Cloud entitlement management grants, resolves, enforces, or revokes access rights or privileges for identities (both human and non-human) and assets in a cloud environment to mitigate access risk using least privilege policies.
CIEM solutions make it easier to detect overly-permission identities while working towards a zero-trust model. BeyondTrust Cloud Privilege Broker enables teams to eliminate such identities quickly and prevent bad actors from "permission chaining" through an environment.
Establishing entitlement in cloud infrastructure is essential to providing the least privileged access and implementing zero trust. Without it, organizations rely on overly generous access rights that open their infrastructure to attacks, breaches, and malware threats. By identifying entitlement, security frameworks can be put in place that define how to secure specific platforms using stringent policies - this way, your organization is constantly assessing what level of access each workload requires to run safely on its infrastructure.
Locating and understanding all your infrastructure and entitlements in complex multi-cloud environments can be difficult, as each identity, application, and workload could exist across various clouds. A cloud identity management system can assist your efforts by streamlining them and assuring you're always protecting the appropriate resources - connecting to security information and event management (SIEM) systems to analyze activity and detect common vulnerabilities within your environment.
To meet this goal, the platform enables you to establish a central repository for entitlement data that you can quickly correlate across cloud environments. This enables you to quickly assess and prioritize entitlements while increasing visibility into your infrastructure for compliance reasons.
It also allows you to quickly identify instances of over-privileging by identifying identities with too many permissions and automatically reduce those permissions using the capabilities of the CIEM solution to mitigate security risks.
CIEM solutions are identity-centric software-as-a-service tools designed to manage cloud access risk through administration-time controls that govern entitlements in hybrid and multi-cloud IaaS environments. CIEM helps enterprises address risks associated with the unchecked grant of permissions within cloud environments where many permissions are ephemeral or susceptible to provisioning/deprovisioning depending on demand; hence CIEM should be tightly integrated with Privileged Access Management (PAM) systems to ensure consistent policies across cloud environments, as well as scale with business environments, need.
Ensuring Least Privilege Access
Least privilege access security involves taking an approach that ensures users and other entities have only the minimum permissions required to complete their work efficiently and successfully. This involves providing just-in-time privileged access, setting time-bound privileged access limits, monitoring for over-privileging, and creating best practices around time-bound access limits and monitoring to prevent over-privileging. When implemented in multi-cloud environments, ensuring least privilege security requires a holistic approach that addresses not only human identities but also machines like devices, applications, OT, or IoT accounts comprising an OT or IoT account OT (Operating Technology or Internet of Things) accounts.
Organizations are used to protect non-human privileged accounts behind the walls of their data centers with firewalls, VPNs, and other tools. Still, in today's global marketplace, these accounts can be found everywhere: employees working remotely from anywhere around the globe and connected machines like printers, card readers, and programmable logic controllers (PLC). Sometimes these accounts gain privileged access to sensitive information or applications.
Companies must embrace a zero-trust security model, where one key aspect is implementing the least privileged access policy across their network. To accomplish this, complete visibility is needed of your entire cloud inventory and all the relationships among data, compute, and network resources - something effective CIEM solutions are ideally equipped to do.
Once you have an overview of your entire cloud environment, it becomes much simpler to identify and prioritize identities that have overly permissive permissions and implement least privilege access security policies to safeguard against changes that could compromise its compliance and security.
Effective CIEM solutions use security protocols in SIEM to regularly assess the permissions an identity should have based on their role. These tools can alert teams when privileges exceed security protocols and standards and automatically adjust entitlements to reduce risk and ensure compliance with security regulations. They can even detect instances where configuration changes have quickly caused entitlements to become out-of-compliance so you can remedy anomalies immediately.
CIEM can assist in detecting and responding to the unintended over-allocation of privileges to identities (users, automated software, and workloads) in your cloud environment. By providing entitlement monitoring and governance alongside identity and access management solutions, CIEM solutions reduce risk across your multi-cloud infrastructure by assuring all identities have only the permissions they require to perform their jobs successfully - thus protecting against insider threats, stolen access keys, or any potential harmful user activities that might exist within it.
Traditional on-premise security systems rely on manual, granular privilege assignments to protect data and applications against misconfigurations, but this model no longer fits with today's dynamic cloud environments. With rapid innovation taking place within these modern environments and DevOps teams requiring speed and agility for speedy projects and provisioning new services, often leading to the overallocation of privileges to accelerate projects or provide new services faster, along with increased identity types creating many additional attack surfaces which must also be protected against.
Solely one incident that exposes sensitive data or an entire system could trigger an expensive data breach while administering access entitlements across multiple clouds creates blind spots and security gaps that expose an organization to potential exposure, loss, or misuse of its assets. Visibility into net effective permissions in cloud accounts and entitlement monitoring provides the basis of CIEM solutions, enabling security and IT teams to manage a vast array of identities and applications more easily at scale.
Break-glass accounts, commonly referred to as inactive identities, pose a significant problem in many organizations. They consist of inactive identities created either by former employees or during testing and proof of concept scenarios and have gone dormant for some time now. Constant monitoring of access activities can help identify inactive identities and adjust their entitlements accordingly, thus mitigating risks related to exploitation and misuse. CIEM solutions also detect over-provisioning in active identities and provide visibility into any unused and excessive permissions being allocated to mitigate risk. A CIEM platform ultimately unites identity and access management with entitlement visibility rightsizing continuous monitoring advanced analytics, and security compliance certification for an all-encompassing solution.
Financial and healthcare industries must follow stringent compliance frameworks and standards to protect sensitive data and ensure customers, employees, and partners have their privacy protected. These regulations dictate everything from how long logs must be kept to who can access passwords and credentials. Cloud environments offer businesses flexibility in meeting these regulations while simultaneously creating security risks due to their open, decentralized nature; this could expose a business to unauthorized access, data theft, and expensive penalties.
Enterprises need a centralized cloud entitlement management (CIEM) solution that offers visibility across dynamic cloud environments to identify overprovisioned identities and automatically remediate them to maintain the highest levels of security across multi-cloud environments. Furthermore, CIEMs can detect and prioritize those at potential risk by monitoring SIEM metric logging for anomalous behaviors - this may include unauthorized machine identity grants that may result from compromised users or internal design flaws in non-human systems.
CIEMs enable businesses to automate remediation for complex and high-risk risks, saving time and resources by streamlining manual processes. A security team, for instance, could use a CIEM to revoke the privileges of users when their needs change; similarly, these tools can analyze historical user activity to detect patterns that indicate security breaches that can help improve least privilege access recommendations.
Many organizations employ a shared responsibility model with their cloud service providers (CSPs) to manage and secure their cloud deployments. CSPs are accountable for cloud environments' physical, networking, and software configuration aspects. At the same time, enterprises must adhere to best practices to remain compliant. Compliance Information and Event Management systems (CIEMs) can monitor entitlements to identify any overprovisioned identities that pose risks of breach or expose sensitive information to outsiders; alert and prioritize these identities for immediate attention.
A CIEM solution can also assist businesses in streamlining their access control processes to reduce overhead costs and save on overhead fees. As DevOps teams often rely on speed and innovation in delivering apps quickly, this can result in overprovisioning. A CIEM solution automates the process of rightsizing permissions without disrupting applications or slowing development cycles - freeing DevOps teams up to focus on their core business functions without worrying about over provisioning permissions or breaking apps!