Protecting Your Vault: Safeguard your Data Center with an IAM Solution

At most enterprises, data centers are a repository of information contained within a network of servers from where data is transmitted to other touch points for processing. While these data centers could be cloud-based or on-premise, the security of such business-critical data is of paramount importance.

There could be several vulnerabilities in your network in the form of entry points that seem like they can be ignored. While there are several measures you can implement to physically secure your data center, it takes a lot more to secure remote or even on-premise servers from virtual attacks. An effective data center security solution will allow you to intuitively monitor all the entry points for possible attacks and ensure that you are protected against any breach.

One major part of the solution is the implementation of an Identity and Access Management (IAM) solution as part of your security system.

Staying Protected Online using an Identity and Access Management Solution

The two biggest focus areas for any security solution are authentication and authorization. Although there are overlaps in the usage of the two terms, there are distinct in the way they allow access of data.

Authentication determines if the user trying to enter a system is in fact who he/she is claiming to be, while authorization determines whether the user has the permission to access the data or application that he/she is attempting to access.

A comprehensive IAM solution should be able to intelligently allow you to do both by acting as the Identity Provider (IdP) for your cloud, on-premise or hybrid network and interact with the servers in the data centers to check for authentication and authorization using advanced, yet easy to implement, system architectures.

The Akku Solution

CloudNow’s Akku is an enterprise-grade IAM solution that plays this role perfectly using its custom SAML to provide a robust Single Sign-on (SSO) solution, or to integrate with an SSO solution already in place for your other applications. As an IdP, Akku communicates with the server at the time of login to carry out authentication and validate authorization.

By using a high-end security solution, you can effectively control access to your network and data center and reduce the number of resources dedicated to data center security.

Akku also removes any need for any middleware which could otherwise complicate or even corrupt the security system.

The implementation of an efficient and cost-effective security solution like Akku can go a long way in allowing you to focus on improving the operational efficiency of your organization instead of being caught up with the security threats to your data.

Secure and Easy User Management: SCIM through the Fundamentals

What is SCIM?

The System for Cross-domain Identity Management (SCIM) is an open standard specification, designed to make user management easy. It essentially allows admins of cloud and on-premise networks to move users in and out of their systems quickly and easily. The system builds on inputs from existing user management schemas and allows the integration of powerful authentication models. It uses a common user schema in coordination with an extension model which allows for seamless migration of user data between different nodes of the system.

SCIM transmits user data between identity providers (like Akku by CloudNow) and service providers (SaaS applications) using a secure protocol. When this is used in conjunction with a robust authorization system, it gives rise to a powerful identity and access management solution. If not for SCIM, the IT departments of every organization would have to dedicate time and resource to managing access control, instead of simply automating the process.

How does SCIM help in Creating a Powerful Identity and Access Management Solution?

Like we mentioned earlier, SCIM enables the communication between the identity provider and an enterprise SaaS application which needs user information to process, create, modify or remove users from accessing a network. SCIM is built using REST and JSON to define and establish the roles of the client and server – in this case, the identity provider acts as the client and the SaaS application acts as the server.

Identity providers like Akku contain a directory of user identities which is normally extracted by the server. In most cases, the server can extract information from directories other than the identity providers as well. But migrating the data to an identity provider can significantly improve the security of the user management system. When the client or identity provider makes changes to any user information, it immediately reflects in the server or SaaS application by using the SCIM protocol. With SCIM, you can create, replace, delete, search and update user information.

The client or identity provider can also view the data present on the server and record any mismatches. If irregularities between the client and server are not immediately noticed and rectified, it could lead to a potential security breach.

How can Akku help you?

With organizations moving their operations to the cloud at breakneck speeds, the need to streamline and implement a Single Sign-on solution is constantly rising. Akku is one of the best Identity and Access Management Solutions available in the market, allowing you to integrate with third party applications as well as our own suite, to take your identity and user management efforts to the next level. This simplifies the work of your organization’s cloud or on-premise network administrators to grant access to several users and applications. For your users, this means remembering only one set of credentials for several applications.

Speak to us to see how Akku’s Single Sign-on can help you manage your users more efficiently.

How an Identity and Access Management Solution Can Help Your Data Driven Business

Cloud technology has broken several operational barriers to make remote data access easy. It allows you to scale your business with minimal cost while securely holding business-critical data and applications. But with all these advantages comes a catch – managing personnel access for all the applications and files in your network has become increasingly cumbersome.

Why does your organization need an Identity and Access Management Solution?

Managing the credentials of all your employees across all the verticals of even a small to mid sized organization is time-consuming. It can drain the productivity of your company’s Human Resource and IT management teams. They are valuable resources who could otherwise focus on their core competencies to help you grow your business.

