There has been a significant rise in the number of data breaches as well as other forms of cybercrime over the past several years as businesses increasingly conduct their transactions online. This jump has been more marked with the increase in popularity of cloud computing and cloud services. The cloud offers more access points for cyber criminals and other malicious actors to breach private networks. As such, businesses spend lots of time and money devising strategies to secure their network and protect their data.
One of the strategies used by businesses to secure their data is Identity and Access Management (IAM). IAM is usually a two-fold process namely ensuring that the user has the required permissions to access the network (authentication), and the required rights to access specific kinds of data (authorization). With the increase in number and sophistication of cybercrime, IAM is rapidly evolving beyond its basic principles such as password management and paper provisioning forms; more elaborate techniques and strategies are necessary to protect against unauthorized access. Discussed below are some IAM trends that are being used by businesses to regulate who can access their network as well as what kind of information can be accessed.
4 Trends in IAM1) AUTOMATED PROVISIONING PROTOCOLS
Whenever a new employee is brought on board or an existing employee changes positions, a provisioning form must be filled out and submitted to the network administrator. The provisioning form lets the network administrator know that the employee has permission to access the network; it also details what rights the employee has. The network administrator uses the information provided on the provisioning form to authenticate the employee and allow access. This is typically a manual process which can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days.
For businesses with a lot of employees or constant turnover such as at healthcare facilities, manually authenticating and authorizing users can become a bottleneck in on-boarding new employees. Some businesses now use software that automates the entire process such that once the employee's name and role are entered into the system, the necessary rights and privileges are automatically granted using previously defined protocols in the software.2) SINGLE SIGN-ON
Password management is one of the key fundamentals of an effective IAM strategy. Users are required to enter their password before access is granted to the desired application or data. However, some people may have several passwords used to access various applications. These people may have difficulty keeping track of and remembering their passwords. Such people, therefore, may fail to comply with password management policies by using weak passwords, writing their passwords down, and using the same password for multiple accounts, among others.
With single sign-on, users no longer have to log into each application they have rights to directly. Once users log into the network, all applications that they have rights to are automatically logged into as well. Since users no longer have to log in multiple times a day, they are more likely to adhere to the password management standards established by the business.3) PRIVILEGED ACCESS MANAGEMENT (PAM)
PAM refers to measures taken to safeguard the credentials of users who have administrative rights to a network or those who have access to critical data; these users are typically the primary target for cybercriminals. PAM software is used to safeguard the credentials of users whose access pose the most risk to a business; users have to be authenticated and validated by the PAM software before they are granted access to their credentials needed to access the desired applications. Hiding the credentials of these users in a separate repository isolates their credentials from the general network so that they cannot be readily retrieved by cybercriminals.4) CLOUD-BASED IDENTITY MANAGEMENT
Also known as Identity and Access Management as a Service (IDaaS), cloud-based identity management is the use of cloud service providers to manage network access. IDaaS is cheaper to implement than traditional IAM solutions, easily scalable to meet the demands of any business, as well as flexible enough to regulate access to various kinds of applications. Businesses that already use the cloud for their networking needs typically favor IDaaS for user authentication and authorization.
The Bottom Line
At NewCloud Networks, we know how important it is to control who has access to your network as well as what kind of access. With our IAM solution, you have our guarantee that your network is kept secure from unauthorized users. Contact us today for more information about our IAM services.