What is CASB? How has data security changed with the cloud?

A Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) is an on-premises or cloud-based security policy point-of-enforcement. Originally, asset security was simpler since all assets were located on-premises and on the same network, but with time and with an increasingly mobile workforce, security requirements evolved and CASB rose to meet them.

A CASB offers an integrated security management solution to security enforcement such as multi-factor authentication, single sign-on, credential mapping, encryption, tokenization, malware detection, and so on.

What is CASB and how it works?

CASB, a policy enforcement center, consolidates security regardless of device, including unmanaged smartphones or personal laptops. It works through a three-step process that involves Discovery (to compile a list of all third-cloud services and users), Classification (of risk levels of each application), and Remediation (to set security requirements and take action in case of a violation).

A CASB comprises three pillars.

1. Identity and Access Management (IAM)

Gartner defines IAM simply as ‘the discipline that enables the right individuals to access the right resources at the right times for the right reasons.’ IAM solutions help maintain a database of all organization identities and restrict access to org assets based on user identity.

2. Identity Governance and Administration (IGA)

This is a policy-based approach to IAM. IGA serves to support overall IT security and regulatory compliance as well as automate workflows for provisioning and deprovisioning users.

And yes, there is a difference between IAM and IGA. IGA allows organizations to not only define and enforce IAM policy but also connect IAM functions to meet audit and compliance requirements.

3. Privileged access management (PAM)

This is a critical security control that enables organizations to simplify how they define, monitor, and manage privileged access across their IT systems, applications, and infrastructure. It helps control who has access to sensitive systems and protected information. Most employees, for instance, shouldn’t be given access to all critical systems such as production, backup, and financial at the same time.

Privileged accounts can access valuable data and perform special actions, often with low tracking or control. PAM solutions centralize the management of administrator profiles and enforce a least privilege access policy.

To better understand what the CASB concept really means, and how you can adopt it as you secure your SaaS, PaaS, or IaaS environments, contact Akku today.

HR productivity being sapped by On- and Off-boarding, L&D, and Compliance? An IAM could be what’s missing.

The synergy between Identity and Access Management (IAM) and IT, cybersecurity, and admin departments of an organization is obvious, but another department in an enterprise that is equally advantaged by IAM is Human Resources. You see, IAM doesn’t just help keep the bad guys out. It works to make life easier for the good guys as well.

HR is already challenged by large and scattered workforces – a scenario accelerated by the pandemic – and therefore having a framework of business processes, policies, and technologies can facilitate better management of employees. To a large extent, this is exactly what an IAM does.

Here are four ways IAM can help with Human Resources.

1. Seamless Employee On-boarding/Off-boarding

IAM facilitates automated and monitored on-boarding and off-boarding of employees in several ways. An important part of how this is achieved is that during the provisioning process an IAM creates a single account for each user, to which you can assign access to all necessary apps.

What would otherwise take HR days can now be done in minutes – which means that employees can hit the ground running on their first day, turning new hires into productive members of the team faster than ever. Also, IAM ensures employees only have the permissions they need, helping maintain security.

The off-boarding transition too is faster as deprovisioning is automated by IAM, and keeps the organization safe from unauthorized access to applications and data by former employees. This can go a long way in ensuring privacy and security.

Without a centralized IAM system, provisioning and deprovisioning need to be done manually, which means a longer time for employees to gain productivity, and also longer before employees are removed from the organization’s system, leaving the door open to security risks.

2. Efficient Learning and Development

IAM is all bringing all users onto a common platform for easier management. This basic concept lends itself perfectly to also delivering communication and training to all employees across the organization through the same system. 

It is easier to roll out mandatory training content through the IAM dashboard to employees who are registered on the IAM, and track progress. Content too can be tailormade for employees based on their function or department. The IAM can therefore replace a Learning Management System in the roll-out of several types of communication or training.

3. Improved Employee Relations

Human Resources today are dealing with an increasingly distributed workforce – this has its upsides, but also cuts employees off from a traditional office setting. So, how do you work on improving those relationships, maintaining a consistent experience for employees connecting to corporate resources from across the country or world, and without sacrificing security?

