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How to Protect the Data and Privacy In the Cloud

The era of the cloud is in its progress. It is a constantly developing innovation that includes a broad set of public, private, and business process outsourcing capabilities. Cloud computing relies on sharing computer resources rather than having local servers or personal devices to handle applications. Nowadays, organizations use cloud services for data storage and doing their daily operations. Despite of various advantages like scalability, flexibility, productivity, security is the major concern for cloud computing. One of the main security issues is how to control and prevent unauthorized access to data stored on the cloud.

There are various techniques able to control unauthorized access to data. One such technique is RBAC (Role Based access Control) model. RBAC method controls the access to data based on roles given to individual users within an organization. Besides, RBAC model provides flexible control and management using two simple mappings.  First is User to their role in the organization and second is Roles to accessible data to that Role.

  1. Implementing a strong RBAC policy

Implementing a strong RBAC policy helps for building up a strong visibility strategy and provides a better security solution for accessing data on cloud. Roles in RBAC are mapped to access permissions, and all users are mapped to appropriate roles and receive access permissions only through the roles to which they are assigned.

Controlling the access through roles gives benefits to organization and simplifies the management, as well. Typically, role-based access control model has three essential structures: users, permissions and roles. A role is a higher level representation of access control. User corresponds to real world users of the computing system. User authorization can be accomplished separately; assigning users to existing roles and assigning access privileges for objects to roles. “Permissions” give a description of the access users can have to objects in the system and “roles” give a description of the functions of users.

2. Management and Automation

Unifying an organization’s security infrastructure not only eases management, but also helps ensure that consistent security policies are applied wherever applications run, data is stored, or infrastructure is built. Moreover, it enables the automation of security lifecycle management processes and helps ensure compliance. These capabilities allow organizations to manage cloud and on-premises infrastructures similarly by leveraging the same level of visibility and control. Centralized management and automation help organizations meet risk management and regulatory compliance objectives. Effective security management and automation consists of  three primary elements: visibility, control, and compliance.

  • Visibility

The ability to consistently see all applications, networks, infrastructures, security events, and logs in a multi-cloud environment is a cornerstone of a security posture assessment. Such assessments are both a starting point and an ongoing process of security management.

  • Control

Control refers to applying configuration changes and populating the security infrastructure with the relevant resource-related information pertaining to the multi-cloud security posture. Besides, the control framework should extend to the native security functionality provided by each cloud platform. This allows administrators and operators to apply security changes throughout the infrastructure.

  • Compliance

Maintaining a consistent security posture and automating security operations significantly increases an organization’s ability to maintain regulatory compliance. In addition, centralized security management, automated workflows, and shared threat intelligence help enterprises quickly react to emerging threats.

PATECCO Cloud Access Control tools for data and privacy protection

PATECCO Cloud access control tools offer a greater flexibility whilst maintaining the levels of security essential to their business. Cloud access control provides secure deployment options that can help enterprises develop new customer experiences, enable effective collaboration and improve speed to market – all while increasing IT efficiency

1.Cloud Access Control: REST API

PATECCO MIM 2016 REST API. This fully functional CRUD tool acts like a convenience gateway between your applications and MIM Portal providing the following benefits:

  • Faster response times due to the integrated cache.​
  • Offers better support for different clients and increased productivity through automation.​
  • Increased level of security by easy integration with API Gateways (Axway Amplify, APIGEE and etc.).​
  • Supports Push Notifications providing easier integration with SIEM or other Event based tools (Azure Event Hub and etc.) adding additional flexibility to your applications.​
  • Cloud ready. Installed on Azure provides easier access for your cloud apps and transforms. Microsoft MIM 2016 infrastructure for Data Stream compatibility.

2. Cloud Access Control: Microsoft PIM

PATECCO offers clear migration path from an On-premise Identity System to the Azure Premium AD and Microsoft Privileged Identity Management (PIM).

