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What Are the Key Differences Between Two-factor Authentication and Multi-factor Authentication?

During the past few years the passwords used to be considered the only credential factor needed to confirm the identity of a person accessing an account. But nowadays the situation is quite different. As cybercriminals get more sophisticated, so do people that want to highly protect their data. And single-factor authentication may not be enough to confirm a person’s identity.

Two-factor authentication (2FA) and multi-factor authentication (MFA) are indispensable components of the cybersecurity ecosystem. Although one might come to think that the two are synonyms, 2FA and MFA are not entirely the same. Let’s clear up the difference between two-factor authentication and multi-factor authentication, as well as questions such as is MFA better than 2FA.

What are the different types of authentication?

Correct login credentials are only one factor in protecting your data. There needs to be another layer of credentials to keep your information secure, that’s why there are three different types of authentication:

  • Knowledge: The person confirms their identity by answering questions only they know. This can include passwords or answers to security questions. It is the most common factor within single-factor authentication, but is also present within 2FA and MFA. Due to being one of the first forms of authentication, a password in today’s cybersecurity environment presents one of the weakest security links.
  • Possession: This type of authentication factor refers to something a user has in his possession, a device or an object that will provide additional information needed for verification. We mostly see this factor in action with one-time passwords sent as an SMS to your mobile device, security token, software token, card verification value on a credit card (CVV), etc.
  • Inherence: The inherence authentication factor relies on biometric authentication based on the user’s unique traits. Biometric authentication typically includes either fingerprint or face recognition, as well as location behavior. Since biometrics are hard to spoof, inherence is considered to be the most secure authentication factor of the three. Biometrics are among the favorites in terms of two-factor and multi-factor authentication.

For a fully secure account, it’s best practice to have two or more types of credentials to ensure only authorized access is maintained. This can fall into two categories: two-factor authentication (2FA) or multi-factor authentication (MFA).

What is the main difference between two-factor authentication and multi-factor authentication?

The main difference between two-factor authentication (2FA) and multi-factor authentication (MFA) lies in the number of required authentication factors. Two-factor authentication demands exactly two authentication factors to be presented during the authentication process. Multi-factor authentication requires the user to submit two or more authentication factors. Based on the definitions mentioned earlier, we can now say that 2FA is a subset of MFA.

Is MFA more secure than 2FA?

The most correct answer is – it depends. Some would say that the answer is obvious, but for the sake of providing you with the full information, let’s elaborate on this one. Every MFA, which includes 2FA as well, is only as secure as the authentication methods used in a particular scenario. Let’s put it this way; if you combine three authentication methods such as a PIN (knowledge), OTP (possession), and fingerprint (inherence), you are better off than with a single password. The mentioned MFA approach also beats 2FA which includes, let’s say, OTP and Face ID. However, in some cases, two-factor authentication beats multi-factor authentication.

Both 2FA and MFA add enhanced security measures beyond username and password credentials, and they each provide different levels of assurance that the person accessing the account is legitimate. So, is MFA more secure than 2FA? In general, any 2FA or MFA is more secure than single-factor authentication. However, the security added by any MFA strategy is as strong as the authentication methods chosen by risk professionals.

  • Security

Even though it can be easy for an attacker to perform a brute force attack for less complex passwords, having to deal with SMS message authentication makes it that much more complicated  for the attacker to gain access to your account. Still, as we’ve seen already, phone authentication and phone numbers as identifiers are not that secure.

This is why adding a third authentication factor, such as biometrics (which are much more difficult to hack), will add an additional level of protection to your sensitive information. Following this line of reasoning, we would deduce that MFA is superior to 2FA, but there’s one more aspect we must consider when talking about their differences.

  • The Advantages of Multi-Factor Authentication

Because of how connected applications and devices are to an organization’s network, implementing MFA is a best practice, whether that means two or more steps of verification or two or more distinct authentication factors.

Below are some of the top benefits that MFA provides to protect access to your systems:

  • Protects Against Negligence: It can be tricky to remember passwords, especially if they are complex. Many users create passwords that are short and easy to remember, giving cybercriminals a clear route to stealing credentials through brute force attacks or harvesting techniques. MFA provides another layer of security if employee passwords are compromised.
  • Prevents Unauthorized Access: Since it requires an additional step or factor to gain access to your network system or software application, MFA helps keep criminals out. More often than not, cybercriminals don’t have the knowledge or possessions needed to satisfy the additional requirements, even if they have the primary credentials.
  • Allows Geographic Flexibility: Many MFA solutions – such as knowledge-based factors or possessions like a phone, a hardware token, or an authentication app – do not require users to be on-site to complete their login. So, MFA is manageable from any location.
  • Ensures Industry Compliance: MFA is one of the most frequent regulatory compliance requirements for customers and employees. These include PCI Data Security Standards, GDPR and other industry regulations.

Multi-factor authentication is definitely the more secure authentication method, providing that it has two or more authentication factors, making it harder for attackers to bypass the additional layers of security. But while MFA is the more secure option, 2FA is easier to use for a larger number of users, as well as more cost-effective to implement for both users and organizations.

Above all, choosing an authentication method is completely up to you. Having that in mind, we strongly emphasize the importance of using any type of MFA on your email, your domain contact email to avoid domain theft, your domain name registrar, and all your online accounts.

How to Manage Security in a DevOps Environment

In recent years, DevOps has been gaining a great popularity among IT decision-makers who have realized the benefits that it offers. DevOps is based on automation and cross-functional collaboration. However, not many IT executives are aware of the security risks in a DevOps environment. This article reviews the basic concepts of a DevOps pipeline and suggests several ways for securing it.

What Is DevOps?

The standard DevOps model focuses primarily on development and operations. It represents a collaborative or shared approach to the tasks performed by a company’s application development and IT operations teams.

While DevOps is not a technology, DevOps environments generally apply common methodologies. These include the following:

– continuous integration and continuous delivery or continuous deployment (CI/CD) tools, with an emphasis on task automation;

– systems and tools that support DevOps adoption, including real-time monitoring, incident management, configuration management and collaboration platforms; and

– cloud computing, microservices and containers implemented concurrently with DevOps methodologies.

A DevOps approach is one of many techniques IT staff use to execute IT projects that meet business needs. DevOps can coexist with Agile software development, IT service management frameworks, such as ITIL, project management directives, such as Lean and Six Sigma, and other strategies. In a DevOps security culture, all team members play an active role in securing software. It allows teams to test early and often throughout the software creation process. This enables them to analyze their software as they build it, reducing the likelihood they release buggy software.

