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When Cloud and Identity Meet Together

Identity management gives the opportunity to a company to effectively identify, authenticate and authorise single users or groups and their access to specific information – applications, data, networks and systems. User permissions and restrictions on what the employees can access and perform are connected to created by the organisation identities, which can be controlled and configured in an efficient manner. That means that only the right people can access the right resources, at the right times, for the right reasons.

With digital transformation via cloud computing, it is possible to have flexible access to apps and data anywhere at any time, so it’s crucial that identity is on the same level as security – that is why they are so tightly linked. Every organisation should have a top-priority objective – to have the right capabilities to safeguard the new adoption of cloud technology and at the same time to protect information confidentiality in every industry. The strategic partnership between PATECCO and IBM provides the opportunity to leverage solutions that manage both.

  • Why IBM CLOUD IDENTITY?

IBM Cloud Identity helps you ensure user productivity with cloud-based features for single sign-on (SSO), multi-factor authentication and identity governance. The solution includes a variety of pre-defined connectors that allow you to quickly provide access to commonly used SaaS applications. You have the option of defining templates for integrating your own applications. Take advantage of these opportunities when securely connecting mobile workplaces e.g. in the home office.

1. Single sign-on

A major benefit of the cloud is easy access to business tools, whenever and wherever users need them. But when tools and the passwords they require begin to multiply, that benefit can turn into a hassle. Many cloud-based applications that users want, do not have built-in security and authentication features.

You can also forget about username and password problems. Your employees can access thousands of cloud-based applications (such as Microsoft Office 365, Concur, Workday, IBM Box and IBM Verse) in your company with one registration. This gives you easy access to browser, mobile and on-premises applications.

1.1 IBM Cloud Identity SSO capabilities include:

  • Thousands of prebuilt connectors to federate to popular SaaS applications
  • Prebuilt templates to help integrate legacy and on-premises applications
  • Employee-facing launchpads to access any application
  • A seamless user experience to access any application with one username and password
  • A cloud directory for organizations that don’t already have a user directory
  • The ability to sync on-premises directories like Microsoft AD for use with cloud applications
  • Support for multiple federation standards, including SAML, OAuth and OpenID Connect (OIDC)

2. Secure access through Multi-factor authentication

In addition to the user ID and password, multi-factor authentication asks for other factors in order to grant access to applications in the cloud. Depending on the sensitivity of the data, the administrator can flexibly decide to what extent this is necessary.

2.1 IBM Cloud Identity MFA capabilities include:

  • A simple user interface (UI) for defining and modifying access controls
  • One-time passcodes delivered via email, SMS or mobile push notification
  • Biometric authentication, including fingerprint, face, voice and user presence
  • Second-factor authentication for virtual private networks (VPNs)
  • The ability to use context from enterprise mobility management and malware detection solutions for risk-based authentication
  • Software development kits (SDKs) to easily integrate mobile applications with the broader access security platform
  • Risk-based user authorization and authentication policies that use:
  • Identity (groups, roles and fraud indicators)
  • Environment (geographic location, network and IP reputation)
  • Resource/action (what is being requested)
  • User behavior (location velocity

3.Optimized management of the user cycle

Optimize onboarding and offboarding of users. In addition, you can easily create guidelines for access requests via self-service – for both on-premises and cloud applications.

4.Easy access to applications with the App-Launchpad

All applications can be conveniently searched, displayed and called up from a central point. The launchpad combines all applications – both on-premises and cloud services.

IBM Cloud Identity supports users’ requirements for frictionless access to applications, business leaders’ needs to increase productivity, developers’ needs to roll out new services quickly, and IT requirements to more rapidly respond to business change.

EXPERIENCE CLOUD IDENTITY IN ACTION

See how Cloud Identity works for administrators, managers, employees and external parties in this live demo.

Info source: IBM website

True Security Comes From Within – Privileged Access Management

Identity management and access to IT systems within an organization have traditionally been divided into different disciplines. Business users were managed in the traditional Identity and Access Management (IAM) systems. Privileged Access Management (PAM) is the term used for administrator account management technologies that monitor and restrict extended privileges and support shared account management. Historically, privilege management has evolved from managing shared accounts and passwords. In recent years, the perception of Privileged Access Management has changed significantly. Various vendors have greatly expanded their product range, and various acquisitions have led infrastructure providers to offer a broader product portfolio and evolved from specialized niche providers to market leaders.