  • Analyse and transform current RBAC model to a one based on Azure AD and protect the roles with Microsoft PIM.​
  • Transform and organize Azure AD logs to Events integrated to the Azure Event Hub infrastructure.​
  • Transform and adapt current workflows to the newest cloud native Azure Logic Apps infrastructure and handle all needed customizations through Azure Functions.​
  • Provide level of support for the legacy infrastructure through Azure Active Directory Sync or through our own PATECCO PAM tool. ​

3. Cloud Access Control: Azure AD Domain Services

  • PATECCO offers clear migration path from On-premise Active Directory to Azure AD Domain Services
  • Azure Active Directory Domain Services (Azure AD DS) Provides managed domain services with a subset of fully compatible traditional AD DS features such as domain join, group policy, LDAP, and Kerberos/NTLM authentication.
  • Azure AD DS integrates with Azure AD, which itself can synchronize with an on-premises AD DS environment, to extend central identity use cases to traditional web applications that run in Azure as part of a lift-and-shift strategy.
  • Use of Azure AD Application Proxy feature which provides the ability to securely access internal apps from outside your network.

For the different kind of organizations throughout the world, cloud computing has become a key element of their ongoing IT strategy. Cloud services give organizations of all sizes access to virtually unlimited data storage while freeing them from the need to purchase, maintain, and update their own networks and computer systems. Microsoft and other cloud providers offer IT infrastructure, platform, and software “as a service,” enabling customers to quickly scale up or down as needed and only paying for the computing power and storage they use.

However, as organizations continue to take advantage of the benefits of cloud services, such as increased choice, agility, and flexibility while boosting efficiency and lowering IT cost, they must consider how the cloud services affect their privacy, security, and compliance posture. It is important for the cloud offerings to be not only scalable, reliable, and manageable, but also to ensure  your customers data is protected and used in a transparent manner.

The Role of Identity Governance in Security and Compliance

In the complex network of managing user rights, permissions and accounts, tracking who has access to certain resources becomes almost impossible. Every organisation is facing demands, mandates and compliance regulations while managing the access and support of many devices and systems that contain critical data. Identity Governance and Intelligence solutions help business with the ability to create and manage user accounts and access rights for individual users within the company. In this way they can more conveniently manage user provisioning, password management, access governance and identity repositories.

Why is Identity Governance Critical to Security?

Identity governance is the core of most organizations’ security and IT operations strategies. It allows businesses to provide automated access to an increasing number of technology assets and at the same to manage potential security and compliance risks. Identity governance enables and secures digital identities for all users, applications and data.

In case the identity governance is compromised, the organization is left vulnerable to security and compliance violations. Companies can solve this problem by investing in identity governance and intelligence (IGI) solutions that address the business requirements of compliance mangers, auditors and risk managers. According to our partner IBM, “IGI provides a business activity-based modelling approach that simplifies the user access and roles design, review and certification processes. With this approach, you can establish trust between IT and business managers around business activities and permissions, making workflows understandable for nontechnical users. IGI solutions enable security teams to leverage powerful analytics to make informed decisions about identity, give users the applications and the flexible data access they need, and help to ensure compliance with ever-evolving regulations.”

When we talk about managing access within the organization, a number of researches show that more than 50 percent of users have more access privileges than required for their job. In most cases the reason is bulk approvals for access requests, frequent changes in roles or departments, and not regular reviewing user access. The trouble is that too much access privilege and overprovisioning can open an organization up to insider threats and increase the risk throughout the business.

It’s necessary to make sure that users have the appropriate access and to prevent facing with insider threats. The risk could be decreased by using role-based access controls (RBAC) – this means having solid, well-defined roles in place and knowing specifically which access privileges each role needs. As organizations grow and evolve, the right IGI solution can allow for more efficient changes and decrease risk by focusing on role definitions and role assignments rather than on individual accounts. The strategy of RBAC works well to decrease the timeline in executing bulk additions where a lot of change is happening at once, like during mergers, acquisitions and corporate reorganizations.

Why is Identity Governance Critical to Compliance?