How to Secure the DevOps Environment:

The following tips from this article can help you address DevOps environment’s security risks and ensure that any vulnerabilities are handled properly.

  • Establish Credential Controls

Security managers need to make sure that the controls and access to different environments is centralized. To achieve this, managers have to create a transparent, and collaborative environment to ensure that developers understand the scope of their access privileges.

  • Consistent Management of Security Risks

Establish a clear, easy-to-understand set of procedures and policies for cybersecurity such as configuration management, access controls, vulnerability testing, code review, and firewalls. Ensure that all company personnel are familiar with these security protocols. In addition, you should keep track of compliance by maintaining operational visibility.

  • Automation

Security operations teams need to keep up with the fast pace of the DevOps process. Automation of your security tools and processes can help you scale and speed up your security operations. You should also automate your code analysis, configuration management, vulnerability discovery and fixes, and privileged access. Automation simplifies the process of vulnerability discovery and identification of potential threats. Moreover, automation enables developers and security teams to focus on other tasks by eliminating human error and saving time.

  • Privileged Access Management

You should limit privilege access rights to reduce potential attacks. For instance, you can restrict developers and testers access to specific areas. You can also remove administrator privileges on end-user devices, and set up a workflow check-out process. Additionally, you should safely store privileged credentials and monitor privileged sessions to verify that all activity is legitimate.

Problems Addressed

DevOps solves several problems, such as:

  • Reduced errors: Automation reduces common errors when performing basic or repetitive tasks. Besides, automation is valued for preventing ad hoc changes to systems, which are often used instead of complete documented fixes. In the worst case the problem and solution are both undocumented and the underlying issue is never actually fixed, and is not much more than the fleeting memory of the person who fixed the issue in a panic during the last release.
  • Speed and efficiency: Here at PATECCO we talk a lot about “reacting faster and better” and “doing more with less”. DevOps, like Agile, is geared towards doing less, better, and faster. Releases occur more regularly, with less code change between them. Less work means better focus, and more clarity of purpose with each release. Again, automation helps people get their jobs done with less hands-on work.
  • Bottlenecks: There are several bottlenecks in software development: developers waiting for specifications, select individuals who are overtasked, provisioning IT systems, testing, and even processes (particularly synchronous ones, as in waterfall development) can all cause delays. The way DevOps tasks are scheduled, the reduction in work being performed at any one time, and the way expert knowledge is embedded into automation, all act to reduce these issues. Once DevOps is established it tends to alleviate major bottlenecks common to most development teams, especially the over-burdening of key personnel.
  • Security: Security becomes not just the domain of security experts with specialized knowledge, but integrated into the development and delivery process. Security controls can be used to flag new features or gate releases — within the same set of controls you use to ensure custom code, application stacks, or server configurations, meet specifications.

The fundamental value of DevOps is speed to market. However, companies that do not incorporate security into every stage of their development and operations environment risk losing the value of DevOps. To ensure a secure environment, you need to adopt a DevOps model, enable privileged access management, and secure your software supply chain.

What is the Difference Between Role-based Access Control and Attribute-based Access Control

Nowadays, especially in this modern digital workspace, working together successfully as a team is a great challenge and depends on a good collaboration. As part of that collaboration, it’s critical for team members to have access to the files and programs they need to do their jobs. But that access should be easily revocable when employees change job positions or leave the company. This is could be achieved through access control which defines who is allowed to access what.  In this post, we will look at the comparison of two of the most popular access control models: role-based access control (RBAC) versus attribute-based access control (ABAC). We’ll also briefly discuss how RBAC contribute to secure monitoring best practices.

Role-based access control (RBAC) and attribute-based access control (ABAC) are the two most commonly used access control tools used for authorization and permissions systems. Most developers have heard them and may have a sense for what they mean, but many aren’t clear on how to think about RBAC and ABAC as tools for modelling permissions in their apps. Understanding the differences between the two is key for choosing between RBAC vs. ABAC for your system.

RBAC versus ABAC

  • What is RBAC and how does it work?

Role-based access control (RBAC), also known as role-based security, is a mechanism that restricts system access. It includes setting permissions and privileges to enable access to authorized users. Most large organizations use role-based access control to provide their employees with varying levels of access based on their roles and responsibilities. This protects sensitive data, limit the risk of data leaks and and ensures employees can only access information and perform actions they need to accomplish their tasks.

In addition to restricting access, the company assigns a role-based access control role to every employee; the role determines which permissions the system grants to the user. Likewise, the right to access a file is based on the role of the user. Moreover, it is also possible for a single user to have multiple roles. The main advantage of RBAC is that this policy does not need to change when a certain person with the role leaves the organization. It is also easier to activate a role on a new employee.

The Benefits of RBAC include:

– Security. RBAC uses the principle of least privilege to lower the risk of a data breach. It also limits damage should a breach occur.

– Ease of Use. RBAC connects employees to the data and systems they need and reduces administrative overhead for IT.

– Compliance Readiness. Administrators can more easily prove that data and sensitive information have been handled according to privacy, security, and confidentiality standards.

  • What is ABAC and how does it work?

ABAC stands for Attribute Based Access Control. In this method, the access to a resource is determined by a collection of several attributes. It considers user attributes (subject attributes), resource attributes (object attributes) and environmental attributes. In practice, attributes can include everything from the position of employees to their departments, IP addresses, devices, and more. By using ABAC, the organizations can simplify access management and reduce risks due to unauthorized access. Furthermore, it helps to centralize auditing.

  • Key benefits of ABAC include:

– Granularity: it uses attributes rather than roles to specify relationships between users and resources, administrators can create precisely targeted rules without needing to create additional roles. 

– Flexibility: ABAC policies are easy to adapt as resources and users change.

– Adaptability: ABAC makes adding and revoking permissions easier by allowing admins to modify attributes. This simplifies onboarding and offboarding as well as the temporary provisioning of contractors and external partners.

– Security: ABAC allows admins to create context-sensitive rules as security needs arise so they can more easily protect user privacy and adhere to compliance requirements.

  • RBAC versus ABAC: differences between the two access control models

One key distinction between RBAC and ABAC is their static versus dynamic nature, as implied in their respective models — RBAC permits access based on roles, which are generally fairly static within an organization, where ABAC relies on attributes, which can be dynamic — changing, for example, when a user attempts to access a resource from a different device or IP address.

