape by leaps and bounds, making IAM easily accessible for organizations of all market sizes while decreasing budget overruns that come with acquiring multiple separate IAM solutions. It also makes vendor management easy, reduces the long bills, makes IAM more user-friendly which increases user adoption, drastically increases ROI, thus retaining stakeholder interest.
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Bitsoft Team S.A. is a company specialized in technological solutions, with the following objectives:
Protect the most important asset of organizations (their data) through information security tools and good practices.
Improve the experience of internal and external users of organizations, through the development and implementation of innovative technological solutions based on artificial intelligence, virtual reality, augmented reality and other solutions with innovative components.
Multifactor authentication (MFA) is a security technology that requires multiple methods of authentication from independent categories of credentials to verify a user’s identity for a login or other transaction. Multifactor authentication combines two or more independent credentials: what the user knows, such as a password; what the user has, such as a security token; and what the user is, by using biometric verification methods.
The goal of MFA is to create a layered defense that makes it more difficult for an unauthorized person to access a target, such as a physical location, computing device, network or database. If one factor is compromised or broken, the attacker still has at least one or more barriers to breach before successfully breaking into the target.
In the past, MFA systems typically relied on two-factor authentication (2FA). Increasingly, vendors are using the label multifactor to describe any authentication scheme that requires two or more identity credentials to decrease the possibility of a cyber attack. Multifactor authentication is a core component of an identity and access management framework.
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The attack surface is the number of all possible points, or attack vectors, where an unauthorized user can access a system and extract data. The smaller the attack surface, the easier it is to protect.
Organizations must constantly monitor their attack surface to identify and block potential threats as quickly as possible. They also must try and minimize the attack surface area to reduce the risk of cyberattacks succeeding. However, doing so becomes difficult as they expand their digital footprint and embrace new technologies.
Organizations are moving to the public cloud in record-setting numbers, but with this growth comes unanticipated security challenges with user identity management and the explosion of “non-human” identities such as applications, databases and data stores. In a recent publication, Gartner estimated that “75 per cent of security failures will result from inadequate management of identities, access, and privileges” by 2023, up from 50 per cent in 2020. With this in mind, the need for more robust identity security is clear—especially the ability to detect suspicious activity leveraging valid account credentials. Unfortunately, traditional security tools are ill-equipped to handle this explosion of resource management and, as a result, over-provision access and exasperate security risks.
With identity-based attacks on the rise, today’s businesses require the ability to detect when attackers exploit, misuse, or steal enterprise identities. This need is particularly true as organisations race to adopt the public cloud, and both human and non-human identities continue to increase exponentially. Given the penchant for attackers to use credentials and leverage Active Directory (AD), it is now critical to detect identity-based activity.
Understanding today’s threats
The threat to identities is genuine, and given the damages occurring with their misuse, it should be a priority for every CISO. According to the 2021 Verizon data breach investigations report, credential data now factors into 61 per cent of all breaches. More broadly, the “human element” factor into 85 per cent of breaches, while phishing is present in 36 per cent of them. These stats highlight that attackers consistently attempt to access valid credentials and use them to move throughout networks undetected. Credential misuse has also enabled the growth of attack tactics like ransomware 2.0, with ransomware now making up 10 per cent of all breaches (double what it was in 2019).
Verizon is not the only organisation to note this shift.
As companies move their workloads to the public cloud, the security mindset also needs to shift from traditional security to cloud security. In the cloud security model, identity is the new perimeter therefore, implementing robust identity controls and safeguards to reduce the attack surface for bad actors becomes a key component of your security strategy.
The Role of IAM
The challenge is largely solved by Single-Sign-On (SSO) and Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) technologies. SSO enables users to log in to all their apps and systems with just a single password. This reduces the number of passwords required to be remembered and eliminates confusion that results in people noting down or saving their numerous passwords in a document on their machines. MFA protects identities further by forcing authentication on multiple levels. Here, credential-based authentication is further protected by challenge-response questions, SMS or Email OTPs or even biometrics. Both these features form the base of most available IAM solutions.
But not only do IAM systems protect against unauthorized access, they also typically offer solutions for managing user access rights and trends. You can use them to govern and even automate the different accesses that someone may have to different systems and apps used by your organization.
Protecting identities is of far more pressing importance than safeguarding apps and systems against unauthorized access. By securing an identity you protect the very root of the access mechanism. Shielding apps and systems from hackers only insulate the last barrier in the access vector.
Today, identity security is central to the cybersecurity threat landscape, and the ability to detect and respond to identity-based threats is essential.
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