Making the Azure Cloud Environment More Secure with PAM

Making the Azure Cloud Environment More Secure with PAM

Sep 12, 2021 / Kron

Today, cloud computing is an indispensable element of business life, and cloud media is of great importance to institutions operationally and in terms of cost. In fact, with the acceleration of digital transformation, multi-cloud structures have become an inevitable necessity for the sustainability of business models. Security of administrator accounts in cloud media networks has started to gain more value as a result of the proliferation of cloud technologies such as Microsoft Azure, and the expansion of the multi-cloud environment.

Data leaks from administrator accounts, which are extremely important in terms of data security and cybersecurity, harm the functioning of institutions and considerably reduce efficiency and productivity. In addition, losing sensitive data from administrator accounts, other employee accounts, and customer accounts causes serious damage to corporate reputation, user trust, and leads to the questioning of the access security standards of the company.

Identity Management with Azure PIM

Azure PIM (Privileged Identity Management) can be defined as an Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) service that allows you to manage, control, and monitor access to important resources within the network 24/7. Based on the principle of minimizing the number of accounts that have access privileges to critical resources, PIM aims to ensure the security of authorized privileged accounts.

When considered in the context of cloud security, it can be argued that this solution secures access to critical accounts and data up to a certain extent. “Conditional Access,” which is an important part of the PIM service and constitutes the main identity security layer, helps you identify the location and sources from which users are trying to access your company data. For example, with the conditional access feature, you can prevent access requests to your network from risky locations, and request users to complete the authentication process again when they connect from a different location. However, it does not have a password safe feature. This can create security vulnerabilities, such as the inability to securely store the passwords of critical data or privileged accounts accessing this data.

In addition, you can limit access time to resources via PIM, or create a process that requires approval for the access to areas of privileged accounts within the system. However, it still does not have any session management features, which can lead to obstacles that will prolong the response time in case of malicious access. In addition, reporting on privileged accounts can be generated based on logins and approvals within the system, rather than activity in privileged sessions. This complicates the steps to identify, analyze, and eliminate data breaching accounts. For all these reasons, teams using Azure’s cloud environment or Azure PIM will find that their organization will gain significant operational advantages if they look at PAM applications in comparison.

Azure PIM and PAM Relationship

There are significant security and operational advantages in supporting the Azure PIM service, which is important for cloud security especially in organizations with multi-cloud environments, with universal PAM (Privileged Access Management) applications. Looking at the big picture and the cybersecurity incidents experienced especially during the pandemic, the necessity of having a multi-layered protection system starting with PIM, which is a standard utility program, becomes evident in order to avoid cyber threats at an international level.

For this very reason, for organizations that use shared accounts in multi-cloud environments, the Azure PIM service should be supported with a PAM solution. PAM functionality and features directly related to the components of access security provided by Azure PIM will surely play a critical role in protecting privileged accounts and their data. As we just discussed, the limited access security and functionality of Azure PIM can cause institutions to incur cost and lose prestige in the event of a serious cyber-attack or data breach. For example, Multi-Factor Authentication, Password Vault, and Privileged Session Manager features can support access security from different aspects, making your cybersecurity posture more robust, in addition to PIM.

Importance of Cloud Computing with Current Statistics

Cloud computing, which has become one of the cornerstones of the business world in the second decade of the 21st century, draws attention with its significant commercial volume growth. The current value of the industry has exceeded $150 billion, up from $24.65 billion in 2010.

As a matter of fact, 81% of international organizations today have incorporated multi-cloud environment strategies within their business model. In addition, the corporate infrastructure of 67% of these companies is completely cloud-based. Moreover, a data flow of more than 40 zettabytes is provided through cloud servers today, and an average internet user interacts with 36 cloud-based services online every day.

Microsoft Azure is the second largest service provider in its field, with a market share of 20%. It is possible to clearly see the increased exposure to cyber threats as a result of the proliferation of multi-cloud environments. This is supported by various statistics in the 2021 Cost of a Data Breach Report from IBM. According to the report, the costs incurred as a result of data breaches broke a record, rising from $3.86 million to $4.24 million in 2021. The highlight of the report is that companies that compromise on cloud security and the principle of least privilege incur the bulk of the costs.

While there are serious threats to cloud security, the fact that organizations continue to invest in cloud/multi-cloud and on-premise solutions provides valuable clues about the need to allocate data security for privileged access and shared accounts, especially with the help of PAM.

Kron’s PAM solution, Single Connect, with its Privileged Session Manager, Dynamic Password Controller, Two-Factor Authentication (2FA), and Database Access Manager modules, provides high-level privileged access security in a multi-cloud environment. For example, the Dynamic Password Controller stores the passwords of privileged accounts at different levels in isolation from the system with its password vault feature, while 2FA helps you perform two-factor authentication with geo-location and time-based features.

You too can secure your sensitive data in the cloud and increase the productivity of your IT teams with Single Connect, our time-tested solution, featured once again among the best PAM platforms in the world by being included in the 2021 Magic Quadrant for PAM report prepared by Gartner.

Contact us to learn more about the unique access security solutions of Single Connect, and learn everything you need to know about our product from our expert team.


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