Government Entities and their Move to the Cloud

Governments across the globe rely increasingly on technology today to serve their citizens better. But with the rapid evolution of technology, it is often a struggle for the different departments of government to keep up. This happens due to insufficient funds, security concerns or simply a lack of motivation to meticulously plan and implement the move.

Of these, security is the most critical consideration, since government agencies and departments are possibly the first line of defense against any cyber attack. This is especially true when it comes to government entities wanting to migrate their operations to the cloud.

Cloud Security Concerns

The United States of America has been one of the first few countries to understand the advantages and scalability that cloud computing offers and has already migrated over half of its government operations to the cloud. But what is holding back ALL governments from fully embracing the cloud? And what can be done about it?

When a cloud network is accessed remotely, the security measures kept in place at the end user’s system determines the security strength of the entire cloud network. This means that governments have to not only have iron-clad security for their data stored in the cloud but also ensure that individual devices which access the network have equally strong security protocols in place.

Solution 1: Identity and Access Management

One way to go about resolving the issue would be to decrease the complexity involved with cloud access and operations. Usually, when there are several applications hosted on the cloud, its users are required to remember several sets of credentials to access them. This leads to setting of simple passwords, which in turn leads to an easy to hack security. An Identity and Access Management or IAM solution can be deployed across the cloud network so that the users need to remember only a single set of credentials for all the applications they are authorized to use.

Another advantage of protecting your network with an IAM solution is that in case the device gets stolen or lost, it is easy to remotely delete an account, making it almost impossible for an outsider to enter your network.

Solution 2: Device and IP based Restriction

A security solution which comes with provisions for device and IP based restriction allows only access to a cloud network only from whitelisted devices and IP addresses. Any attempt to access the network from an IP address or a device that has not been explicitly whitelisted is simply rejected, and the admin of the network is notified. This serves to identify potential breach attempts, based on which improvements to cloud security measures may also be taken up.

Solution 3: Password Policy Enforcement

A cloud network’s security is only as strong as its weakest password. If a cloud network does not have a Single Sign-on solution in place, it means that every user has to remember as many passwords as the number of applications he/she is allowed to access in the cloud network. This means that for the ease of remembering the passwords, users tend to set weak and easy to hack passwords. Implementing a strong password policy will ensure that all the passwords used to access a cloud network comply with a specified minimum standard.

Cloud security solutions come in several architectures and platforms. But when it comes to critical data of a nation’s citizens, and the systems used to access that data, only the best solution is safe enough.

Akku from CloudNow is one such identity and access management solution which secures your cloud network from vulnerabilities and delivers on all the solutions described above. Get in touch with us to know more.  

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.

What should you expect from a good IAM solution?

Streamlined User Access

An effective IAM solution should greatly reduce hassle by providing a slick and time efficient method to validate users. It should be able to do this without compromising on security, allowing only legitimate users to access your network from on-premise or remote systems.

Conventionally, at organizations that have numerous applications on their network, users need to remember multiple sets of credentials, which is inconvenient, but more secure. An effective IAM solution should be able to strike the right balance between the two extremes of convenience and security.

With a single set of user credentials to access all permitted applications and data, memorizing multiple credentials is avoided, improving productivity and ease of use.

Improved Security

Another important feature you should look out for is the ability to control user access to your network. This is typically delivered through device- and IP-based restrictions, which give you the ability to provide access only from specific devices or IP addresses to your network. In addition to simply whitelisting specific requests, an IAM solution should also be able to permanently block illegal access from blacklisted devices and IPs.

Seamless Admin Control

An identity and access management solution should give the administrators of your network a simple and intuitive dashboard with all the controls needed to secure your network and manage access across it. This can go a long way in reducing the cost and time for your IT team.

This includes managing creating and removing user accounts, as well as controlling the level of access provided to each individual user.

Identity and Access Management by Akku

Akku by CloudNow is a state-of-the-art Identity and Access Management solution for all your user management needs. Its powerful SSO function simplifies user identity and access management, IP- and device-based restrictions prevent unwarranted access, multi-factor authentication reinforces security, and a range of other versatile features put you in complete control of your network. Get in touch with us now to know more!

Cloud Security Solutions – Why do you need them?

Migration to the cloud is no longer an emerging trend. It is now a well-established method of running the operations of a business. With the cloud, you can manage data and applications in a secure environment and ensure that your users face virtually no latency while using your applications. But although the cloud comes with a basic framework for security, it still has its inherent security risks which need highly specific cloud security solutions to reliably protect your data.

To understand the need for implementing an effective cloud security solution, a deeper understanding of what causes and constitutes a cloud security threat is important.

Why Do You Need Cloud Security Solutions?

Unsecured Access Points

With several of your applications operating from the cloud, it is crucial to manage their access. Traditional methods of granting access to applications on the cloud require users to remember several sets of credentials. But with such a method, forgotten passwords would be common, draining the productivity of both your IT team and your users. To overcome this, users tend to set weak passwords which are easy to remember. But weak passwords are also easy to hack! The solution to this problem is to use an Identity and Access Management solution like CloudNow Technologies’ Akku.

Unprotected APIs

Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are software interfaces which allow two different components of software to talk to each other. APIs are responsible for getting the requests from client systems and passing it onto the server and then retrieving the response and sending it back to the client. Considering that such an integral component is a part of your network architecture, a web application security solution is kept in place to eliminate the threat of unchecked network access from unauthorized users.

Types of Cloud Security Issues

DoS attack

DoS or Denial of Service is a distributed and malicious attack, designed to corrupt your servers and deny access to legitimate users. Such attacks require a complete hack of your network and injections of the attack code. A DoS attack is another common threat faced by organizations operating on the cloud. To eliminate this type of attack, it is important to maintain an intelligent firewall which can effectively stop the attack.

Data Breach

Cyber wars now directly translate to breaches and corruption of data. Since most organizations have to rely on third-party cloud vendors for storage, they increasingly feel like they are not in control of what happens to their data and applications. Data breach is one of the most common types of security threats, whether it happens on the cloud or any other type of storage. For this reason, companies have to go a step further and deploy high-end security solutions to prevent data breaches. While the move to the cloud can improve the efficiency of your operations to a great extent, it also requires you to choose a vendor you can trust to protect your network against the threats mentioned above. CloudNow’s cloud security solutions provide you with the security edge you require to peacefully conduct operations on the cloud without worrying about the threats trying to breach your network.