You already know that moving enterprise applications to the cloud can help your organization cut information technology (IT) costs and improve responsiveness. Along with the usual security concerns, however, another issue is how to secure and monitor user entitlements and access activities within the cloud environment, especially privileged accounts.

Privileged identity management (PIM) is one security component you won’t want to overlook when designing and implementing your own cloud infrastructure. Cloud computing requires a delicate balance between the desire to share online resources with multiple user populations and the need to protect those resources from unauthorized access, data leakage and other exposures. When those users have the elevated access powers of the typical system administrator or other privileged account, the security risk is even higher. It just takes one malicious or careless privileged insider to take over your enterprise or steal precious data. To reduce the risk of these insider threats, you must be able to control, monitor and report on who is accessing sensitive resources within the cloud and for what purpose.

Cloud workloads such as infrastructure-, platform- or software-as-a-service make it difficult to manage an exploding set of system administrators whether they are employed by your organization, the cloud provider or an outsourced third party. Distributed workloads require more stringent and robust security controls. Privileged identity management solutions can manage and control privileged account access to critical cloud resources by your organization’s employees and/or personnel who work for cloud providers. If you don’t implement a PIM solution up front, you’ll find it very difficult and complex to manage privileged user passwords and access activities within your cloud environment. Remember, you not only have to manage the privileged accounts of your own organization but also those of every partner and cloud provider that has access to your IT infrastructure and/or hosts your sensitive data.

Privileged Identity Management and Insider Threats

Not only do PIM solutions help mitigate security risk in cloud environments and boost your compliance initiatives, but they can also help reduce insider threats by highlighting unusual and/or inappropriate behaviors of on-premise privileged users as well. If you already have a PIM solution in place to manage your on-premise infrastructures, you may want to see whether it can help secure your cloud workloads and hosted data, as well. With the additional foresight and protection provided by your PIM solution, you can maintain effective security controls and thwart malicious insiders across your virtual environment.

Regardless of which applications or information you decide to move to the cloud, a solid identity and access management (IAM) solution can lead the way. Implementing strong PIM capabilities will enable your firm to protect sensitive assets while complying with industry regulations for privacy and security within a cloud infrastructure.

IAM offers tangible benefits for improved user productivity while reducing the risk of security breaches. A scalable, standards-based IAM solution can encompass both cloud and traditional computing environments so you do not have to manage two sets of credentials, which improves efficiency and saves money.

More from Cloud Security

The Importance of Modern-Day Data Security Platforms

Data is the backbone of businesses and companies everywhere. Data can range from intellectual property to critical business plans to personal health information or even money itself. At the end of the day, businesses are looking to grow revenue, innovate, and operationalize but to do that, they must ensure that they leverage their data first because of how important and valuable it is to their organization. No matter the industry, the need to protect sensitive and personal data should be…

Cybersecurity in the Next-Generation Space Age, Pt. 4: New Space Future Development and Challenges

View Part 1, Introduction to New Space, Part 2, Cybersecurity Threats in New Space, and Part 3, Securing the New Space, in this series. After the previous three parts of this series, we ascertain that the technological evolution of New Space ventures expanded the threats that targeted the space system components. These threats could be countered by various cybersecurity measures. However, the New Space has brought about a significant shift in the industry. This wave of innovation is reshaping the future…

Backdoor Deployment and Ransomware: Top Threats Identified in X-Force Threat Intelligence Index 2023

Deployment of backdoors was the number one action on objective taken by threat actors last year, according to the 2023 IBM Security X-Force Threat Intelligence Index — a comprehensive analysis of our research data collected throughout the year. Backdoor access is now among the hottest commodities on the dark web and can sell for thousands of dollars, compared to credit card data — which can go for as low as $10. On the dark web — a veritable eBay for…

How Posture Management Prevents Catastrophic Cloud Breaches

We've all heard about catastrophic cloud breaches. But for every cyberattack reported in the news, many more may never reach the public eye. Perhaps worst of all, a large number of the offending vulnerabilities might have been avoided entirely through proper cloud configuration. Many big cloud security catastrophes often result from what appear to be tiny lapses. For example, the famous 2019 Capital One breach was traced to a misconfigured application firewall. Could a proper configuration have prevented that breach?…