Bridging an organisation’s islands of identity
A guest blog by Bharat Panchal, C4 Secure
It should come as no surprise to anyone that cloud solutions are poised to become the market dominator. The rapid surge in cloud computing, though, maps to an increasing and disturbing decentralisation of identity controls – just as identity is emerging as a major attack vector.
In the “old days,” identity credentials were set up by IT for corporate users in the company’s centralised Active Directory repository. These credentials were used for user access to the corporate network from all endpoints, including Virtual Private Networks (VPNs).
Today, cloud apps are bridging gaps for business users including collaboration (e.g., Google Docs, Microsoft Teams) and productivity (e.g., Google Apps, Microsoft M365), as well as serving more specialised functions such as marketing (e.g., HubSpot), creative (e.g., Adobe Creative Cloud), and sales (e.g., Salesforce.com). Microsoft M365 remains the most popular business application in the cloud.
While convenient for users, these apps present a new kind of challenge for IT staff: users establish their identity credentials (username and password) which are stored individually on each of these sites – and outside the view of the IT department. No longer under IT’s insight, control, visibility, and management, these “Islands of Identity” make it infinitely more difficult for IT to comply with regulations, for instance, and to prove to auditors that user identities are protected. With the growing threat of fines being imposed by ICO, GDPR compliance is certainly becoming a prominent issue.
The numbers and types of cloud apps for business are on the rise and driving more use. The average organisation uses about 13 cloud apps. All of which points to the need for IT to gain insight into, and bridge these islands of identity – without eliminating them.
With user identities consolidated in databases such as Active Directory (or in the cloud, Azure Active Directory) authentication activity can be brought back under IT’s influence, and not in the specific databases of external applications.
Ensuring solutions can integrate with your existing IT and/or security solution to extend your authentication strategy for on-premises applications, or cloud-based applications and data is a must. The result enables IT to manage cloud-based data stores effectively, and more specifically, with better visibility into and control over access no matter where the data stores and applications exist.
The end results? The organisation benefits from true data security. IT no longer has to say “no,” and users are able to access the apps they need quickly and easily.
After 30 years working in IT, Bharat decided to focus on helping businesses by offering the RSA SecurID® Suite which uses identity insights, threat intelligence and business context to provide secure access to all their users, across all their applications. Still traditional IT resellers, offering services and support in all IT matters however, what he actually does is deliver peace of mind to end-users and to management. With Bharat's help firms don’t need to worry about contravening strict rules on data access and GDPR regulations or about loss of data due to malicious attacks or plain forgetfulness. Get in touch with C4 Secure to make sure you are protected.