This brings us to the benefits and downsides of each model: ABAC can be automated to update permissions, and — once everything is set up — requires less overall administration. It’s also secure when set up correctly. In terms of downsides, ABAC can be quite complex and environment-specific, and complicated attribute sets can be hard to scale.

RBAC, on the other hand, is highly efficient and can streamline the compliance process. While any form of access control comes with a degree of complexity, RBAC is transparent enough that you can see how individuals interact with resources based on their roles.

One major downside of RBAC is if your environment has a multitude of different roles, each with its own complex set of permissions, which can make management difficult. In contrast to ABAC, RBAC can’t be automated, so the more complex your environment, the more manual the access management control becomes.

  • RBAC or ABAC: The best access model depends on company size and security needs

RBAC and ABAC are both effective ways to control access to data in your system. Which one works best for you will be based on a few factors:

– How big is your company? RBAC tends to not scale well because as more people and resources are added, more roles are created to define more detailed permissions. If you work at a big enterprise, ABAC is probably the right approach.

– How complex does your authorization strategy need to be? In general, you should try to do the least complex form of access control possible. If RBAC will cut it, this would be the right choice. If you need more detailed permissions or to look at variables that fall outside of roles (like device type, location, or time), you’ll need to use ABAC.

The good news is that you can use both RBAC and ABAC in tandem. A common model is to begin with RBAC and keep it as an overarching access model, then slowly add ABAC on top to fine-tune security for various users, resources, and operations.

Why Security Orchestration, Automation and Response (SOAR) Is an Essential Cybersecurity Tool?

The SOAR acronym first appeared back in 2017, and it stands for Security, Orchestration, Automation, and Response. SOAR represent a rise in automated incident response and management platforms. This technology allows organizations to collect relevant data regarding security operations by applying automation and orchestration. Gartner predicted that this technology will be a turning point in the cyber world, as more and more organizations have realized the immense value of SOAR.
With the evolution and increase in cyber attacks every day, SOAR gained popularity among security analysts for its core feature of handling repetitive tasks. By helping to plan and orchestrate responses to security incidents, SOARs offer critical functionality that extends beyond that provided by security incident and event management (SIEM) platforms, a more conventional type of security tool.


Security Orchestration, Automation and Response in detail

Let’s break down the term SOAR to get a better understanding of what it actually involves:

  • Security automation

This is the automatic execution of security operations-related tasks – such as scanning for vulnerabilities or searching for logs – without human intervention. Information is automatically retrieved from advanced detection systems and Security Information and Event Management (SIEM).

  • Security orchestration

This refers to the way all security tools are connected. Even disparate security systems are integrated. In this layer, SOAR streamlines all security processes.

  • Security response

This means automation helps to define, prioritise and execute default incident response activities based on predefined policy rules. Incident response processes may be completely automated, completely manual, or a combination of both to mirror an organization’s unique business processes.

Benefits of using SOAR as an Effective Cybersecurity Tool

  • Enhancing incident response

Rapid response is vital in order to minimise the risk of breaches and limit the vast damage and disruption they can cause. SOAR helps organisations to reduce mean time to detect (MTTD) and mean time to respond (MTTR) by enabling security alerts to be qualified and remediated in minutes, rather than days, weeks and months.

SOAR also enables security teams to automate incident response procedures (known as playbooks). Automated responses could include blocking an IP address on a firewall or IDS system, suspending user accounts or quarantining infected endpoints from a network.

  • Improve security operations center management with standardized processes

Using a centralized security operations center (SOC) management system, your organization can maintain better internal and regulatory compliance. Plus, using an automation platform specifically built with SOCs in mind, allows you to better prioritize and optimize alert remediation.

  • Faster detection and resolution of known and unknown threats

Responding to cyber threats in real-time requires a great deal of preparation, and with today’s evolved data threats, combating incidents without the help of AI automation is virtually unthinkable. In that regard, SOAR helps managed security service providers (MSSPs) respond to these threats quickly and effectively. Furthermore, AI-enhanced technologies are used to evaluate real-time threats, search for trends, utilize historical data to detect patterns, and isolate confirmed threats or any types of suspicious activities in a rapid-response fashion.

It’s very important to note that cyber attacks are moving at a rash speed, and cyber criminals are utilizing agile development and machine learning to strike any weaknesses and evade detection, and leaving traces. And only SOAR offers that kind of instant readiness that allows MSSPs to quickly respond in a preventive manner and learn consistent pattern behaviors.

  • Automated Security Reporting

In addition to automating security incident detection and response, SOAR platforms usually provide automated reporting features that record what happened, who did what and which steps ultimately mitigated the threat.

This data is crucial for tracking trends in security risks and response over time. It may also be useful for auditing and compliance purposes in cases where businesses are required to document their security operations.

  • Vulnerability management

SOAR platforms may also provide cataloguing of assets for a clearer visibility of their security. If any asset is vulnerable to a cyber threat, timely patching of vulnerabilities will reduce the risk of cyber-attacks on those assets. SOAR also offers integration with tools that automate the process of vulnerability management, in addition to directly fetching information about vulnerabilities by integrating with threat intelligence.

  • Unification of security tools

In order to achieve optimal efficiency, SOAR allows a swift integration of both workforce and tools, and that exact integration allows SOAR to handle tasks and processes without the need for human intervention. Machine learning is also applied to automate specific tasks, and that automation is usually applied via playbooks.

Is SOAR right for your organization?

To select a suitable SOAR solution for your business, you need to think about a variety of factors. Gartner advises that before choosing a SOAR solution, it is essential to make an assessment of the need of your security team, analyze which areas of your security operations need strengthening, and find out which SOAR solutions offer the kind of features that match your actual needs. Implementing SOAR can reduce threat response times, improve security performance and resource allocation, and create a more positive, productive environment for security professionals.

How the Modern Identity Governance Solutions Enhance Security of the Digital Enterprises?

In times of progressive digital transformation, Identity governance is one of the most neglected branches of cybersecurity. That is why it is crucial for the enterprises to adopt or to update their current identity governance in 2022. And before implementing or updating such identity management tools, the companies should ask several important questions such as: How they ensure the permissions their users have are appropriate to their roles? Can enterprises prevent users from accumulating unnecessary privileges? How can enterprises improve their visibility into their users’ identities?

