Compliance and Cloud Identity Management

Compliance and Cloud Identity Management

cloud identity managementIn the world of IT, compliance is one of the most important activities on the agenda. Ensuring the security of technology assets is critical, particularly when sensitive data is involved, and identity management plays a substantial role when it comes to providing the right people with access.

 

Ultimately, making sure that the company stays compliant, especially in regulation-heavy industries like healthcare, is a must. And cloud identity management is a key to remaining compliant.

 

The World of Identity Management

 

Even just a few years ago, identity management was relatively simple. Typically, directories dictated who had access to specific internal resources, and everything was housed on-premises.

 

As more organizations embraced the cloud, the issue of compliance and identity management became more complex. The services don’t always integrate with current directory controls that dictate access levels, requiring a separate solution to manage profiles.

 

With weaknesses in the approach becoming apparent, new solutions were developed to make compliance easier to manage. Cloud directory services provide a single source of managing permissions through cloud identity management platforms, centralizing account controls.

 

The Benefits of Cloud Identity Management

 

As mentioned above, cloud identity management solutions can help by centralizing where profiles are stored. Robust systems can control access to both internal and cloud-based data, including modern solutions like Microsoft Office 365 and AWS.

 

The allows IT professionals to control who has access to what data at any given time, just as they did with on-premises solutions. However, the permissions can be extended to cloud systems with relative ease, eliminating the need for multiple access control mechanisms.

 

Beyond Identity Management Solutions

 

When compliance is a concern, businesses need to look beyond identity management solutions. Certain best practices also need to be in place to ensure that permissions are updated at critical times.

 

For example, companies need to make sure that accounts associated with workers who are no longer employees of the company are deleted quickly. This is especially true when the situation is sensitive, such as when a staff member is fired, or when the systems the former employee was able to access store data that could harm compliance if it became compromised or stolen.

 

Ultimately, the easiest approach is to develop a standardized review process for when a worker leaves the company. Note every system that needs to be examined, including legacy systems that aren’t widely used, to ensure that any permissions associated with their account have been removed and the account itself scheduled for deletion based on internal standards.

 

Similarly, a process should be created to manage employee promotions or department changes, as not every role justifies the same kind of access.

 

Cloud identity management can make this process easier since there will be fewer points that need to be examined, thanks to its centralized nature. However, it is wise to review user accounts based in legacy mechanisms as well, as neglecting to address those potential points of access could have serious consequences, particularly when compliance is a concern.

Derek Roush

Derek Roush is the President and Founder of VocalPoint Consulting. He has over 15 years of experience in the industry supporting telecom and cloud service resellers. Since 2010, he has led VocalPoint Consulting to become one of the leading telecom and cloud service consulting firms in the industry.

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