Recently, I was asked to explain exactly how Azure Active Directory (AD) Premium protects essential business data and how it goes beyond other security systems. Here’s an overview of the top problem driving all of this concern and one clear way to solve it.
I correspond with IT managers regularly, and I often mention the same fact: cloud security comes down to balancing how you implement the concept of “least privilege” when maintaining your productivity and growth.
The Top Threats to Cloud Security
Last year, Microsoft’s director of security, Tim Rains, summed up the essential risks this way: “CISOs worry that their organizations have too many permanent accounts with high levels of privilege in their environments.” He offered examples of these cloud security threats, including:
- Compromised systems that retain memory of administrator credentials
- User accounts that become permanent yet retain provisional elevated privileges
- Phishing attacks that successfully capture administrator credentials (Test your phishing vulnerability by running a simulated phishing attack)
- Spiteful administrators
Rains also discussed how some companies struggle with instituting “least privilege” policies.
“More and more organizations are realizing that they have to strictly manage privileged accounts and monitor their activities because of the risk associated with their misuse. But many organizations are struggling to truly embrace the principle of ‘least privilege’ across their large, complicated environments.”
Why Azure AD Premium Was Built
Here at Agile IT, my deployment team and I deal with problems like these practically every day. IT managers are naturally cautious about moving mission-critical data into the cloud, which is exactly why Microsoft’s Azure AD Premium was built. It identifies systemic risks and neutralizes security concerns for enterprise-level cloud deployments.
Identity is at the heart of it all. You need to have your finger on the pulse of who is in your system, and why, at all times. A report by Markets and Markets found that identity and access management (IAM) is growing at 12.2 percent CAGR, and it’s on track to be a market of $12.78 billion by 2020. Mobility is opening up the network to wider access, but it is also bringing in greater risk. Security officers need to be confident that user identities are stable and uncompromised.
Azure AD Premium generates a secure single sign-on (SSO) for all of your applications, whether they are based in the cloud or on-premises. That feature includes access to popular public cloud apps like Salesforce, DocuSign and Dropbox.
You’ll also learn how to become an expert on your system’s variations of multi-factor authentication, group-based and conditional access rules. The just-in-time administrator functionality can grant admin-level privileges for a specified amount of time. It minimizes the number of accounts with standing admin rights and eliminates noise from the audit trail when you need to find out exactly how access rights were used.
Agile IT Makes IT Secure
Agile IT excels at implementing Azure AD Premium services for all types of infrastructures to help you gain total visibility and control over who is accessing your most valuable data.