In case your corporation enterprise doesn’t take these questions into account, you may face challenges with external and internal threats. It is critical for the companies to be able to see, understand and govern their users’ access to all business applications and data. This turns identity into a business enabler for organizations, helping them to properly secure and govern all of their digital identities at the speed of business today.

Identity is not only a number of employees

When talking about identity governance, enterprises often think only about the individual users operating under their scope: their employees. That’s ok, but the corporations must bear in mind their contractors, partners, and other third parties when considering access management and identity governance in 2022. If all these groups of people have access to the network, their permissions should be as strictly controlled and monitored as any of your employees.

Furthermore, your identity governance in 2022 must extend beyond the identities of people including also the identities held by applications and software. These can move through your network and access data in much the same way a human user can. Allowing them free govern in your databases can only lead to serious issues. So, application identity governance tools are only going to become more important as cloud applications and cloud architecture continue to transform enterprises.

Identity Governance could be effectively combined with PAM

In fact, maintaining proper role management through identity governance in 2022 makes a key assumption. Specifically, the users logging in are the users to whom the account belongs.

Bad circumstances such as password sharing, stolen credentials, and phishing attacks can place your employees’ identities at severe risk; this applies doubly if the employees in question have significant administrative powers within the network. By incorporating robust privileged access management with your IGA solution, you can prevent hackers and insider threats from turning your role management against you. This can include implementing granular authentication, implementing multifactor authentication, and deploying behavioural analysis to observe discrepancies.

The benefits of modern Identity Governance solutions

Nowadays the benefits of modern Identity Governance solutions go beyond security. Modern Identity Governance solutions empower organizations with automated workflows that can streamline access requests, detect permission discrepancies, and handle temporary assignments to help your IT team prioritize other projects, thus, eliminating human errors. Organizations can also manage their non-employee identities e.g. – third-party vendors or partners without disruptions and ensure strict monitoring of their access in the network. Without proper identity access governance, it is challenging for organizations to assign and keep track of the applications and resources that identities have access to. Some organizations have hundreds, even thousands of applications.

Here are several important ways that identity access governance benefits your business:

  • Visibility

Let’s say it right: you can’t protect what remains unseen. That is why visibility represents the heart and soul of cybersecurity. Identity governance provides visibility and monitoring over employee and user permissions. Also, it helps IT admins get a high-level view of what’s happening across the IT environment, allowing them to quickly make changes and troubleshoot problems that could have easily become worse if left untreated.

  • Streamlined User Identity Lifecycle Management

When onboarding and offboarding, managers and IT personnel typically had direct physical access to the resources that they needed to manage and change, but now that’s not necessarily the case. This means that new solutions need to be leveraged to maintain the proper level of control over users, devices, networks, and other IT resources, and this is where an IGA solution becomes integral.

  • Enhanced Compliance and Security

Identity governance also helps businesses meet their compliance needs. Almost all IGA solutions provide out-of-the-box compliance reports for easy fulfilment; additionally, it can often fill those reports automatically, alleviating a burden on your IT security team. The modern Identity Governance solution reduces risk and improves compliance and security by managing access control in a comprehensive and streamlined manner. By using tools that streamline user identity lifecycle management, your organization is at less risk for the wrong users having access to confidential information, and you have higher visibility into what different users do and do not have access to.

  • Risk Management

IGA solutions enable a robust approach to managing and governing access by focusing on three aspects of access. First, they practice least privilege access, eliminating excess privileges and granting access to only those who absolutely need it in order to do their jobs. Secondly, they terminate “orphaned” accounts as quickly as possible. These accounts that are no longer being used, either because an employee is no longer with the company, or any other reason, are perfect targets for those looking to breach the environment. Finally, IGA solutions monitor for segregation of duty (SoD) violations. This critical risk management concept dictates that no single individual should be able to complete a task, creating a built-in system of checks and balances.

With these clear, measurable benefits, it’s easy to see why Identity governance solutions are quickly becoming an essential component in many organizations’ security strategy. Identity governance in 2022 will not be a panacea. It must be a part of a comprehensive cybersecurity platform, made of well integrated and well-thought-out solutions.

Identity and Access Management – Concept, Functions and Challenges

Identity and Access Management is an important part of today’s evolving world. It is the process of managing who has access to what information over time. Activity of IAM involves creation of identities for user and system. Secure user access plays a key role in the exchange of data and information. In addition, electronic data is becoming ever more valuable for most companies. Access protection must therefore meet increasingly strict requirements – an issue that is often solved by introducing strong authentication. Identity and the Access are two very important concept of the IAM which are needed to be managed by the company. Companies are now relying more on the automated tool which can manage all these things. But then it creates the risk. Because tools are not intelligent enough to take the decisions, so we can add the intelligence by using the various data mining algorithm. This can keep the data over time and then build the models. This article covers the key challenges associated with  Identity and Access Management

1. IAM as a critical foundation for realizing the business benefits

Currently, companies are more and more concerned in complex value chains also they necessary to both integrate and offer a range of information systems. As a result of this, the lines among service providers and users and among competitors are blurring. Companies therefore need to implement efficient and flexible business processes focused on the electronic exchange of data and information. Such processes require reliable identity and access management solutions. IAM is the process which manages who has access to what information over time. Activity of IAM involves creation of identities for user and system. Identity and Access Management IAM has recently emerged as a critical foundation for realizing the business benefits in terms of cost savings, management control, operational efficiency, and, most importantly, business growth for ecommerce. Enterprises need to manage access to information and applications scattered across internal and external application systems. Moreover, they must provide this access for a growing number of identities, both inside and outside the organization, without compromising security or exposing sensitive information.

IAM comprises of people, processes and products to manage identities and access to resources of an enterprise. An identity access management (IAM) system is a framework for business processes that facilitates the management of electronic identities. Poorly controlled IAM processes may lead to regulatory non-compliance, because if the organization is audited, management will not be able to prove that company data is not at risk for being misused.

Additionally, the enterprise shall have to ensure the correctness of data in order for the IAM Framework to function properly. IAM components can be classified into four major categories: authentication, authorization, user management and central user repository (Enterprise Directory). The ultimate goal of IAM Framework is to provide the right people with the right access at the right time.

2. Key Concept of IAM

Secure user access plays a key role in the exchange of data and information. In addition, electronic data is becoming ever more valuable for most companies. Access protection must therefore meet increasingly strict requirements – an issue that is often solved by introducing strong authentication. Modern IAM solutions allow administering users and their access rights flexibly and effectively, enabling multiple ways of cooperation. Also, IAM is a prerequisite for the use of cloud services, as such services may involve outsourcing of data, which in turn means that data handling and access has to be clearly defined and monitored.

