In a modern cloud environment, it is common to add thousands of human users, services, assets, applications, and services to the cloud, each of which has its own set of permissions and requirements to accomplish its job. The main problem with this process is that it is difficult to track access rights and the permissions assigned to each user and application. In many cases, it is difficult to track whether a user or application has the correct or excessive permissions.
To overcome these difficulties, a new solution called CIEM (Cloud Infrastructure and Entitlements Management) has emerged. This is a systematic approach to managing access rights and entitlements for all users in a cloud environment.
The term cloud entitlement is an access privilege assigned to human or machine users in the cloud environment. The cloud entitlement is named differently in some cloud service providers. For example, in the Amazon cloud, cloud entitlement is called AWS Identity and Management.
More and more enterprises are moving to the cloud environment. The cloud has huge resources that can be accessed with little investment. This creates huge opportunities for hackers to sneak in. One study says that the number of data breaches in the cloud has increased in 2021 compared to 2020.
Cloud environment experts recommend adapting CIEM to improve security in a cloud. This is because CIEM is able to manage the access rights and permissions assigned to all users and applications in the cloud environment.
A data breach is possible in a cloud environment if the access rights and privileges are not properly managed. Therefore, the CIEM tool is highly required for a cloud environment to reduce data breaches and increase security.
Before you decide to implement CIEM in a cloud environment, you should understand the challenges of traditional identity and access management (IAM) in the cloud.
Inadequate security structure – In many organizations, cloud permissions and credentials are managed manually. In some situations, passwords and other credentials are shared, which can lead to security breaches and data breaches.
Excessive entitlements – Some organizations offer excessive entitlements to their customers to attract them into their cloud environment. An excess of authorized entities and cloud permissions leads to more attacks. This can also be a reason for a data breach in the cloud.
Lack of consistency – Each cloud provider has its own IAM security with different tools and terminologies. By using business leveraging, the cloud provider is forced to implement multiple vendor-specific tools, leading to security gaps and vulnerabilities.
CIEM has a knowledge engine that collects information about cloud resources and applications. The collected information is sent to SIEM (Security Information and Event Management), which combines the information with other information such as Syslog servers, source codes, etc. All data is stored in a database that is useful for reporting.
CIEM maintains an organizational repository where it adds information about new business units and updates existing units. It also updates policies and permissions as needed.
A sudden increase in resource consumption – In some situations, there may be a sudden increase in resource consumption, which is a cause of concern for the business. Since an organization has certain limits on the usage of resources in the cloud, if the limit is exceeded, it has to pay an excessive amount for the excessive usage. In this case, CIEM is the right solution to monitor the privileges and access permissions for the company. By using CIEM, the company reduces the risk of paying too much and having security problems.
Unauthorized access – In multi-cloud or hybrid cloud environments, you can access cloud data with external applications. This can lead to a new problem of unauthorized access to your business data. In this case, CIEM is urgently needed so that you can easily detect unauthorized access to your business data. Moreover, unauthorized access can be prevented.
Moving to the cloud – CIEM is urgently needed for businesses that are moving to the multi-cloud. It reduces downtime and effectively utilizes the resources provided by different cloud providers. Here, CIEM helps in implementing the least privilege across cloud networks and securing their cloud accounts. This helps the security team to monitor all identities and respond to risks.
As the cloud environment becomes faster and more complex. CIEM is becoming increasingly important to many organizations’ cloud security strategies. Traditional cloud security focuses only on misconfigurations, which is not enough. CIEM is therefore the only way to automate the complex operations of entitlement management.