4 Ways Strong IGA Can Help Secure Cloud Environments

4 Ways Strong IGA Can Help Secure Cloud Environments

In the ever-evolving landscape of cybersecurity, recent warnings from the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) shed light on the adaptive techniques employed by cyber attackers in their shift towards cloud infrastructure. Malicious actors like APT29, also known as the Dukes, Cozy Bear, or Midnight Blizzard, are now targeting cloud services directly. To fortify defenses, a robust Identity Governance and Administration (IGA) strategy becomes paramount.

Cloud environments can be tricky as organizations often create generic service accounts for the sake of convenience and streamlined management, especially for automated processes within their cloud environments. However, the use of generic accounts can introduce security vulnerabilities, and if compromised, can grant attackers broad access to critical resources. Additionally, they provide no visibility into who has logged in to the shared account. The vulnerability introduced by the use of generic service accounts in cloud environments isn’t something to be ignored. These accounts, often created for convenience and streamlined management, can become security risks if compromised, providing attackers broad access to critical resources without visibility into user activities.

But there are ways to ensure better security for cloud environments. Security teams can look to enhance their IGA processes as a key strategy and there are 4 immediate focus areas that can do a lot to fortify a company’s cloud security posture. The importance of auditing service accounts, implementing secure password management, adopting privileged access management, and exploring robust machine-to-machine authentication methods like digital certificates cannot be overstated and help mitigate the risks associated with evolving cyber threats in the cloud.

Let’s explore these 4 strategies:

  1. Automated Provisioning and Deprovisioning: A Proactive Defense
    Generic service accounts in the cloud open the door to greater vulnerability. The implementation of automated provisioning and deprovisioning of access is a proactive approach to a more secure cloud infrastructure. The right IGA software can streamline these processes, ensuring that users have appropriate access privileges when needed and promptly revoking access when no longer required. This not only mitigates risks associated with unused accounts but also reduces the window of opportunity for attackers.

  2. Single Source of Truth: Centralized Access Management
    Maintaining an accurate inventory of service accounts is also paramount for secure cloud environments. IGA software can provide a centralized platform, serving as a single source of truth for managing access across all downstream applications. This centralized control allows organizations to conduct regular audits efficiently, identify redundant or unused accounts, and take necessary actions to minimize the attack surface. Managing access from one place enhances visibility and control, a crucial aspect in the fight against evolving cyber threats.

  3. Regular Access Reviews: Ensuring Ongoing Security
    Continuous monitoring is key to a resilient cybersecurity posture. IGA software facilitates regular access reviews, enabling organizations to assess and validate user access rights. By conducting periodic reviews, security teams can promptly identify and rectify any discrepancies or unauthorized access. This proactive measure helps keep an accurate inventory, providing organizations with a dynamic understanding of their access landscape.

  4. Real-time Reporting: Actionable Insights for Swift Response
    Real-time reporting is a cornerstone in the defense against cyber threats and IGA software empowers organizations with real-time insights into user activities, access patterns, and potential security risks. This visibility enables a swift response to any anomalies, helping organizations stay ahead of potential threats. Real-time reporting not only strengthens security posture but also fosters a culture of continuous improvement in cybersecurity practices.

The recent warnings from CISA underscore the need for organizations, especially those in the tech industry, to fortify their cybersecurity defenses. Investing in robust IGA software that incorporates automated provisioning and deprovisioning, a single source of truth, regular access reviews, and real-time reporting is crucial. By adopting these measures, organizations can significantly enhance their ability to prevent and mitigate risks associated with evolving cyber threats, ultimately safeguarding their valuable data and ensuring a secure cloud environment.

Thankfully, identity governance solutions like Clarity are here to help. Clarity provides organizations with the level of visibility necessary to properly protect them from the uptick in cloud-based identity and access security threats. Clarity does this through leveraging cutting-edge machine learning technology to uncover existing risk items in your identity and access landscape, aids in risk mitigation, and delivers up-to-date data and reporting of all of your connected applications so you can prevent high-risk access items from becoming a problem. Schedule a demo now to learn how Clarity’s solution can keep your environment safe in the face of growing cloud-based threats.

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