Just as with the roll-out of mandatory training, an IAM is an ideal platform to also roll-out messages, announcements and notices to employees across the organization. New members can be assisted with orientation and find their feet faster with the smooth onboarding process that an IAM enables. And even little things like simplifying admin issues – such as forgotten passwords or a simple, pain-free addition of required access permissions – can make operations much smoother for every member of the team.

4. Comprehensive Documentation and Compliance

A strong IAM solution can support compliance with regulatory standards, automate audit reporting and simplify processes for regulatory conformance. Detailed and comprehensive logging is a big part of this.

Maintaining verifiable proof of consumption of critical communications and mandatory training by employees plays an important role in demonstrating compliance to standards. Additionally, custom-built forms for maintaining up-to-date documentation on team members ensure appropriate and accurate data on record at all times, while automated deprovisioning helps support an employee’s right to be forgotten.

Security, productivity, and compliance – the right IAM, like Akku, can build and enforce both of these organization-wide for HR departments across industries. We’d love to tell you more about it. Contact us today for a consultation.

Increased security often means reduced efficiency. Here are 4 ways an IAM can boost productivity while staying secure.

Identity Access Management (IAM) is a collective term that covers processes and policies to manage user identities and regulate user access within an organization. It works on the principle of zero trust.

While security is critical, adding too many security measures also hampers productivity. So, as an organization, you need to find that fine balance between security and productivity, while keeping pace with digital transformation.

How does an IAM solution help you with that balance? Here are four important ways that an IAM increases productivity.

1. IAM offers efficient and easy access

IAM eliminates tedious and repetitive tasks, including logging in to multiple applications every day. The single sign-on feature of IAM is an employee’s single-point access to several applications.

Once users create their single sign-on (SSO) credentials, they’ll no longer have to waste time logging in over and over, saving time and ensuring a seamless work experience regardless of device or domain. That means fewer times that you need to log on and off; fewer passwords to recall; most important, stronger passwords that follow company-specific password policies can easily be set.

2. IAM results in simplified admin and IT processes

Single sign-on reduces IT help desk escalations and centralizes admin tasks like password updates and resets, which means there is no longer a need to manage access and authorizations in-house, or scramble to secure new applications that enter the cloud environment.

IAM tools manage all user identities and access permissions across internal systems, employee devices, and cloud-based technologies through one easy-to-use system. This means faster, more efficient provisioning and de-provisioning with fewer errors; automation of managing user identities and related access permissions, which saves time and money otherwise required to manually manage them; and greater compliance with government regulations and prepping audit-ready reports and stats.

Akku also has two additional features which not every IAM offers, which make IT administration much easier: seamless integration with Active Directory and other applications, and easy dissemination of messages and circulars through the SSO login page.

3. IAM offers better security

IAM security features are designed to enhance productivity. The multifactor authentication (MFA) feature, for instance, provides an extra layer of security while allowing employees to seamlessly transition between approved devices.

MFA requires the user to authenticate login with two or more types of identification before gaining access, offering flexibility and secure access anywhere, any time.

The right IAM also makes it easy to blacklist or whitelist access within and outside the firewall, on company-owned devices. The user therefore does not need to worry about whether or not he or she is permitted to visit a particular website. Efficiency is thus almost a guarantee.

4. IAM results in improved focus

Using an IAM means reduced distractions for your users. Employees can leverage the Internet for learning and growth, but the right IAM automates authorizations by setting rules that define user requirements and limit access to unsanctioned applications.

Specifically with Akku, you can go a step further and whitelist appropriate channels and video categories on YouTube. This means that users can still view relevant content on YouTube, without losing focus and being distracted by irrelevant videos.

Akku also allows you to block personal email and only allow professional email, even if they are accessed by the same email client.

Akku delivers a powerful cloud Single Sign-on (SSO) solution that can be integrated easily with almost any cloud or in-house application, making user provisioning, management, access control, and de-provisioning seamless. Opt for a more productive experience with Akku today. Do reach out to us and let’s get started together.