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How Cloud Identity Management Can Improve Your Company’s Security

Managing identities and entitlements across multiple cloud infrastructures can be challenging. Misconfigured permissions are easy for attackers to exploit and can lead to costly data breaches.

This is where cloud identity management (IAM) comes in. Identity management can help organizations protect their assets and keep employees productive by managing a unified set of credentials that work across the entire business ecosystem.

Single Sign-On

A single sign-on feature that enables users to access apps with only a single set of credentials is one of the primary advantages of cloud identity management. Removing the need to reset passwords each time an employee goes from one device to another reduces password fatigue for staff members and can also increase security.

This feature is important because if your company requires employees to use difficult passwords, they will often look for workarounds that allow them to keep using their favorite apps. This can include writing down their passwords in plain sight or using the same password across multiple sites. The problem is that it can expose your organization to cybersecurity risks. Cloud IAM uses a secure and robust password policy, so passwords are never reused across platforms or devices.

Cloud IAM also provides a heightened level of visibility of all the platforms, applications, and services your team uses. It helps you discover and protect sensitive information and monitor for back-end authentications. It can even detect the usage of unsanctioned applications and provide tools to help you block them or onboard them safely.

Multi-Factor Authentication

Multi-factor authentication can prevent hacks by adding an extra layer of protection to the system. The three common factors for MFA are what the user knows (a password), what the user has (a security token such as a phone or keychain), and what the user is (a biometric verification like fingerprint scanning). The number of factors and their breadth of access can be adjusted to suit logistical and security needs.

Cloud IAM can improve productivity by allowing users to log in to multiple applications with a single set of credentials. This is especially useful for business users with multiple devices or working remotely. This can save time and avoid password fatigue.

Unlike traditional enterprise security systems focusing on the perimeter, the user’s identity is now the key point in controlling access to the cloud. With that in mind, it’s important to ensure that cloud infrastructure is built with the principle of least privilege. To do this, a cloud governance solution must be able to identify all the permissions a user has for all of your cloud applications and then automatically analyze them to find toxic combinations that hackers could exploit. This must be done at scale and in real-time to stay up with the quickly changing cloud environment.

Password Vaulting

A password vault provides users with a centralized location for their passwords. This allows easier access to accounts and can help companies enforce security policies. It also helps keep passwords secure by encrypting them and making them difficult to read or guess. Vaults can be either cloud or local.

A centralized password vault can help reduce employees’ time logging in to apps and tools. This will increase daily productivity and prevent security risks from stolen credentials. In addition, many password vault managers can detect weak passwords and warn users to change them.

A cloud identity security system can identify all the identities within a company’s IT environment. This includes human and service identities, such as those of third parties or remote employees. This gives security teams visibility into their entire technology stack, allowing them to quickly and easily identify vulnerabilities.

Auditing

Many security issues go undetected for months or even years. These issues may not be immediately obvious, but if left unchecked, they could lead to terminations, lawsuits, or damaged reputations that are costly to repair. A good cloud identity management framework can monitor user and application access to identify any changes and alert teams of potential threats and problems.

In addition, a strong cloud IAM system can ensure that all applications follow the principle of least privilege by restricting permissions to the minimum that each app needs for function. This helps prevent overly permissive environments where hackers might be able to gain access to sensitive data. In addition, it is important to monitor user activity and compare that against a baseline constantly. This enables teams to detect and remediate drift in real-time before it’s too late.

A comprehensive cloud identity management solution like Google Cloud Identity provides centralized, automated management of all users across all apps, devices, and systems. It enables employees to work from anywhere with one set of credentials through Single Sign-On and multi-factor authentication. In addition, it offers a large catalog of SAML and OpenID Connect apps for SSO, password vaulting, and integration with popular human resource management systems (HRMS) to simplify employee lifecycle management. It also has continuous monitoring and change detection that ensures all policies are enforced, ensuring compliance with regulations.

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