  • Identity The element or combination of element that uniquely describes a person or machines is called Identity. It can be what you know such as password or other personal information what you have or any combination of these.
  • Access The information representing the rights that identity was granted. This information the access rights can be granted to allow users to perform transactional functions at various levels. Some examples of transactional functions are copy, transfer, add, change, delete, review, approve and cancel.
  • Entitlements The collection of access rights to perform transactional functions is called entitlements. The term entitlements are used occasionally with access rights. Identity and access management is the, who, what, where, when, and why of information technology. It encompasses many technologies and security practices, including secure single sign-on (SSO), user provisioning/de provisioning, authentication, and authorization.

Over the past several years, the Fortune 2000 and governments worldwide have come to rely on a sound IAM platform as the foundation for their GRC strategies. As more organizations decentralize with branch and home offices, remote employees, and the consumerization of IT, the need for strong security and GRC practices is greater than ever

3. Function of Identity Management

The identity management system stores information on all aspects of the identity management infrastructure. Using this information, it provides authorization, authentication, user registration and enrolment, password management, auditing, user self-service, central administration, and delegated administration.

Stores information The identity management system stores information about the following resources: applications (e.g. business applications, Web applications, desktop applications), databases (e.g. Oracle, DB2, MS SQL Server), devices (e.g. mobile phones, pagers, card keys), facilities (e.g. warehouses, office buildings, conference rooms), groups (e.g. departments, workgroups), operating systems (e.g. Windows, Unix, MVS), people (e.g. employees, contractors, customers), policy (e.g. security policy, access control policy), and roles (e.g. titles, responsibilities, job functions).

• Authentication and authorization

The identity management system authenticates and authorizes both internal and external users. When a user initiates a request for access to a resource, the identity management first authenticates the user by asking for credentials, which may be in the form of a username and password, digital certificate, smart card, or biometric data. After the user successfully authenticates, the identity management system authorizes the appropriate amount of access based on the user’s identity and attributes. The access control component will manage subsequent authentication and authorization requests for the user, which will reduce the number of passwords the user will have to remember and reduce the number of times a user will have to perform a logon function. This is referred to as “single sign-on”.

• External user registration and enrolment The identity management system allows external users to register accounts with the identity management system and also to enrol for access privileges to a particular resource. If the user cannot authenticate with the identity management system the user will be provided the opportunity to register an account. Once an account is created and the user successfully authenticates, the user must enrol for access privileges to requested resources. The enrolment process may be automated based on set policies or the owner of the resource may manually approve the enrolment. Only after the user has successfully registered with the identity management system and enrolled for access will access to that resource be granted.

• Internal user enrolment The identity management system allows internal users to enroll for access privileges. Unlike external users, internal users will not be given the option to register because internal users already have an identity within the identity management system. The enrolment process for internal users is identical to that of external users.

 • Auditing The identity management system facilitates auditing of user and privilege information. The identity management system can be queried to verify the level of user privilege. The identity management system provides data from authoritative sources, providing auditors with accurate information about users and their privileges.

 • Central administration The identity management system allows administrators to centrally manage multiple identities. Administrators can centrally manage both the content within the identity management system and the structural architecture of the identity management system.

4. Challenges in IAM

Today’s enterprise IT departments face the increasingly complex challenge of providing granular access to information resources, using contextual information about users and requests, while successfully restricting unauthorized access to sensitive corporate data.

Distributed applications

With the growth of cloud-based and Software as a Service (SaaS) applications, users now have the power to log in to critical business apps like Salesforce, Office365, Concur, and more anytime, from any place, using any device. However, with the increase of distributed applications comes an increase in the complexity of managing user identities for those applications. Without a seamless way to access these applications, users struggle with password management while IT is faced with rising support costs from frustrated users. Solution is a holistic IAM solution can help administrators consolidate, control, and simplify access privileges, whether the critical applications are hosted in traditional data centers, private clouds, public clouds, or a hybrid combination of all these spaces.

  • Productive provisioning

Without a centralized IAM system, IT staff must provision access manually. The longer it takes for a user to gain access to crucial business applications, the less productive that user will be. On the flip side, failing to revoke the access rights of employees who have left the organization or transferred to different departments can have serious security consequences. To close this window of exposure and risk, IT staff must de-provision access to corporate data as quickly as possible. Manual provisioning and de provisioning of access is often supposed to cause human error or oversights. Especially for large organizations, it is not an efficient or sustainable way to manage user identities and access. Solution is a robust IAM solution that can fully automate the provisioning and de-provisioning process, giving IT full power over the access rights of employees, partners, contractors, vendors, and guests. Automated provisioning and de provisioning speed the enforcement of strong security policies while helping to eliminate human error.

  • Bring your own device (BYOD)

The challenge with BYOD is not whether outside devices are brought into the enterprise network, but whether IT can react quickly enough to protect the organization’s business assets—without disrupting employee productivity and while offering freedom of choice. Nearly every company has some sort of BYOD policy that allows users to access secure resources from their own devices. However, accessing internal and SaaS applications on a mobile device can be more cumbersome than doing so from a networked laptop or desktop workstation. In addition, IT staff may struggle to manage who has access privileges to corporate data and which devices they’re using to access it. Solution is enterprises must develop a strategy that makes it quick, easy, and secure to grant—and revoke—access to corporate applications on employee- and corporate-owned mobile devices based on corporate guidelines or regulatory compliance.

  • Regulatory compliance

Compliance and corporate governance concerns continue to be major drivers of IAM spending. Ensuring support for processes such as determining access privileges for specific employees, tracking management approvals for expanded access, and documenting who has accessed what data and when they did it can go a long way to easing the burden of regulatory compliance and ensuring a smooth audit process. Solution is a strong IAM solution can support compliance with regulatory standards such as HIPAA. In particular, a solution that automates audit reporting can simplify the processes for regulatory conformance and can also help generate the comprehensive reports needed to prove that compliance.

Efficiency, Security and Compliance are important keys of Identity and Access Management. Benefits of deploy a vigorous IAM solution are clear, the complexity and cost of implementation can disrupt even the most well-intentioned organization. A robust IAM solution can ease organization pains, streamline provisioning and de-provisioning, and improve user productivity, while lowering costs, dropping demands on IT, and providing the enterprise with comprehensive data to assist in complying with regulatory standards.

