Clouds and hybrid infrastructure each have a significant security risk. This includes, for example, the remote maintenance interface or shared resources. At first glance, the best way to protect corporate content seems to be to isolate the cloud environment and minimize the potential for surface attacks. However, against the background of targeted digital networks from the value chain, this solution is not practical.
The challenge for management and IT is the best way to overcome the challenge of "security in the cloud with special special access requirements". First, the definition: A user with expanded access rights has access to critical business processes and confidential areas of the IT infrastructure using his login data. Users who are given privileges can be system administrators in IT departments, senior executives, external service providers, suppliers, developers, or even applications (such as cloud-based control systems or IoT devices).
Secure remote access
Next, different aspects of privileged access need to be considered. It is the nature of the cloud to allow remote access to main content, regardless of whether the user is in a corporate office or is in a remote location. The number of people who need special access to their daily work can be any number. However, this also generates a large number of new security vulnerabilities arbitrarily.
But granting access rights creates a new security risk every time a user login and password is lost, stolen (identity theft), or shared without consideration. Identity theft - spy access data - is now the most widely used method by cybercriminals, because successful password theft opens "legal" access directly to the internal network.
Ensure multi-client capabilities
The migration to the cloud requires a cloud service provider (CSP). This CSP hosts data for - maybe - hundreds of customers accessing the same resource. They all have privileged access to their own cloud infrastructure access. Of course, this multi-tenant environment has increased vulnerability. Like residents of apartment blocks, all customers must enter the same building but remain isolated from their own private homes. The separation between the tenant and the key for each unit must be healthy to prevent accidental or dangerous security breaches. Taking care of this is the responsibility of the homeowner. If a single tenant wants additional security measures, he is free to install it independently - or not.
Although CSP has its own security measures, it doesn't have to apply to customers, which can make using shared cloud resources a high risk. As a multi-tenancy cloud service provider, it is imperative for companies migrating to the cloud to add an access control layer.
The development team increases security risks
But it is not only human access that is potentially dangerous. Also, interactions between applications must be considered. Likewise DevOps who is responsible for the development of Team software is a special challenge for IT security. While many solutions, such as Puppet, Ansible Tower, Octopus, or RapidDeploy, aim to assist the DevOps team in creating and deploying applications and code in the cloud, most of which hand over security to developers. Many cloud or hybrid features run in unattended mode, open applications, and forward data between the cloud and local applications via scripts. It's simple and very efficient, because it ensures the work goes according to need. On the other hand, it increases security risks in many cases.
To function more efficiently, DevOps developers often program static passwords into scripts. So anyone can see the password that gets access to the script. These are often all accounts or access rights that allow broad access to data and resources across the network. To maximize security, DevOps developers need a solution that replaces static passwords in scripts with dynamic processes without having a negative impact on productivity
PAM for secure cloud infrastructure
These three examples illustrate the risks associated with privileged access in cloud and hybrid environments. To fulfill them as efficiently as possible, IT managers must deal with Privileged Access Management (PAM) solutions. The PAM solution provides an efficient, secure and, most importantly, streamlined method for authenticating, authorizing, actively monitoring and auditing all privileged users for all relevant systems - both on location and in the cloud. This technology protects against abuse of privileged access.
The sophisticated PAM system provides a centralized management console that enables fast and efficient management of all users in different systems, including and especially in hybrid cloud environments. By definition, a PAM solution enables the IT security team to grant, revoke, and define privileges. This is important because, among many other things, many organizations often face personnel changes, changing responsibilities or external service providers who need privileged access to the system. The centralized management console also provides easy systems, access and password management in complex hybrid and multi-tenant environments.
Centralized access management and secure password management
Required access rights are given exclusively for their respective duties. After the task is completed or the set time limit has been reached, the user who is given access rights is automatically revoked. Forgotten or inactive user accounts can no longer be misused. A centralized password management system eliminates the need for users to have their respective credentials on a sensitive system. This makes identity theft even more difficult. Passwords can be generated automatically and thus reach an arbitrary high level of complexity. Password and key rotation and fully automatic password changes after each session further enhance system security. Single sign-on system. This also increases the difficulty of identity theft.
As mentioned before, DevOps developers who don't have a PAM solution often enter their passwords directly into their scripts. Although this allows for easy and unattended completion of work, this poses a huge security risk. The ideal solution to this problem consists of two components: secure password security and application-to-application password management (AAPM) for encrypting passwords between cloud Application authentication. AAPM unlocks the safe deposit box to retrieve the correct password that will be given to the script during this process. With AAPM, static credentials no longer need to be firmly embedded in scripts, further reducing security risks.
Audit & Oversight
Privileged Access Management provides a complete audit and cannot be changed for each special session. The IT security team can track, monitor and evaluate all activities of all users who have privileges. Good for training purposes, in response to certain security interruptions or incidents, audit capabilities are a valuable part of the PAM solution. The IT security team can use complete and marked video footage - either retrospectively or in real time - to understand what each privileged user is doing and, if necessary, immediately terminate the session. The legal aspect is also important here: compliance with legal requirements is a must for every organization. Cloud or hybrid systems make meeting cyber security standards complex. The PAM solution makes compliance easy. They respond to important aspects of government or industry IT security regulations and provide evidence of compliance for audit purposes.
Therefore, every business, whether working in local IT, in the cloud or in a hybrid environment, must consider a PAM solution. For those who have just begun their migration to the cloud, PAM is the first step in a careful transition. For those who already work in the cloud, the right PAM solution will help solve many of the ongoing security and access management challenges. The centralized management console provides a single point of control for all resources, whether it works with existing systems, in a cloud-based environment only, or in hybrid infrastructure that mixes old and new. To provide privileged administrator access to sensitive resources, to monitor and attract, simplify, ensure and be centralized. This increases IT productivity and efficiency without reducing organizational security.