Over the past 5 to 10 years, Privileged Access Management has been added to the portfolio of Identity and Access capabilities provided by IAM, corporate governance or security teams. Managing privileged users is an essential security measure for an organization. Insiders often know better and are more aware of the business processes and technical landscapes. If an insider account is hijacked, the outsider has the same opportunities for attack. The malicious insider (or the kidnapped insider) with privileged login information can cause considerable damage.

But not only threats have changed and intensified. Over the past decade, business requirements and IT have changed significantly. Business models have changed, and widespread digitalization has completely transformed businesses, their networks and their application infrastructure. From new infrastructure concepts in the cloud, delivered as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), to completely new products offered through business software as a service, a variety of new administrator accounts have been created. New applications and platforms based on mobile devices create new working concepts and business models on the one hand, and pose new challenges for IAM and Privileged Access management on the other hand.

At a time when cyber-attacks and privacy breaches are on the rise, it is obvious that these incidents are related to privileged user accounts. In addition, research on recent security incidents reveals that data theft on a large scale is likely to be caused by users with elevated privileges, typically administrative users. It’s no wonder that Privileged Access Management is not just an issue for executives (CIOs and CISOs) to deal with, but increasingly it is an area that auditors and regulators must put on the agenda.

The core functions of a PAM tool include:

⚪ Credential vaulting and processes for secure, audited storage of and access to passwords and key material.

⚪ Automated password rotation enables the use of a shared account to be directly assigned to a person.

However, advanced features such as privileged user analysis, risk-based session monitoring and advanced threat protection are becoming the new standard, as the attack surface grows, and the number and complexity of attacks increases year by year. An integrated and more comprehensive PAM solution, that can automatically detect unusual behavior and initiate automated defenses, is needed. Thus, the benefits of investing in this area have an extraordinary impact on risk mitigation compared to other types of IT and security technologies.

Some of the key challenges required to manage privileged access include:

⚪ Misuse of shared credentials

⚪ Misuse of elevated rights by unauthorized users

⚪ Abduction of privileged access data by cybercriminals

⚪ Accidental misuse of elevated privileges by users

In addition, there are several other operational, regulatory requirements associated with privileged access:

⚪ Identifying shared accounts, software and service accounts across the IT infrastructure

⚪ Identification and continuous tracking of owners of privileged accounts throughout their life cycle

⚪ Auditing, recording and monitoring of privileged activities for regulatory compliance

⚪ Managing and monitoring administrator access of IT outsourcing providers and MSPs to internal IT systems

For more info about PATECCO PAM Services, read the White Paper below:

Why IAM is the Leading Solution For the Financial Institutions?

Identity and access management (IAM) is famous for managing access to enterprise resources. It an essential element of any information security program and one of the security areas that users interact with the most. Banks all over the world made it easy and convenient for the customers to use mobile facilities for paying bills, checking account details or even apply for loans and credit cards. That’s why app-driven mobile activities require the need for Identity and Access Management (IAM) capabilities that could be delivered to both mobile devices as well as mobile apps.

In the business environment of financial institutions it’s mandatory to keep control and compliance across complex IT Systems. These are one of the key factors to uphold a strong reputation and trust, while enabling employees and customers easy access to different systems and applications. More and more financial supervisory authorities across the world make it mandatory for the banks to possess and implement systems ensuring that access rights are both assigned and recertified properly. The financial sector has to deal with increasing national and international industry regulations such as EU GDPR, BaFin, Basel II, SOX, and Solvency II.

Identity Management in Online Banking

For financial institutions, the proper identification of the customer to the bank and the bank to the customer is of a great importance for secure providing financial services to customers. Individual and business customers are increasingly using the online platforms to access banking solutions. Accessing this kind of channels is a low cost, highly efficient method of delivering financial services. So what banks need is applying risk management controls necessary to authenticate the identity of retail and commercial customers accessing Internet-based financial services. That is possible by relying on IAM Solutions. But what exactly they provide in the complex banking sphere?

IAM provides user authentication

A robust and flexible IAM system focuses on providing user authentication without impacting consumer experience, supporting dynamic cloud-based services and providing data exchange and integrating multiple consumers in a secure manner. Applying SSO (Single Sign On) mitigates risks and gives better user experience without compromising the data of the users.

