According to the 2021 Identity Security Alliance survey, ‘The guide to identity defined security, about 83% of respondents revealed that they had increased their identity numbers within the organization in the past year. As the IT industry grows, this identity sprawl has become a significant challenge for the industry leaders.
To manage, audit, and digital control identities, identity sprawl inevitably hampers any organization’s security protocol. This is not a new problem, but due to the transition to the hybrid workplace and the broad adoption of cloud services, the scale of this issue has increased substantially.
Organizations have spread identity data across disjointed set repositories, including active directory (AD), HR systems, lightweight directory access protocol (LDAP), application databases, and cloud applications, platforms, and services. When workforce sprawl occurs in IT, teams find it challenging to protect their systems from threats that often target users and their access rights into corporate systems.
Businesses need a comprehensive approach in response to privileged access management (PAM) that meets the needs of infrastructure and security teams. Companies can protect their cloud-centric, hybrid enterprise networks with a centralized system focusing on identity consolidation and implementing zero-trust principles.
1. by centralizing all identities, Create a single source of truth
organizations need to look for an option that offers the most significant degree of flexibility in the identity directory they use with a range of privileged access management solutions available. Active directory using AD Bridging should connect UNIX or Linux systems and be offered consolidation capabilities for IaaS environments that may form part of their extended cloud infrastructure.
2. All privileges are bound to identities
By binding all entitlements, permissions, and privileges to identities in an organization’s preferred directory, IT teams will see a reduction in administrative overhead and simplify the enforcement of consistent security and compliance policies. In contrast to using shared accounts, this also links individual accountability to each identity.
3. Offer federated access to resources
Federated access to resources, including servers, databases, or cloud workloads, allows users to log in as themselves and receive the appropriate permissions always based on their roles. This ensures efficient workflows and promotes employee productivity.
4. to ensure precise access rights establish granular controls
Enforcement of granular access controls implementing a least privilege approach should go hand-in-hand with privilege elevation. In practice, this can temporarily grant different roles and privileges so users can complete a task appropriate to their job function. Still, only providing just enough benefits for the exact amount of time it takes to complete the job at hand.
5. Disable permanent permissions when the task is complete
IT teams must not allow identities to have permanent or standing privileges beyond the requirement to provide elevated privileges for a set period to complete a job. Access rights should be revoked immediately once the session is over. When implemented as part of a disciplined access management strategy, this closes the window of opportunity for potential attackers if a user account has been compromised.
Organizations that lack comprehensive access controls are at a greater risk of falling victim to an attack that compromises their sensitive resources and data. Without more effective protection, there remains the risk that cybercriminals will continue to focus on the vulnerabilities caused by the explosion in the volume of machine and human identities.
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