In addition to this, securing your network from breaches and other threats can be challenging with so many people accessing your cloud from various devices and locations. If your network is compromised, all your critical business data is compromised along with it.

This is where an Identity and Access Management (IAM) solution can come in handy. It allows you to seamlessly manage access while protecting your cloud network from breaches.

Building blocks of an IAM solution

A strong Single Sign-on (SSO) function is at the heart of an IAM solution. The first step in implementing an SSO is to determine and streamline the role of the identity provider (IdP). The IdP is responsible for bringing all the applications and data on your cloud network to a centralized platform. From this platform, access and identity services are managed through a customized Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML). When a high end, customizable SAML is integrated with your enterprise cloud network, it can result in a secure Single Sign-on solution.

With a cloud SSO setup, you can provide each member of your organization with single login credentials for any or all the applications in your cloud network. With your own powerful Identity Provider, you can redirect all access authentications to a safe and fast network. With this setup in place, it is possible to consolidate a single node in your network to control access to your entire organization’s cloud network.

Features of an IAM System

With an efficient Identity and Access Management system, you can accomplish so much more than just rudimentary monitoring of your cloud network. It will come with a well rounded set of features which allows you to control your cloud in a convenient platform. If your network is fitted with a powerful cloud IAM solution, it will automatically come with provisions in place to handle password standardization and multi-factor authentication frameworks.

Single Sign-on

Allocating a single set of credentials for your employees to access relevant data and applications is made easy by implementing an SSO solution for your cloud network. As the admin of your network, it also becomes simple for you to handle access operations in a single dashboard. In addition to this, if the need arises for a user to be removed, it can be done in a few short steps instead of removing access individually for all your applications. When all of this comes together seamlessly, it results in improved productivity across your organization.

Multi-factor Authentication

Sometimes, in spite of the password protection measures you have implemented to secure your cloud, you might feel the need to bring in an additional layer of security to protect all your critical business applications. When that need arises, a well structured IAM solution allows you to keep in place, a multi-factor authentication system. It ensures that your system is insulated against remote attacks and prevents unauthorized access from getting a foothold in your secure network. This will enable you to extract data from TOTPs, thumbprint scanners or even Yubikeys and verify the users accessing your cloud network.

Password Policy Enforcement

Another challenge faced while trying to secure a cloud network is the varying standards of all the passwords of all the users who access it. The difference in standards can make breaches easier to happen and there rises a need for standardization of all the password credentials issued to the users of your cloud. But with an IAM solution, you can set the minimum standard required to set a password. With an effective password policy enforcement, you can rest assured that all your critical data is protected irrespective of the number of service providers you are associated with. It consolidates all the applications on your network under a single identity and verifies that all the passwords required to access your network comply with PCI and ISO/IECt standards.

Securing your cloud with an effective Identity and Access Management solution can empower you to control identity and access across your cloud environment. In addition to this, an IAM solution helps you improve data security, privacy, standards compliance, and productivity.

What is an IAM ?

Identity and Access Management (or IAM) solutions – also known as Identity Management (IdM) solutions – form a critical component of an enterprise’s IT security. And when used with cloud-based applications, they form part of a powerful cloud security set up too.

In simple terms, an IAM helps to control which users can access what data, as well as from where and when this access is permitted.

So how does an IAM work?

In any Identity and Access Management solution, one of the core concepts at play is that of an Identity Provider (IdP). The IdP brings all of the enterprise’s cloud-based application on to a common platform from where identity information can be managed and authentication services provided through the use of a Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML).

Through this process, it becomes possible to establish a single point of control across all of an organization’s cloud applications, and to provide a single point of access to all users, in the form of a Single Sign-on (SSO) – one of the fundamental functionalities of an IAM.

What features do IAMs offer?

Most IAMs offer some or all of the following features:

Single Sign-on

Enables administrators to provide each user with a single login to access any or all of the local and cloud applications used by the organization.

Multi-factor Authentication

Provides a powerful additional layer of access protection through a TOTP or other methods.

Password Policy Enforcement

Enables enforcement of a custom password policy across the organization, to comply with statutory (or the company’s own) security standards.

Is Akku an Identity and Access Management solution?

Akku is indeed an IAM solution, but it’s also so much more. It brings to the table all the security and access restrictions that a standard Identity and Access Management solution has to offer, along with several additional features to boost security and productivity across your cloud environment:

   1) IP- and Device-based Restriction
   2) Personal Email Blocking
   3) YouTube Filtering
   4) Website Filtering

Do visit the main website for more information on Akku’s powerful value proposition, and to see how Akku can help you control your cloud.