Companies today have to manage customer, vendor, and board member demands, but at the same time they also must make sure they are compliant with any number of regulations, such as GDPR, HIPAA, and SOX. The increasing number of federal regulations and industry mandates that organizations face today, leads to more auditing, compliance reviews, and reporting.

Identity Governance is a critical discipline involved in this regulation. To be GDPR compliant, organizations must ensure that the personal data they process, collect, and store is properly protected. IBM Security Identity Governance & Intelligence (IGI) can help with that process. IGI allows only the right people to access and manage GDPR-relevant data. IGI presents these people to a business manager holistically in a single pane of glass. (source: IBM) IGI solutions not only strictly control the access to sensitive information like patient records or financial data, but also enable companies to prove they are taking actions to meet compliance requirements.

Furthermore, IGI solutions make the review process easier and more effective with built-in reporting capabilities to meet relevant government and industry regulations. A good compliance program allows for frequent and multiple access reviews to take place at any given time to meet ever-increasing auditor demands without engaging numerous resources from the organization.

One of the main reasons for implementing an IGI solution, is to ensure that users only have access to the resources they need. It also makes sure that you provide appropriate access, risk mitigation and improved security posture of your organization. Unfortunately, a lot of companies today may not view this as a strategic priority and that is a prerequisite to suffer a security incident at some moment. What such companies should do, is to trust IGI solutions and their strong capabilities. See here how PATECCO IGI Solutions are the foundation for a solid Identity and Access Management program in your organization.

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:

How to Detect and Protect the Sensitive Data in the Cloud

As already mentioned in the previous article, Cloud computing has transformed the way organizations approach IT, enabling them to adopt new business models, to provide more services and productivity, and reduce IT costs. Cloud computing technologies can be implemented in different kinds of architectures, under different service and deployment models. At the same time they can also coexist with other technologies and software design approaches. Looking at the broad cloud computing landscape continuing to grow rapidly, it becomes obvious that access to sensitive data in the cloud should be properly monitored and controlled.

Cloud services facilitates data management and applications across a network linked through mobile devices, computers or tablets. But these networks can pose significant challenges for front-end security in the cloud computing environment. For overcoming any threats, there is a need of multiple levels of user-enforced security safeguards which are able to restrict access, authenticate user identity, preserve data integrity and protect the privacy of individual data. When implementing appropriate safeguards, policies and procedures, private data can be securely stored and accessed in third-party cloud servers by a network of users.

Best practices for monitoring access to sensitive data in the cloud

If compared to on premise data centres, cloud-based infrastructures are actually not that easy to monitor and manage. For providing high-quality data protection in the cloud, there is a number of measures which must be undertaken

1. Provide end-to-end visibility

The lack of visibility across the infrastructure is one of the little disadvantages of the cloud-based solutions. Consequently, there is a need of ensuring end-to-end visibility into the infrastructure, data, and applications. The implementation of an efficient identity and access management system can help limiting the access to critical data. It also makes it clear to understand who exactly accesses and works with your business’s critical data. A high-level granularity of access management allows granting elevated privileges only to users that actually need it.

2. Implement Privileged Access Management to Secure access to valuable information

Privileged Account Management (PAM) systems are designed to control access to highly critical systems. PAM security and governance tools support companies in complying with legal and regulatory compliance. Their capabilities allow privileged users to have efficient and secure access to the systems they manage. Besides it offers secure and streamlined way to authorize and monitor all privileged users for all relevant systems.


3. Monitor implementation and audit access to sensitive data

It is necessary to conduct periodic audits to identify security vulnerabilities and monitor compliance. Continuous monitoring and auditing of the cloud infrastructure allows detecting possible attacks and data breaches at an early stage. PAM capabilities will also help you to successfully monitor sensitive data and manage access to it.

4. Use RBAC to Control what users have access to.

Role-based access control (RBAC) is a method of restricting network access based on the roles of individual users within an enterprise. RBAC lets employees have access rights only to the information they need to do their jobs and prevents them from accessing information that doesn’t pertain to them. An employee’s role in an organization determines the permissions that individual is granted and ensures that lower-level employees can’t access sensitive information or perform high-level tasks.

