Cloud Identity Access Management Poses Cybersecurity Risks

Moving businesses to the Cloud is trending because leaders see the profit-driving potential. Now it’s time to improve identity access management cybersecurity.  

Is Your Business Ready To Meet Cloud Identity Access Management Challenges?

Moving businesses to the Cloud is trending because leaders see the profit-driving potential. Now it’s time to improve identity access management cybersecurity.  

The Cloud revolution has arrived, and businesses of all sizes and sectors are deriving enhanced benefits from migration. The platform delivers a wealth of cost-effective and real-time productivity benefits that companies in Atlanta, Charlotte, and across the Southeast, cannot pass up. But with any technological innovation, there are security measures that need to be implemented. These rank among the Cloud identity access management cybersecurity risks that 360 Smart Networks has the experience to resolve.

Cloud Identity Cybersecurity Risks

Identity and Access Management Increasingly Complex

Specialists in the IT community often refer to this aspect of Cloud utilization as IAM. In its most basic form, IAM is part of the platform service that manages your designated Cloud users and determines permissible access. Business decision-makers are tasked with setting parameters for team members and key stakeholders concerning the level of access they have to sensitive data and Cloud utilization at large.

Industry insiders sometimes refer to an individual’s identity access level as their “privilege.” Many of the outfits working with the Cloud employ a single sign-on (SSO) form to designate the way privilege is doled out. Although this practice has provided defined benefits, mapping SSO and IAM privileges has become increasingly complicated. That’s mainly because valued employees, decision-makers, and stakeholders have wide-ranging privileges, and many overlap multiple Cloud accounts. Recent studies indicate that more than 80 percent of businesses are engaged in multi-pronged Cloud strategies.

Critical IAM Cybersecurity Risk Factors

According to a 2018 report, nearly two-thirds of IT leaders in the federal government regarding IAM issues as vital to cybersecurity deterrence. When Cloud use is conducted with subpar security policies and protocols, critical data such as Social Security numbers, tax information, bank accounts, and other information considered “high-value” to hackers can be exposed. These rank among the prevalent risk factors businesses must secure to protect their data.

  • Access To Personal Information: When privileged Cloud users create social media and networking profiles, they often embed items that can be used to gain access to a Cloud account. Hackers are notorious for leveraging birth dates, phone numbers, email, and other details to target an unsuspecting employee. Phishing schemes and malicious software scams are keys to gaining access to your business’ Cloud portfolio.
  • Repetitious Passwords: Cybercriminals see passwords as the keys to the kingdom in terms of breaching a company’s valuable data. When Cloud users repeat passwords across networks and platforms, they grow increasingly vulnerable.
  • Multiple Clouds: When a variety of Cloud systems are utilized by a single outfit, determined permissible privilege can become murky. This issue is particularly risky when businesses employ remote workforces are empowered to login and access diverse Cloud platforms.
  • Centralization: It’s crucial that an organization has full visibility of its IAM oversight. Yet, it’s not uncommon for multi-Cloud operations to have a decentralized system to control privilege. This stretches cybersecurity thin and decreases effective threat response in the event of a breach.

Although these and other Cloud IAM challenges can pose significant cybersecurity challenges to businesses of all sizes, some measures can be taken to mitigate risk. A well thought out Cloud cybersecurity plan can harden your company’s defenses.

Determined Cloud IAM Cybersecurity

It’s essential for industry leaders to consider IAM protections as an integral part of their cybersecurity strategy. One of the foundational ideas about minimizing risk is to operate under a “least-privileged” policy that works to limit permissions as much as possible. These are other pathways to improved cybersecurity.

  • Avoid Root Accounts: Craft individual IAM user accounts and never provide root access to any Cloud user.
  • Need To Know Policies: Assign access by individual needs or small groups when necessary. Avoid adding IAM privileges to single users and then expanding them to groups. Always minimize permissions and rights.
  • Leverage Cloud Tools: Set the platform protocols to create “least privilege” access to new and existing users. Decision-makers can always circle back and expand privilege.

It’s also crucial to make IAM part of the overall cybersecurity strategy that shields against typical hacker schemes.

Enjoying the profit-driving benefits of the Cloud does not necessarily have to come with unfettered risk. By bringing in a third-party managed IT cybersecurity expert to review best practices, industry leaders can make informed decisions about Cloud IAM cybersecurity. If you are considering migrating to the Cloud or have IAM concerns, contact 360 Smart Networks for a consultation.

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Marius Nel
Published on March 2, 2020
Marius Nel

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