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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

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. 

3 Steps for Building Your Identity Management Strategy

Today a lot of enterprises rely on higher security and governance to run and keep their business successfully. We are witnessing a trend where the more connections are increasing, the more security breaches affect companies from all around the world.

The enterprises suffering such data breach problems experience significant losses in terms of recovery costs and brand damage. That hard situation comes when there is some type of “unauthorized access” (whether from internal or external threats) to corporate applications and sensitive data.  As a result, companies make a detailed review of their current Identity and Access Management (IAM) processes and after detecting some gaps, start looking for new IAM approaches. In this way they want to ensure that their organizations are safe from access-related security breaches, optimize the operational costs associated with access control and meet their internal and external compliance requirements.

Regardless what IAM system you will choose, in this article we will give you an idea of what steps to take for building an effective Identity and Access Management (IAM) strategy, focused on mitigating key risks for the organization.

1. Use federated identity management approach

Companies could implement a federated identity management approach whereby the organisation providing the data or service trusts the authentication measures in place at a collaborating organisation. If you use such an approach, it’s not necessary to share the personal details of the user requesting the access, only an assertion from the trusted party that the user is authorised to make the request. 

2. Keep a good governance

Good governance ensures that there is a consistent approach to risks and compliance across different lines of business. It is able to reduce costs by avoiding multiple, ad hoc, approaches to compliance and risk management. Identity and access governance ensures that only authorized persons have access to the confidential and regulated data.

Remember that the power of identity and access governance is in managing privacy across the enterprise. Governance is your procedure and framework that makes everything consistent across the board. That means risk management and compliance for all your lines of business.

3. Avoid multiple authentication

Authentication process is used for confirming the user identity. The typical authentication process allows the system to identify the user via a username and a password.

The less authentication your users have to go through, the better. You could have a negative feedback if users have to go through a multiple authentication levels to gain access to an email or account. Some may even find their own shortcuts, which is where problems can arise.

Single sign-on can help, but cannot resolve the problem. Users operating in an SSO environment could have negative feedback from their home and mobile workers due to the extra levels of authentication required to access the new system.

There are stronger methods of authenticating the user, including certificates, one-time passwords, and device fingerprinting. Thanks to them, could be provided a stronger combination of authentication factors.

Phases of IM Strategy

Building the Identity Management Strategy requires three distinct phases: assessment, analysis and planning, as well.

1) Assessment Phase: Assess your current infrastructure and architecture and identity-related processes;

2) Analysis Phase: Determine key technology and process gaps and identify needed identity capabilities and integration points;

3) Planning Phase: Define high-level, future-state identity architecture; Develop a phased implementation roadmap; Document and present final recommendations

In order to secure identities and data, as well as tо ensure readiness, organizations need to respond proactively to the coming changes by adapting the right strategy, operations and architecture of their IAM and its supporting tools and services.

How Does Cloud Computing Benefit the Insurance Industry?

Insurance companies are a High-Value target to hackers. The reason is the multiple vulnerabilities included in the insurance provider data. They could be customer portals, credit card transactions, insider threats, external hackers (credential acquisition), Big data warehousing and applications, cloud data storage and more. Some of the insurance companies use outdated or not reliable security solutions which very often leads to cyber criminals’ attack with serious consequences for the company.  As a result, Insurance companies become more and more willing about cloud adoption and instead of asking ask “why”, they make plans about “when and how”.  

Several factors provoke the insurance companies to move their applications and data into the cloud as they reassess their business opportunities. These factors include the need for enhanced agility, the need for technology operating efficiencies and the opportunity of reducing infrastructure costs. For insurers navigating a complex risk, regulatory landscape and adoption of cloud comes with multiple challenges of data privacy, architecture, system interfaces and IT security. All that could be handled with a Cloud solution which offers rapid provisioning, clear visibility of assets, robust data governance and a seamless mix of delivery models.

The advantage of moving to Cloud for Insurance Companies

When we talk about Cloud computing, it is not enough to justify its implementation only in terms of cost and effort. Moving to the cloud changes the overall operation of the enterprise. It creates new ways of operating, creates value for the clients and makes your business grow faster.

When deploying and implementing cloud computing solutions, insurance companies could better drive revenue, improve collaboration, gain customer insight and reduce time to market for products. But that’s not everything: there are several other key strategic benefits that would change the way of work and connections in insurance companies.

Benefit #1: Fast Deployment

Cloud computing offers rapid deployment allowing businesses to be ready to take advantage of it in short order. Cloud has enough resources available at its disposal to allow for multiple tenants in the shared environment. These resources are always scalable.

Benefit #2: Higher Productivity and Collaboration

Cloud computing can help insurers provide their agents, brokers and partners with a common, unified platform. It allows them to easily gain access to real-time data and at the same time increases the productivity.

Benefit # 4: Business Growth and Progress

Cloud systems help insurers to deploy new business models, which are more customer oriented. A cloud-based solution offers better understanding of the customers’ needs and successfully develops the services to meet them.

Benefit # 5: Become more innovative

Insurance companies all over the world are in a constant competition to innovate and offer new things on the market. That’s why insurers need to make sure that their application portfolios meet the emerging needs of the customers. Thanks to the Cloud system, they can test and deploy new technologies and that helps them to better collaborate and to develop new products and services.

Benefit #6: Optimized Risk Management

Cloud allows you to integrate risk data, risk assessments and risk indicators within its environment. That allows insurance companies to protect their data against data breaches and data theft.

Benefit #7: Cost effectiveness

Insurance companies are also concerned about their regular expenses. The theory that Cloud is expensive is completely denied by the fact that Cloud computing can help insurers save a great amount of money which they can invest in better marketing activities or in the execution of specific insurance plans. That’s the reason why we say that Cloud ensures efficiency and flexibility.

Benefit #8: Simplified access with Single Sign-On

PATECCO has IAM consulting capabilities that can help insurance companies gain the benefits of moving to a cloud environment. Identity and Access Management supports single sign-on (SSO) and leverages protocols to integrate with enterprise’s cloud ecosystem. The IAM tools can also simplify the partner access. All user log-ins and activities are precisely managed and when an employee at your partner’s organization leaves, you should not worry about whether they still have access to your application. All access rights are strictly provided or removed according to the user status.

Cloud Computing is no more considered as a specific term in the business sphere. It’s more often regarded as a mandatory initiative and activity. As the number of breaches increases, more and more insurance companies start using the cloud technologies which defenitely changed the face of the insurance industry. Cloud computing is the first step of the insurance firms’ digital transition – from ordinary to modern insurance software. The adoption of cloud computing is beneficial not only for the insurance companies, but for their customers, as well. It efficiently encourages collaboration, communication, improves the security and productivity.