According to Gartner, the IaaS public cloud services market grew by more than 40% in 2020, reaching a high of $64.3 billion. Amazon outpaced the market with $26.2 billion of revenue – and an impressive 41% market share.
Microsoft was the second-largest IaaS provider, posting revenue of $12.7B last year, an increase of nearly 60% year-over-year. Data suggest that the pandemic-induced disruption in workplace environments increased demand to migrate mission-critical workloads.
Google saw a 66% IaaS revenue increase to almost $4 billion, boosted by uptake in retail, government, and healthcare. Renewed focus on “the development and deployment of cloud applications in both a hybrid and multi-cloud model,” accounted for the jump, shares Computer Weekly.
Going forward, IDC sees no signs of slowing: The combined public cloud market is expected to have revenues of $400 billion in 2025 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 28.8% during the 2021-2025 forecast period.
As cloud use expands, access and permissions increase. Managing these expands enterprises’ security challenges. A recent study found that nearly 80% of enterprises have experienced a cloud data breach – and 43% suffered ten or more!
These findings underscore security concerns from mass cloud migration in the last two years. Concerningly, traditional security controls and management practices can’t keep pace with dynamic cloud infrastructure; cloud environments simply don’t reflect the on-premises IT environments that legacy tools were designed to support.
Here are some security concerns enterprises need to consider as IaaS deployments grow.
Cloud environments prioritize speed and agility. This creates security gaps when cumbersome tools designed for on-premises architectures run periodic scans instead of continuously monitoring for new instances and anomalous activities.
Complex multi-cloud environments make it difficult to discover changes within elastic workloads, accounts, and access. The result: a fragmented security posture, misconfigured objects, and over-permissioning instead of continuous entitlement and session monitoring.
Developers interacting with cloud infrastructure may use long-term keys as authentication credentials. Breach and exposure risks increase if malicious actors access these users’ workstations. Often, these interactions are outside of IT’s purview and thus hard to manage. Companies must maintain management agility (and a single security posture) across key tools in the DevOps pipeline, including open-source applications, with continuous discovery, monitoring, and remediation of infrastructure as code objects.
When discussing cloud security, HelpNetSecurity shares how IAM deficiencies and excessive permissions prove most damaging. Notably, existing IAM tools don’t deliver necessary identity governance and privileged access management agility. Piecemeal solutions limit digital transformation efforts and slow the gains afforded by elastic cloud ecosystems.
However, converging IGA and PAM in a cloud PAM for workloads solution unlocks these capabilities – and helps enterprises gain visibility and reduce risk across their chosen architectures.
Increasingly, enterprises need a single solution to secure their cloud infrastructure. The solution must provide a consolidated view of user, application, and data access – as well as real-time discovery of workloads at scale.
Let’s explore additional security concerns introduced when enterprises deploy IaaS alongside outdated PAM tools.
First, multi-cloud use compounds ongoing access governance issues. Often, this relates to poor visibility and discovery of cloud infrastructure. Enterprises must grow awareness of identities, resources, and entitlements at a more granular level. Continuous discovery and remediation of risks and/or misconfigured objects are a critical starting point.
Next, enterprises must contend with over-privileging. Bad actors want to compromise accounts that allow them deeper network access (e.g., privileged accounts). These accounts provide cyberattackers means to change permissions, install backdoors, or access otherwise off-limits data.
Organizations often establish standing over-privilege to simplify account management. To resolve the results of this, companies must be able to identify erring accounts before they can disable them. Only then can they apply Just-In-Time and/or zero-standing privileges for cloud assets.
Additional issues stem from scheduled scans, jump-hosts, security keys, and thick clients.
Scheduled Scans: Challenges arise from infrequent, scheduled scans. In dynamic cloud ecosystems, new resources may be spun up in minutes, requiring more rapid enterprise response.
Jump-Hosts: Passing traffic through a jump-host undercuts the usefulness of identity as the new security perimeter. Enterprises should “untrust” users by default as they reduce administrative session friction – instead of trying to manage, license, and configure jump-hosts on-prem.
Security Keys: Bad actors continually scan accessible code looking for privileged access credentials. On-prem, companies must figure out how to manage, rotate, and protect these keys. A cloud PAM approach generates and decommissions these based on your policies.
Thick Clients: When run on end-user laptops or desktops, users need privileged credentials to run some of their desired applications – this raises obvious security concerns. Companies may also lack visibility into user activity and app sessions.
As each of these issues suggests, solutions that are not “built for the cloud” simply fail in highly dynamic, elastic environments. Solving these – and creating frictionless administrative sessions and limiting cloud management console access must be prioritized.
Finally, as DevOps evolves, companies need to address privileged access in the context of continuous integration and continuous delivery. Bad actors now routinely look at this vector as ripe to attack. As enterprises adopt more agile processes and speed up deployment, they need to ensure that privileged accounts with rights to deploy code don’t persist indefinitely. The recent SolarWinds supply chain attack highlights the urgency of this – and why enterprises must solve for instances of standing privilege.
Here are best practices for solving security issues that arise from cloud adoption.
Cloud Privileged Access Management unifies traditionally disparate privileged access management, cloud infrastructure entitlement management (CIEM), cloud security posture management (CSPM), and identity governance and administration (IGA) solutions.
By avoiding inefficient point solutions, enterprises build in-depth understanding of entitlements – and unify governance, compliance, and security efforts across their cloud. This enterprise-wide consistency is vital to maintain security and compliance in the cloud.
Security leaders are often only familiar with traditional PAM functionality. Below, we introduce Cloud PAM’s access control features, and highlight additional benefits derived from an integrated Cloud PAM platform.
As expected, Cloud PAM provides critical access management capabilities including risk-aware intelligent access requests, credential and key management and vaulting, session management, session monitoring, session recording, keystroke invocation policy, and keystroke logging of privileged users.
With Microsoft users, for instance, these features are applied across the Azure console, Virtual Machines, Databases, Storage, and Serverless Functions (as well as providing tenant administration over Microsoft 365 applications and Azure AD.)
Cloud PAM supports zero-standing privilege (ZSP) by granting access to privileged resources for a “limited time only.” By validating access requests in real-time (according to predetermined policies based on behavioral analytics), enterprises embrace smart management of cloud security architectures. And removing persistent admin rights via ZSP is an essential part of a Zero Trust framework.
Least privilege ensures that users only gain access to the specific tools they need to complete a task.
Access is granted on a “time-limited” basis and automatically removed after a given period.
Admins evaluate a user requesting access based on their identity profile and grant or deny access. Fine-grained entitlements allow them to grant precise access.
Zero standing privilege:
Users cannot bypass admin controls or experience standing privilege based on location or device.
As risk awareness grows, enterprises require flexibility and sophistication in risk modeling to make better access decisions. Cloud PAM enables dynamic risk scoring derived from usage, behavioral analytics, peer group analysis, and risk information gathered from external applications.
Additionally, enterprises trying to solve PAM for the cloud may run into issues managing privileged access for management consoles/CLIs. Because native IAM constructs manage access to these entities via static roles, permissions, or policies, intelligent changes (for instance, when a user’s job profile changes) are hard to incorporate. Cloud PAM adds intelligence to elevate/drop/change access assignments, reducing manual effort and management costs.
Handling cloud velocity requires enterprises to provide approved, time-bound, least privilege access to critical assets that can be monitored and audited. The missing piece? Real-time discovery of assets continually spun up in the cloud!
With Cloud PAM, companies reduce their vulnerable surfaces, unlock a consolidated view of risk, and gain visibility on misconfigurations and violations. Too often, misconfigured cloud (and on-prem) resources become entry points for data breaches and attacks.
To enhance usability, Cloud PAM provides comprehensive control libraries, mapped to industry standards. Further, Saviynt’s platform reduces persistent access and identity sprawl using password-less access to workloads.
Cloud PAM opens the door to many powerful capabilities not available with traditional PAM.
For companies transitioning workloads to the cloud, traditional PAM underperforms. But inflexible architecture, weak visibility and context for user access, and persistent over-privileging don’t have to limit your security posture.
We believe enterprises shouldn’t compromise digital transformation strategies with weak identity and governance administration. Deploy a modern platform and retain the access, agility, high availability, and scalability that your cloud infrastructure offers. After all, aren’t these the benefits that prompted cloud adoption in the first place?
Saviynt is the leading identity governance platform built for the cloud. It helps enterprise customers accelerate modern cloud initiatives and solve the toughest security and compliance challenges in record time. The Saviynt Enterprise Identity Cloud converges IGA, granular application access, cloud security, and privileged access into the industry’s only enterprise-grade SaaS solution. Learn more at Saviynt.com