For more information about PATECCO Identity and Access Management Solutions inThe Era of Digital Transformation Whitepaper, click on the image below:

Which Are the Best Practices For Securing APIs?

APIs play an essential role in the modern enterprise, and their value will continue to grow as new applications, and IoT devices are created. APIs make integrations and connecting ecosystems much easier for developers, which has added benefits for enterprises and their customers. But with a growing number of smaller application “pieces” trying to communicate with each other, APIs (your own and those from third parties) are becoming increasingly challenging to secure.

For that reason, organizations should, use a layered security approach that includes security controls such as authentication, authorization, encryption, denial-of-service protection, and ongoing monitoring. This layered approach combines several methods to protect your APIs. While each individual approach within this multi-layered approach covers a specific focus area, the unified effect increases the chances of stopping API breaches. But before presenting some API security best practices, let us introduce the main API security issues that can put your business assets at a risk. Negligence with API security can cause massive repercussions, especially if the application’s user base is too high.

Top security issues in APIs:

  • Broken Object Level Authorization

APIs tend to expose endpoints that handle object identifiers, creating a wide attack surface Level Access Control issue. Object level authorization checks should be considered in every function that accesses a data source using an input from the user.

  • Broken User Authentication

Attackers often compromise authentication tokens or implementation flaws to assume other user’s identities temporarily or permanently due to incorrect implementation of authentication mechanisms. Compromising a system’s ability to identify the client/user, compromises API security overall.

  • Excessive Data Exposure

Looking forward to generic implementations, developers tend to expose all object properties without considering their individual sensitivity, relying on clients to perform the data filtering before displaying it to the user.

  • Lack of Resources & Rate Limiting

In most cases, APIs do not impose any restrictions on the size or number of resources that can be requested by the client/user. This can impact the API server performance, leading to Denial of Service (DoS), and also leave the door open to authentication flaws such as brute force.

  • Insufficient Logging & Monitoring

Insufficient logging and monitoring, coupled with missing or ineffective integration with incident response, allows attackers to further attack systems, maintain persistence, pivot to more systems to tamper with, extract, or destroy data.

As said above, the most critical API risks are data overexposure, lack of resources, no security configuration, insecure user-level authorization, and broken objects. Clearly, it is essential to ensure the security of the API so that application user data remains safe and the application is secure and trustworthy.

Here are eight best practices to ensure APIs are shielded and do not lead to critical security exposures.

1. Identify vulnerabilities

The only way to effectively secure APIs is to know which parts of the API lifecycle are insecure. Of course, that’s easier said than done, especially as the organization’s use of APIs scales. It is important to consider the whole API lifecycle, since APIs need to be considered software artifacts on their own and, as such, must follow a complete lifecycle, including maintenance and retirement.

2. Use strong Authentication and Authorization

Many publicly available APIs have a major issue of zero or insignificant authentication and authorization. Many APIs are the entrance to the database of the organization, so it is essential to strictly control the authentication and authorization so that the database is not exposed. Poor or non-existent authentication and authorization are major issues with many publicly available APIs. For authentication, developers can use a powerful token-based tool known as OAuth. It is a framework that authorizes the information to be shared with a third party without disclosing the user credentials.

3. Identify vulnerabilities in the API

To make an API effective against security threats, it is essential to know which parts of the API cycle are insecure and vulnerable to security risks. It might be pretty challenging to comprehend this, as a software organization might use thousands of APIs at a time. The best way to identify a vulnerability is by rigorous testing. The vulnerabilities must be identified in the initial development phase so that rectifying them becomes comparatively easy and quick.

4. Don’t expose more data than necessary

Some APIs reveal far too much information, whether it’s the volume of extraneous data that’s returned through the API or information that reveals too much about the API endpoint. This typically occurs when an API leaves the task of filtering data to the user interface instead of the endpoint. Ensure that APIs only return as much information as is necessary to fulfill their function. In addition, enforce data access controls at the API level, monitor data, and obfuscate if the response contains confidential data.

5. Encrypt data

This cannot be stated more strongly or more often: All data, especially personally identifiable data, should be encrypted using a method such as Transport Layer Security (TLS). Developers should also require signatures to ensure that only authorized users are decrypting and modifying data.

6. Use an API gateway

API gateways act as the major point of enforcement for API traffic. A good gateway will allow organizations to authenticate traffic, as well as to control and analyze how APIs are used.

7. Adopt a zero-trust philosophy

In the perimeter security model, what’s “inside” is trusted and what’s “outside” is not trusted. The network is not that simple anymore, which is why a zero-trust model makes sense, especially with remote users. With a ZTM, the security focus shifts from location to specific users, assets, and resources.

8. Use Tokens

Access tokens allow an application to access your API. Once the authentication and authorization process is completed, an access token is provided. Tokens enable you to create trusted identities and assign tokens to those identities to control access to the API.

As mentioned before, APIs have become an integral element in creating modern applications, especially for smartphones and modern IoT devices. Since using an API means pulling the information from the outside source to your application, it poses a significant security risk. Too often, APIs are developed with the functionalities in mind, not the security, that’s why organizations must take API protection more seriously and dedicate effort to ensure end-to-end security.

What Are the Main Principles Behind Zero Trust Security?

Nowadays the security modernization should be on the top of mind for most organizations, especially with increasingly complex hybrid environments and the need to support a remote workforce. At the same time, IT budgets are getting reduced in many organizations, and the cost to maintain aging legacy infrastructure continues to grow. To struggle the rising costs, more and more enterprises are turning to cloud-based services with the goal of enabling posture-driven, conditional access and zero-day threat sharing. Large companies need to streamline the security environment with cross-platform automation which provides secure access to applications and data.

As cybersecurity professionals defend increasingly dispersed and complex enterprise networks from sophisticated cyber threats, embracing a Zero Trust security model and the mindset necessary to deploy and operate a system engineered according to Zero Trust principles can better position them to secure sensitive data, systems, and services. As we mentioned in our previous articles, Zero Trust is a security model, a set of system design principles, and a coordinated cybersecurity and system management strategy based on an acknowledgement that threats exist both inside and outside traditional network boundaries.

Principles of Zero Trust security

To be fully effective to minimize risk and enable robust and timely responses, Zero Trust principles and concepts must impregnate most aspects of the network and its operations ecosystem.