IAM provides rich set of reporting and analytics features 

IAM solutions are able to provide rich set of reporting and analytics features enabling banks to proactively document usage. It also helps for collecting information about application utilization, inactive users and login activity. It identifies users who have weak passwords, get insights into users, logins, apps, events and provide audit trails for demonstrating compliance as per cyber-security, together with privacy regulations.

IAM Solutions could be flexible

IAM system could be flexible enough to fit the changing IT security environment and technological requirements, such as adapting secure systems for biometrics, sensors, and customized device authentication. 

IAM enhances regulatory compliance

Mobile apps must be secured, otherwise this could lead to unauthorized access of sensitive data such as financial transactions or credit card details or personal information by employees or any third parties. This could cause identity theft, financial fraud or malware distribution. In this case IAM system helps the banks to meet their business demands. Developing a strong IAM program prevents attacks from the tools used by cyber criminals including reconnaissance, privilege escalation, remote access, data exfiltration and social engineering.

IAM solution gives significant advantages to both financial institutions, stakeholders and consumer. Banks using powerful IAM functions possess improved data security, lower operating costs, reduced risk relating to data access, as well as efficient audit-compliant processes in observation of all relevant regulations. 

Ensuring Security and High Business Value With RBAC

In the era of digital transformation the tight privacy laws have imposed new levels of confidentiality on health care, insurance companies and financial institutions. As the number of their electronic systems increases along with the number of interfaces, identity management has become a critical component in ensuring information security and access control. Access control plays an essential role in safeguarding both physical security and electronic information security. Role-based access control could be simply explained as the security process of assigning specific rules or policies to individual users, or groups of users, that are connecting to your network. It simplifies the process in assigning user’s access based on their job function.

It has become a critical component in ensuring information security and access control. Access control plays an essential role in safeguarding both physical security and electronic information security. Role-based access control could be simply explained as the security process of assigning specific rules or policies to individual users, or groups of users, that are connecting to your network. It simplifies the process in assigning user’s access based on their job function.

Developing and using a role-based access control system in conjunction with an identity management solution makes it possible for organizations to ensure that accounts for new employees are always created with proper access rights. That means that there is a control defining which users have access to resources based on the role of the user. Access rights are grouped by role name, and access to resources is restricted to users who have been authorized to assume the associated role. For example, if a RBAC system is used in a hospital, each person that is allowed access to the hospital’s network has a predefined role (doctor, nurse, lab technician, administrator, etc.). If someone is defined as possessing the role of doctor, than that user can access only resources on the network that the role of doctor has been allowed access to. 

Four steps for providing data security

There are four steps which are of a great importance for providing proper data security. The first phase is to ensure that new employee access and accounts are created properly when the employee is on boarded. Second phase refers to giving those access rights remaining accurate and up-to-date during each of the company’s employee’s tenures. The third, and most essential step in this process, is revocation of access rights when individual employees leave the organization.

The fourth step is performing Information audits. The sooner you get used to them, the better. They are required to successfully manage the information and the access of rights. Our advice is to periodically review your roles, the employees assigned to them, and the access permitted for each. Once an audit of access rights is performed, it can be compared against the baseline template for each employee role initially established. If needed, the managers and systems owners could make for verification or revocation of the rights.

What are the benefits of RBAC?

Ideally, the RBAC system is clearly defined and agile, making the addition of new applications, roles and employees as efficient as possible. One of the greatest advantages of RBAC is the ability of giving you granular visibility, which is necessary to securely support your mobility in today’s digital environment. Another benefit of RBAC refers to maximized operational performance. Thus, companies could streamline and automate many transactions and business processes and provide users with the resources to perform their jobs better, faster and with greater personal responsibility. With RBAC system in place, organizations are better positioned to meet their own statutory and regulatory requirements for privacy and confidentiality, which is crucial for health care organizations and financial institutions.

Organizations should implement necessary security measures to provide that access to data, groups and applications are right for an employee during their tenure. They also should bear in mind that quite critical is the revocation of all account access when they depart. Failure to respond these criteria can lead to data theft and costly access to external applications.

If you are interested to read PATECCO White paper for Privileged Access Management, click the image below:

White paper for Privileged Access Management, click the image below: