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The AAA Framework and Cloud Permissions Management

June 24, 2020

Every conversation about cloud security with customers and partners leaves me with the same thought: What’s old is new again. This is especially true when it comes to some identity management basics.

Consider the tried-and-true AAA framework: Authentication, Authorization and Auditing.

In this article published in Dark Reading, I discuss how this framework would work in a cloud-first or cloud-centric organization.

  • Perimeter-based security is a very arcane way of looking at authentication in a cloud-native environment. Cloud vendors like Okta, Ping Identity and Netskope have led a much-needed shift in approach by using authentication solutions that works across hybrid cloud infrastructures to focus on either “Trust but Verify” or the concept of “Verify but Never Trust”.
  • In a cloud-first company, authorization has moved from being the most overlooked permission management control in the security organization, to the most complex. The key to getting the basics right is closing the gap between all permissions granted to an identity and only permissions needed to do their job on a daily basis. Permissions-on-demand is an important part of this.
  • This complexity also extends to auditing all the activities that identities have executed on, especially considering the thousands of resources that these identities can access across multiple cloud infrastructure platforms. Knowing what every identity is doing or attempting to do to your cloud infrastructure resources is a mandatory requirement for detecting threats and for robust incident response.

As the shift to the cloud occurs, pursuing a back-to-basics approach for authentication, authorization and audit controls is important to prevent large-scale data breaches.

I invite you to read the article in full and comment here to share your perspective.

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