  • Comprehensive security monitoring and validation

The Zero Trust security model assumes that a breach is inevitable or has likely already occurred, so it constantly limits access to only what is needed and looks for anomalous or malicious activity. Zero Trust embeds comprehensive security monitoring; granular risk-based access controls; and system security automation in a coordinated manner throughout all aspects of the infrastructure in order to focus on protecting critical assets  in real-time within a dynamic threat environment. This data-centric security model allows the concept of least-privileged access to be applied for every access decision, allowing or denying access to resources based on the combination of several contextual factors.

The philosophy behind a Zero Trust network assumes that there are attackers both within and outside of the network, so no users or machines should be automatically trusted. Zero Trust verifies user identity and privileges as well as device identity and security. Logins and connections time out periodically once established, forcing users and devices to be continuously re-verified.

  • Least privilege

Another principle of zero trust security is least-privilege access. The principle refers to the concept and practice of restricting access rights for any entity (users, accounts, computing processes) where the only resources available are the ones required to perform the authorized activities. The privilege itself refers to the authorization to bypass certain security restraints that would normally prevent the user to use the needed resources. This is extremely important to prevent the risks and damage from cyber-security attacks.

Implementing least privilege involves careful managing of user permissions. VPNs are not well-suited for least-privilege approaches to authorization, as logging in to a VPN gives a user access to the whole connected network.

  • Variety of Preventative Techniques

To prevent breaches and minimize their damage, a variety of preventive techniques are available. Multi-factor authentication is the most common method of confirming user identity. It requires the user to provide at least two forms of evidence to confirm credibility. These may include security questions, SMS or email confirmation, and/or logic-based exercises. The more means required for access, the better the network is secured.

Limiting access for authenticated users is another layer used to gain trust. Each user or device only gains access to the minimal amount of resources required, thus minimizing the potential attack surface of the network at any time.

  • Microsegmentation

Zero Trust networks also utilize microsegmentation. Micro-segmentation is a network security technique that involves separating networks into zones, each of which requires separate network access. For example, a network with files living in a single data center that utilizes microsegmentation may contain dozens of separate, secure zones. A person or program with access to one of those zones will not be able to access any of the other zones without separate authorization.

  • Multi-factor authentication (MFA)

Multifactor authentication (MFA), or strong authentication, is a key component to achieving Zero Trust. It adds a layer of security to access a network, application or database by requiring additional factors to prove the identity of users. MFA combines two or more independent credentials: what the user knows, such as a password; what the user has, such as a security token; and what the user is, by using biometric verification methods.

The goal of MFA is to create a layered defence that makes it more difficult for an unauthorized person to access a target, such as a physical location, computing device, network or database. If one factor is compromised or broken, the attacker still has at least one or more barriers to breach before successfully breaking into the target.

Implementing the five principles of zero trust listed above will enable organizations to take full advantage of this security model. A continuous process model must be followed that cycles though each principle – then it starts over again. The zero-trust model also must continually evolve to accommodate how business processes, goals, technologies and threats change.

For more information about Zero Trust, watch the video below:

Critical Factors to Look For When Choosing a Managed Services Provider

Managed Services does more than just provide the peace of mind that real time systems like cloud computing and private cloud are reducing your operational costs through increased productivity to help achieve your business goals. Partnering with a managed service provider (MSP) to handle your business IT gives you the freedom to focus on your business instead of struggling to keep your IT infrastructure operational, compliant and secure. MSP gives your businesses the flexibility of access to a dedicated and highly skilled IT team without its being an in-house resource. They can manage your cloud demands, and make sure your other key IT infrastructure stays up and running.

However, choosing the wrong MSP can get your organization in serious trouble. You could be locked into an expensive multi-year contract that doesn’t fit your business needs, or even suffer cyberattacks, data loss, and downtime. For these reasons, it’s crucial that you take the MSP vetting process seriously. This article will discuss the most important best practices when choosing your next managed services provider.

1.Availability

The first factor to consider about IT managed services companies is their service availability. They should be able to provide services that are available 24/7. Determining service availability is important. This is because it allows you to ascertain how proficient a service provider can be. With 24/7 IT monitoring, IT managed services companies will be able to administer updates and patches as quickly as possible. Furthermore, this allows them to detect IT issues in a timely manner. When IT issues are detected in time, your provider can rapidly set up methods to troubleshoot them. This guarantees that your business can prevent worse system problems and IT disasters to happen.

2. Technical expertise

Technical expertise has to be the primary consideration when selecting a managed services provider. It doesn’t matter how cheap or responsive the provider is if they don’t have the skills to actually do the work. Look for a provider who understands the technologies your business uses, who has partnerships with leading vendors, and whose team maintains certifications in the products they support.

3. Industry Experience

Your managed service provider should have a real experience working in your industry, that capability is of a great importance for your business. If you run an insurance company, then an IT expert with insurance industry experience will be able to serve you much better than one who has primarily worked with accounting agencies.  Industry experience ensures your managed service provider will be able to foresee potential problems and also anticipate your operational needs.

4. A proven track record.

Experienced, effective managed IT services providers should have an array of clients with whom they have a proven track record of success. Before entering into an agreement with an MSP, look for reviews, references, and testimonials to determine if other businesses are happy with the service.

5. Flexibility

Organisations’ needs change often, so businesses require flexibility. The services and solutions that you avail of today will not be the same as those you will require in five years’ time. Select an MSP that can provide the flexibility to tailor and scale services to the evolving needs of your company and whose contracts allow flexibility without restrictive penalties. This will allow your organisation to choose from the services that add most value at any given time.  

6. Ability to Innovate

Offering the latest services and adopting new technology early on, will ultimately give your business an edge over its competition.  A managed service provider which stays on top of the latest innovations and offers the most advanced options in IT will ensure your company remains contemporary, functional, and relevant.

7. Partner accreditations

Assessing your prospective provider’s partner accreditations will give you a better understanding of the depth of knowledge and expertise they have in specific areas. Checking the length of time they have been accredited with each vendor and the level of accreditation (Platinum, Gold or Silver) will also help you to find out if they have the ability to maintain long-term relationships at a high level.

8. Reputation Look for a managed service provider that has been around long enough to have developed a good reputation. Be sure to check references and speak to some existing clients to hear how well services were delivered, whether contract commitments were met, and how easy the business was to work with.

  • Why Invest in a Managed Service Provider?

