For a growing number of organizations, a combination of public cloud services, private clouds, and on-premises infrastructure offers the best solution to the limitations of different architectures.
Additionally, emerging technologies such as virtualization and edge computing are driving cloud adoption. Companies choose to design solutions that meet their business objectives, which often include an agile hybrid cloud model.
Hybrid Cloud Security Challenges
As more businesses embrace public cloud services and complement them with private cloud capabilities, their IT environments become more complex to manage and secure. There are more access points to secure and more security maintenance to perform.
A hybrid cloud environment offers choice and flexibility, but it also demands more from IT. Organizational risk is increased and needs become more complex, making visibility and control critical to security. Without complete visibility and control, security vulnerabilities are likely to develop.
It also shifts some of the security responsibilities. Control of security, infrastructure and virtualization shifts to cloud providers, leaving vulnerabilities. Traditional vendor tools designed specifically for the private cloud may not extend to the public cloud.
Instead, organizations need a clearly defined shared responsibility model to manage threats appropriately. Without this, neither the provider nor its users understand exactly what their own security obligations are and which cloud providers are, leaving significant gaps.
With the increased security risks of the hybrid cloud, including financial or reputational damage, compliance is essential. However, the complexity of the hybrid cloud makes it extremely difficult to establish and maintain effective compliance protocols. Each component must be compliant on its own, as well as within a unified system.
Using Privileged Access Management for Hybrid Cloud Security
Privileged Access Management (PAM) solutions specifically designed for on-premises environments are generally insufficient in hybrid cloud and multi-cloud environments, and the use of a combination of legacy tools and vendor solutions multiple vendors creates vulnerabilities in a dynamic environment like the cloud. Diverse and distributed environments are more difficult to manage and secure, and each component has different risk profiles.
PAM-as-a-service emerged as a preferable alternative where the provider manages the cloud environment where the software resides, ensuring that it is secure, up-to-date, and up-to-date.
Modern PAM also enforces the principle of least privilege, whereby users are granted only the minimum levels of access required for their tasks, and only for as long as necessary. Instead of providing any user with full access to the network, least privilege ensures that users receive just enough access, just in time. Then, whether they act on their own or have been compromised by a hacker, they cannot access more assets with the account.
If a user needs more privileges to run certain applications or commands, those privileges can be elevated with proper monitoring and control. When the job is done, PAM automatically revokes access and logs off the session so that there are no permanent privileges open to exploit.
It also helps maintain consistency of security policies regarding access, privileges, and multi-factor authentication across operating systems, users, and locations.
A modern PAM solution provides a consistent security framework that can handle many moving components. This solution is designed for hybrid clouds and offers broad access controls with the ability to grant privileges to user endpoints, as needed and for a limited time.
Why is WFP effective?
Historically, humans are a high risk and a priority target when it comes to security. This can be from privileged users abusing their level of access or from external attackers stealing credentials and abusing privileges. PAM ensures that all team members have only enough access to do their jobs effectively, but without simply throwing up roadblocks at all times. It also enables security teams to identify suspicious or malicious activity and take prompt action to mitigate its effects.
Systems must connect and communicate with each other to work together effectively. In the cloud, a number of machines and applications requiring privileged access expose vulnerabilities that are difficult to manage. A strong PAM policy considers privileges no matter where they occur, whether they are on-premises or in a hybrid environment.
Endpoints typically have privileges by default to allow IT teams to resolve issues quickly, but this comes with risks. Attackers can target endpoints, browse workstations, elevate privileges, etc., to ultimately find what they are looking for. PAM ensures that local administrative rights are removed at endpoints, reducing overall risk.
PAM is also needed to ensure compliance. Unmanaged, unmonitored, and unprotected privileged access carries the greatest risk. PAM can be used as part of a comprehensive security strategy to monitor and log all activity that could impact sensitive information, simplifying audits and compliance.
Take control of hybrid cloud security with PAM
Hybrid cloud offers a flexible, multi-faceted solution that combines the best of private and public cloud, but comes with specialized security risks and protocols. Outsourcing PAM-as-a-service to experts increases the chances that your security needs will be met now and as your business scales, addressing the unique challenges that come with cloud flexibility.