Protect your Business from Privilege Abuse with IAM

Privilege abuse – that is the security threat that your business’s IT team is most worried about. According to a survey conducted in March 2014 among more than 4000 IT security executives, over 88% of them fear that users who have access to the organization’s applications and data are the ones who are most likely to compromise it and lead to a security breach.

Privilege abuse, or privileged user abuse, refers to the inappropriate or fraudulent use of permitted access to applications and data. This could be done, either maliciously, accidentally or through ignorance of policies. In addition to causing financial losses, such insider breaches also damage the organization’s reputation, sometimes irreparably.

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The IAM Imperative: Through An SMB’s Eyes

Today’s MNCs were once small or medium businesses (SMBs). Small and medium businesses are the proving ground for emerging technology, as they have tight budgets and require specific, targeted functionality that suits their style and processes. Once products and solutions pass this litmus test, they start becoming more mainstream, being absorbed more widely by companies and consumers.

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Password Managers can be Hacked. Now What?

On average, every person has 7.6 accounts – that’s a lot of user IDs and passwords for an individual! Remembering the user ID and password for all these accounts is obviously very cumbersome, and third party service providers have capitalized on this to provide password management services. A password manager is essentially a single repository for all your credentials. Two very popular password managers are LastPass and Dashlane. These are applications which will store your credentials in a “secure” database. However, they haven’t been spared by hackers, who breached their security to get access to thousands of user credentials.

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Can you Trust the Agent on your Active Directory?

If a company works with very few applications, user repositories would have to be mapped individually for each application. Every new user needs to be validated with each individual user directories to be able to access the respective protected application. This means that the same user has to log in separately every time he/she wants to use each application on the network. The inefficiency of this model was reduced greatly with the advent of Active Directory and LDAP.

A significant number of identity and access management solutions have the need to work with Active Directory as the repository of user information against which access is verified. Active Directory generally controls user identity and access permissions to everything from files, networks, and servers, to on-premise and cloud applications. However, integrating an Active Directory or LDAP with on-premise and cloud applications require third-party agents to be installed on your network.

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IAM using SSO and Federated Identity Management

Identity management encompasses several operational mechanisms for managing users across a large system or network of applications. Two of the most prominent of those are Single Sign-on (SSO) and Federated Identity Management. Due to its evolving nature, identity and access management has several terms thrown around ambiguously. Even among developers, major differences are often missed while talking about federated identity and SSO. In this article, we aim to break down the difference between the two.

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Cloud Security 101: Identity and Access Management

An Identity and Access Management (IAM) solution allows organizations to manage user access to critical data. It is an intermediate layer between your users and your applications/data.

Deploying an IAM solution a proven way to improve network security in an organization. A good IAM solution should also reduce the time spent by your IT team to grant access for individual applications, thereby improving architectural simplicity and reducing the load on your servers. This also means that your users have to remember only one set of credentials to access several applications in your on-premise or cloud network.

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Does your IAM solution really need an Agent?

Most IAM tools utilize browser extensions or applications installed on the end-user’s machine, or on an Active Directory, for access to identity. But why?! A user can be identified even without an agent – so having an so-called ‘lightweight agent’ sitting in your Active Directory itself is not the most secure way to manage user identity.

Whenever you create a dependency to achieve a particular solution, it is important to ensure the solution is 100% secure and that applies for the dependencies (Agents) too. This could make the architecture slightly complicated, depending on how it works.


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Is Your Data Secure? No…

As per a survey by Forrester Research (Forrester Consulting Thought Leadership Paper, February 2017), in the last 4 years, out of every three organizations, two have had an average of at least 5 breaches. There are nearly 6 billion data records that were stolen and lost in the past 10 years. According to www.breachlevelindex.com, an average of 165,000 records are compromised every hour. According to this article published on www.csoonline.com, global cybercrime related damage is expected to exceed US$ 6 trillion annually by the year 2021.

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