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What is Cloud Infrastructure Entitlement Management (CIEM)?

What is Cloud Infrastructure Entitlement Management (CIEM)?

CIEM is part of an emerging new access control solution area in Cloud Security introduced in Gartner’s 2020 Cloud Security Hype Cycle. According to Gartner, cloud Infrastructure Entitlement Management (CIEM) is a specialized identity-centric SaaS solution that manages cloud access risk using time-limited access controls. Using analytics and machine learning to detect anomalies, CIEM manages entitlements and data governance in both hybrid and multi-cloud IaaS architectures. Given the complexity of managing access controls in the cloud, CIEM aims to streamline the implementation of least privilege access controls in highly-dynamic organizational IT environments.

The Challenges of Entitlement - Management in the Cloud

Access and identities in the cloud are too complex to control at scale manually. Operational security teams struggle to keep up with the rapid growth of cloud infrastructure, and unfortunately, traditional security controls and management practices lag behind the velocity and flexibility of the cloud. Tools from cloud providers fall short of covering the intricate needs of global enterprise organizations. Identity entitlements or permissions in the cloud are also extremely complicated and challenging to manage. Organizations must look at the big picture to determine the permissions for every identity. You not only need to evaluate policies and access controls for each identity, you also need to map out what that identity can do with those permissions. By its very nature, the cloud is different from the traditional on-premises data center. The cloud is dynamic and ephemeral, where resources do not persist. Instead, resources are inherently scalable, created, and destroyed as needed. While this environment is fantastic for dynamic workloads, the cloud infrastructure presents management and oversight challenges. Cloud Infrastructure Entitlement Management is designed for these changes and enforces the proper use of permissions by applying the principle of least privilege.

Cloud Infrastructure Entitlement Management (CIEM)’s Business Impact

CIEM is designed to protect data and prevent overly permissive or unintended usage. By reducing accounts that have been orphaned or have too many permissions, CIEM tools work to prevent data breaches. What makes it different from other forms of data protection? Automation.

Cloud infrastructure entitlement management's automation simplifies complex processes and scales with the cloud by utilizing policies that grant access only when necessary — and remove it when it’s not. This increases operational efficiency and creates an audit trail, making it easier to verify compliance and document evidence.

Increased Visibility

The CIEM discovery process is the part of its lifecycle that uncovers the unique human and machine entities that can access your cloud ecosystem. It identifies risk by analyzing user behaviors and resource access across the cloud ecosystem. In combination with how access policies are implemented, this identity information allows the CIEM solution to calculate risk and enforce least privilege. The discovery process continues throughout the lifecycle to ensure new identities are incorporated as they emerge.


Efficient Automation

CIEM incorporates automation to set fine-grained permissions across cloud assets. Instead of manually setting and configuring permissions and access every time a new asset or workload is created, CIEM automatically enforces policy configurations. Manually configuring this by hand is tedious — and prone to errors and oversights. You run the risk of leaving assets open or non-configured, creating opportunities for attack. Automation ensures consistency no matter how quickly assets scale up or get removed.

At the end of the day, incorporating CIEM into your security posture reduces the likelihood of a data breach.

Saviynt & Cloud Infrastructure Entitlement Management (CIEM)

Organizations have many different use cases when it comes to cloud security. You should ask yourself, is CIEM enough? A stand-alone CIEM solution lacks IGA capabilities and is limited to IaaS and PaaS. Most cloud environments can benefit from a unified platform that incorporates SaaS and introduces an IGA component. Saviynt’s Cloud PAM integrates both IGA and CIEM — making it the best of both worlds. By combining all three, you can appropriately scope down excessive access throughout cloud and on-prem environments. A unified solution simplifies and centralizes the administration and management of ephemeral cloud resources while ensuring consistent governance throughout the organization.

Take An Integrated Approach

To avoid inefficient point solutions, customers need an integrated platform like Saviynt that can bring IGA, CIEM, and CPAM together into one solution. To provide comprehensive security, an effective identity platform should deliver an in-depth, granular-level understanding of entitlements that includes:
  • Entitlement discovery
  • Policy management
  • Access provisioning
  • Privileged access management
  • Monitoring
Our unified solution brings in the governance, compliance, and security rules — and applies them consistently throughout the cloud and on-prem ecosystem. With our single-pane-of-glass interface, you can simplify the administration and management of ephemeral cloud resources. Simplifying management lowers TCO and increases ROI. It also reduces the staff required for daily operations, freeing them up for other duties. With full tracking and logging capabilities, it’s easier to produce evidence of continual compliance — and this enterprise-wide consistency is vital to maintaining security and compliance in the cloud. CIEM may be enough for many small to medium businesses, but the majority of enterprises will benefit from the full breadth of functionality provided by CPAM. To learn more about how Saviynt’s CPAM solution can help secure your cloud ecosystem, check out our white paper.



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