In 2020, the pandemic had a major impact on security and cyberattacks. The year saw the highest number of data breaches and cyberattacks in decades. In India alone, more than 1.1 million cyberattacks were reported in 2020, almost three times the number reported in 2019.
The new norm of work-from-home, paired with the Great Resignation, made cybersecurity even more challenging for enterprises. There was a steep increase in staff turnover and that came with access and privilege requests – all to be administered remotely.
On-prem IAM solution
The traditional, on-premises model for cybersecurity was to implement a solution like Active Directory (AD). This identity and access management solution helped to regulate device and user authorization through password policies and account privilege policies.
Many organizations (approximately 90% of the Global Fortune 1000 companies, says Frost & Sullivan) for identity and access management. Active Directory works on the enterprise network to manage the organization’s devices based on company policies for software and content access, password creation and maintenance, and other security requirements.
It pushes these enterprise policies securely to all network devices. It offers several advantages, primarily control and fast access to information. However, implementation of AD infrastructure in an organization requires proper planning and investment, and that can prove expensive depending on how many systems are being managed. AD depends on the office network and is located in the server room on the office premises.
Working remotely with AD
When using an on-prem IAM solution like Active Directory (AD), users sign on to the single AD portal to access their data and applications. The only way to sign on to AD is via the organization network.
During the pandemic, enterprises suddenly moved to remote working – rendering the on-prem solution useless. Suddenly, users needed to log on to their network from a remote location, through a VPN. The investment in multiple VPN licenses would result in a huge expense, while free or open-source VPNs could lead to security vulnerabilities themselves! This also created an additional step in the log-in/access process.
In addition, since the AD infrastructure depends on the office network and is entirely located in the company’s server rooms, it requires on-premises monitoring and maintenance by at least two trained technicians.
Microsoft understood that these problems could be faced by pandemic-stricken users of AD, and recommends that in such cases, Azure AD (the cloud version of Active Directory) may be used. However, Azure AD is associated with high initial CAPEX and ongoing maintenance costs and requires training for the technicians to be able to manage it.
These expenses are hard to justify, for businesses that had already invested in AD – typically, AD costs a significant amount of time and money. Some small and medium businesses simply could not afford the fresh costs, and instead looked for workarounds that potentially resulted in new vulnerabilities.
So are your only options expense, operational difficulties, or potentially vulnerable workarounds?
Opt for customized IDaaS
With a custom IDaaS (Identity as a service) solution, you gain the flexibility and usability of Azure AD, at a cost that suits your needs. Service providers like Akku offer complete automation of the identity and access management function, on any device accessing enterprise assets, from anywhere.
On-prem is old-school; the future is the cloud. Consider a cloud-native IAM solution like Akku, that’s completely customizable to your requirements. It’s more cost-effective and hassle-free. Contact our team to learn more.