From Ground to Cloud: Identity and Access Management for SaaS - Ascent Conference

From Ground to Cloud: Identity and Access Management for SaaS

As businesses of various sizes migrate their processes to the cloud, identity and access management (IAM) has become a greater necessity, especially since more access credentials to more applications are needed. IAM is so important that there’s an awareness day every year dedicated to it.

In today’s business landscape, a good IAM solution should be:

  • Able to give business leaders good visibility on who has access to all data;
  • Flexible enough to keep up with your business as it scales;
  • An efficient system that enables you to adhere to security regulations.

But as powerful as IAM can be, it doesn’t come without challenges.

In this blog, we’ll delve deeper into some of the challenges in IAM encountered by hybrid teams in the past two years, as well as the tools you can use for boosting your IAM systems in your company.

Challenges in IAM

Here are the top IAM hurdles faced by companies, especially at this time of hybrid work, and some solutions on how to overcome them:

  1. Password Fatigue

Every application used within any user framework requires specific access information, such as passwords or URLs, that may change every time a user attempts to log in. With so many of these that have to be taken note of and managed constantly, it can result in “password fatigue” among users. Consequently, these users may create generic, easily decipherable passwords that attackers can decode from a mile away.

The solution? Implementing a uniform sign-on information system that enables users within your organization to access applications through a single username and password. This allows teams in your organization to access applications your company uses, both in the cloud and on the ground.

  1. Compliance Visibility

A quick question for business leaders out there: when was the last time you checked who had access to your applications and data?

According to Verizon’s 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report, privilege abuse is the leading cause of breaches, accounting for roughly 75% of the responses. It is distantly followed by data mishandling, with 20% citing it as the top cause. These figures tell us a lot about how the same credentials used for supposedly accessing applications can be the same ones used for initiating a breach through inside attacks.

So what can businesses do to keep these from happening? Have an IAM solution in place that enables you to control and oversee from a central point so that you could generate compliance reports more efficiently and improve your visibility across all of your systems.

  1. Changes Brought by Remote Work 

Your teams working from different locations also mean a higher level of security risk across the networks they’re in. Not to mention the increased amount of access information for the other devices they’ll use to get through applications—you would need a sturdy IAM platform in place. While this is currently a challenge for most IAM systems, ideally, the platform you’ll use is able to provide your organization with seamless and secure access across different locations and devices at any given time.

Recommended IAM Platforms

We’ve listed down some of the top IAM tools to ensure that your applications, data, and the entire network is protected, whatever your current work setup is:

  • Microsoft – The tech giant’s Azure IAM platform features third-party app integrations for various services, such as CRM, ERP, cloud storage, and management and collaboration tools.
  • Okta – Considered a pioneer in the IAM space and a leading identity provider for enterprises, Okta is suitable for cloud and hybrid work environments. It also features the Okta Access Gateway, enabling access to on-premise applications without needing a remote access VPN connection.
  • Ping Identity – This IAM platform offers a wide range of packages for businesses that want to use IAM services internally for their teams or externally for their customers. Their tailor-made systems make the platform extremely useful for companies with specific IAM requirements.
  • OneLogin Workforce Identity – OneLogin uses AI quite wisely—they used it in their SmartFactor Authentication mechanism, which utilizes a Vigilant AI Threat Engine that scans all internal and third-party sources to detect possible threats at the authentication phase.

Identify, Verify, Secure

Regularly keeping your identity and access management systems in check ensures that all facets of your business are secure and adaptive to a rapidly changing threat environment. As you scale, your IAM systems should get stronger, too, so that you can stay on track with your goals without compromising the integrity of your data, applications, and day-to-day operations.

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