By Rajat Bhargava Posted September 12, 2016
Controlling user access is one of the most critical components of any network security strategy. The easiest way for hackers to access crucial digital assets is to compromise a user password and leverage it to enter IT resources such as systems, applications, or networks.
In fact, compromised identities are the number one way that organizations are undermined these days. The challenge for IT organizations is how to control user access and identities so that they aren’t jeopardized. Identity management platforms support better security. They are the main ingredient in fighting identity compromises.
The Many Ways to Compromise Security
A user’s credentials can be weakened in countless ways. Password reuse is one. A third-party site could have been compromised and those same credentials could be at use within your organization, due to an employee who reused passwords across accounts.
Device theft is another risk. A user’s machine could be compromised or stolen and credentials are available on the system.
Weak passwords also hamper security. A user may have an insecure password and the account is compromised due to a brute-force attack. Probably the scariest aspect of a brute-force attack is its trial-and-error approach. Hackers simply keep attempting passwords on a publicly available account.
There are other ways that hackers obtain credentials, including purchasing them on the black market, malware, and social engineering (e.g. phishing). In essence, there is no shortage of available vectors that hackers use for obtaining credentials or access.
Identity Management Solutions Lock Up Security
Due to wide variety of identity security threats listed above, IT needs to take an approach that works security into the very foundation of their identity management system. It’s all about controlling user access and protecting those credentials.
A modern identity management platform such as Directory-as-a-Service® (DaaS) is capable of helping IT organizations centralize control over user access as well as protect credentials. DaaS is a virtual identity provider, and as such, is responsible for connecting user identities to the IT resources they need, including systems, applications, and networks. A single user account can be provisioned to a variety of different resources, deprovisioned when necessary, and modified as needed.
Ultimately, users are looking for a single account that enables them to access whatever resources they need. IT admins are interested in automating the steps of onboarding and offboarding. A centralized directory service accomplishes both these goals.
From a security perspective, a cloud identity management platform is the single most effective tool to protect user credentials. There are a variety of ways in which it helps on the identity security side.
- Identity management platforms often store credentials. Best-in-class methods involve one-way hashing and salting those credentials.
- The system enables IT admins to set rigorous standards, including password complexity, implementing password rotation, and guidelines for reusing passwords.
- In cases where it is useful and possible, an identity management solution can help dictate and manage SSH keys and multi-factor authentication.
- Additional security measures have the ability to view audit logs and events from authentication requests. These logs can be critical in viewing user access activity.
Directory-as-a-Service Tirelessly Protects User Access And Identities
A critical part of your security program is having control over your user access and identities. A modern identity management platform should be an asset to you in creating better security.
If you would like to learn more about how JumpCloud’s Directory-as-a-Service platform can support your identity management security requirements, drop us a note. Also, go ahead and give our cloud identity management platform a try for yourself. Your first 10 JumpCloud® users are free forever.