Your company stands to gain a great deal from selecting the right managed service provider. With your technology needs in the hands of experienced professionals, you will have more time to focus on what you do best, while your company benefits from the following:

– Reduced risk and security

– Increased efficiency and flexibility

– Improved service and business continuity

– Increased IT security infrastructure

– Improved regulatory compliance

– Increased adaptability to technological innovations

– Fixed-price projects: based on defined scope

Investing in a managed service provider will add an operating expense to your business, and the cost is minimal compared to the benefits. IT managed services companies allow you to focus on the core needs of your company. With best-in-class IT services, you can ensure that your IT infrastructure will remain secure and stable. This allows you to maintain smooth day-to-day business operations.

PATECCO – Professional Managed Services

For over 20 years, PATECCO has been providing expert-level managed IT services for businesses across all industries in Europe and beyond. From Solution implementation and integration to risk assessment, to actionable threat intelligence and incident response, and more, PATECCO offers full-service IT management to help businesses grow and thrive. Our mission is to provide innovative, comprehensive, and practical IT services to help our clients save time and money while meeting their long-term goals.

For more information about PATECCO Managed Services, read the Whitepaper below:

What Is the Difference Between SaaS and Managed Services?

Nowadays organizations of all sizes have various kinds of services available to them in terms of handling any IT-related needs. They are adopting these solutions to beat the costs and hassles of managing their IT systems and using traditional packaged applications. Managed IT services and software-as-a-service (SaaS) enable you to handle complex technical areas without the added cost of upkeep and installation, on-call staff, and software engineering.

However, there are essential differences between these two outsourced models. In this article, we will explain the differences between managed services and SaaS that every organization needs to understand and will provide some tips on which model works best for an organization’s specific needs.

Use of SaaS

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is a service category that allows your company to subscribe and sign in users to an existing software program that operates remotely from your company. In general, SaaS refers to services delivered through the cloud that your company pays for. You and your employees are able to remotely log in and receive the benefits of the program to do tasks such as bookkeeping, payroll, or even research and present reports.

Actually we use software as a service (SaaS) applications every day. Office 365 from Microsoft, for instance, is SaaS, because the company provides it through the cloud and charges firms a subscription fee for the privilege of using it, depending on the number of users. Dropbox is a SaaS application offering online cloud storage services. Adobe Creative Cloud is a SaaS provider offering illustration, design and photo editing tools. Slack, as well, is a SaaS application for business collaboration and communication. Moreover, SaaS applications are off-the-shelf software solutions intended to be implemented and adopted quickly with little to no customization. Despite their many advantages, though, SaaS applications do have their limitations. SaaS applications are one-size-fits-all, download-and-done solutions, meaning there’s little room for customization for one specific account. Plus, most SaaS subscriptions offer minimal support and training to help organizations adopt the software.

Managed Services Vs. SaaS

Managed services are different. While SaaS provides companies with software that they can use over the cloud, managed services go a step further. They often offer additional support by taking care of both networking and hardware requirements. Managed services can also go further than managing software and help businesses on the hardware side too. Managed IT services are IT tasks provided by a third-party vendor to a customer — this can be businesses of all sizes. The managed service provider has the responsibility to maintain the IT operations of the organization that benefits the service.

On the other hand, the software as a service model is a category of cloud computing alongside infrastructure as a service and platform as a service model. The SaaS model involves software distribution in which a third-party vendor hosts, maintains and upgrades applications that are available to customers via the Internet. If an organization has ever utilized any software from the cloud, then it has used SaaS. The software as a service model might be a good fit for businesses that have full commitment to staff their IT infrastructure but need outsourced applications to have cutting edge services and be on the next level. In short, the businesses that will get the most advantage out of SaaS are those that have existing IT infrastructure.

Furthermore, managed IT service providers collaborate with their customers and provide IT expertise and pre-built IT infrastructure. There are also remote IT service providers that fully maintain and control their customers’ IT operations so that these customers will focus on more critical business projects and processes.

  • Security

Managed IT services offer different benefits to keep an organization’s data secure. These benefits include constant remote monitoring and the creation of relevant reports to inform the organization about the state of its system. Another security benefit is risk assessment and correlation analyses to keep a steady overview of the activities of the network.

With SaaS, on the other hand, the customers don’t have complete control over their data since the data is hosted in the cloud. Although a customer has the advantage of accessing SaaS applications anywhere with the use of the Internet, the customer must perform a security review of the application before subscribing, especially when it is deployed on a public cloud.

  • Scalability

By using remote IT services, an organization doesn’t have to worry about switching up approach as it gets bigger because a managed service provider is already setup to do just that seamlessly. They can address day-to-day IT issues, maintain and monitor the network or system, and help an organization plan for future needs when it comes to technology.

When using SaaS, users don’t have to buy another server or software as compared to traditional models. SaaS applications are scalable by enabling an organization to choose the delivery model and changing it when the requirements of the business change. With SaaS, it is easier to turn on an additional set of components, integrate to other systems, and get new application users.

  • Stability And Predictability

One of the most essential things that managed IT services offer is their stability. Unlike the break/fix model where an IT professional is only available when there is an issue, managed IT service providers have a 24/7 availability and prevent all issues from happening. This also includes weekends, holidays, and in the middle of the night, so kind of IT support provides and ensures a superior level of productivity for the availing organization, regardless of the time and date.

In the SaaS model, on the other hand, data portability can be the problem. The situation can become unpredictable and unstable. What happens to an organization’s data stored in the cloud if the SaaS providers go bankrupt? Unfortunately, this is one of the risks an organization needs to take when opting for a SaaS solution.

What kind of service do you need?

Every company needs a variety of IT related services. If your primary needs center around straightforward functions like payroll or simple accounting, SaaS is probably a good fit for you. One of the primary reasons why SaaS is popular among companies is that it provides a low-cost alternative to conventional, in-house solutions. Through this service, your business is free to scale up or down and implement new products without investing too much on expensive processes.

A managed service provider comes at a higher price, but you still get your money’s worth because they provide a more comprehensive solution. Managed IT companies allow you to enjoy the advantages of SaaS while helping you with better integration, upgrades, and maintenance.

As final thoughts we could say that the choice between the two IT solutions depends on your business needs. There are companies that require basic software delivered via the cloud to perform a specific function. In this case, SaaS is the most ideal option. For businesses that need to integrate their systems and monitor networks, getting managed IT services is the best way to go. Whatever option you go for, always think about how important the software required is to your company.