5. Use SIEM Technology

SIEM technology supports threat detection and security incident response through the real-time event collection and historical analysis of security events, from a wide variety of event and contextual data sources. SIEM also helps enterprises manage the increasing volumes of logs coming from disparate online sources. Storing the logs from different sources in a central secured database make the process of consolidation and analysis easy.

SIEM supports compliance reporting and incident investigation through analysis of historical data from these sources, as well.

6. Build an efficient incident-response strategy.

It is recommended to make a plan which would help you react immediately to a possible security incident in an adequate manner. It should include several important steps such as determining authority to call an incident, establishing clearly defined team roles and responsibilities, establishing communications procedures and responsibilities, increasing end user awareness and deploying the Right Tools.

All the above mentioned points, concerning implementing appropriate safeguards, policies and procedures, are a good prerequisite for keeping private data securely stored and a protected.

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  becomes 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.

For more information about other PATECCO solutions, check in the new e-guide:

Why Privileged Access Management Is So Essential For an Organization

Nowadays data breaches are occurring to more and more enterprises around the world. Unfortunately the impacts of breaches are supposed to destroy the company’s reputation and to bring lots of financial losses.

The best way to avoid such hard situation is to have a strong security solution to detect and prevent attacks. What could be really helpful is Privileged Access Management (PAM). It provides the capabilities to detect data breaches and defend your organization against them.

Why companies need PAM?

Using a PAM solution helps you keep constant control and visibility over your company’s most critical data and systems. In this way it is protected against the accidental misuse of privileged access by streamlining the authorization and monitoring of privileged users.

Imagine a situation whenyour organization is growing. The bigger and more complex your organization’s IT systems get, the more privileged users you have listed. These include employees, contractors, remote or automated users, as well.  Then you start wondering what access has been granted and what users are actually doing. Consequently this complicated moment makes it difficult to understand security risks. What you need is to track the provision, management and retirement of these critical account entitlements. This is possible by the implementation of PAM solutions (including valuable vaulting, single sign-on and multi-factor authentication) to protect known privileged access credentials.

You’re in a big trouble if some of the admin users makes unauthorized system changes, access forbidden data, and then hide their actions. But PAM is able to solve this problem by offering a secure, streamlined way to authorize and monitor all privileged users for all relevant systems. Besides, it grants access only when it’s needed and revoke access when the need expires. It is also capable of creating an unalterable audit trail for any privileged operation.

The benefits PAM brings to business:

PAM supports simultaneous detection of user access throughout every company access point whether or not a request is being issued for the same area or a different part of the system. It manages and secures all access from a central location, as well. The other essential benefits refer to:

  • Automation: Switching from a purely manual privileged access management system to an automated solution lowers costs, boosts overall productivity, and optimizes security protocols.
  • Role-based access: PAM software offers a solution by including role-based access. The benefit in using this aspect is that there is no need to provide domain credentials to outsiders and access will be limited based on administrator map user roles.
  • Multifactor Authentication: PAM software meets this challenge by allowing for multi-factor authentication protocols (MAP) when a user requests access. All of the time and event based protocols are supported by PAM.
  • Auditing and Reporting: PAM provides recording and reporting for a variety of different activities including password requests, and session recording of transactions throughout your particular system. Besides, PAM software has the ability to provide hundreds of different reports including asset reports, compliance report, privilege reports, and vulnerability reports.

A few words about PATECCO’s Privileged Access Management:

PATECCO’s practice is to apply comprehensive approach byconsolidating identities creating a unified identity “persona” across all heterogeneous operating systems and environments. This improves reporting and reduces audit time and forensics investigations. It also links role-based control of user access to critical systems, applications, and services with specific user identities.  Its Privileged Access Management provides a scalable and comprehensive audit, and reporting solution for user activity on critical systems.