The challenges of managing identities and access controls across multiple clouds have become more prevalent as organizations increasingly adopt a mix of public, private and hybrid cloud environments. With identity now at the forefront of modern security perimeters, finding effective solutions to these challenges is essential.
One of the main challenges introduced by multi-cloud adoption is the need for multiple sets of credentials in cloud deployments with single sign-on (SSO), which can lead to significant security issues. These issues include difficulties with account lifecycles, monitoring and enforcing use and behaviors, as well as a lack of support for multi-factor authentication (MFA). Additionally, managing roles, privileges and access models separately for each IaaS and PaaS cloud can be challenging for security and operations teams, making monitoring for user, group and role permissions difficult.
To address these challenges, organizations using multiple clouds should consider several best practices for multi-cloud identity management. First and foremost, it is essential to use common industry IAM standards and technologies to ensure that cloud applications do not use different sets of standards and technologies than other applications and general infrastructure. Avoiding custom IAM tools or platforms that are not built on standards can help prevent vendor lock-in problems. Monitoring cloud identity roles and privileges across multi-cloud environments is also crucial, as it enables organizations to track and monitor identity roles and privilege assignments within IaaS and PaaS environments. Integration with cloud IAM features into other initiatives, such as BYOD initiatives, and Zero-trust network access models can also help address multi-cloud identity management challenges.
In addition to these best practices, organizations should also evaluate in-house identity standards usage and investigate IAM service provider security. Thoroughly investigating the security controls in place at IAM providers, including encryption, logging, monitoring, and role-based access control, can help ensure that user identity data is stored securely and that any industry-specific compliance requirements associated with identity data are met. Adopting identity as a service (IDaaS) and integrating it into the software development lifecycle (SDLC) is another best practice for organizations shifting into multi-cloud environments. IDaaS providers that can broker identity transactions related to zero-trust evaluation, authentication, authorization, and logging and monitoring all activities and behaviors can be valuable assets in multi-cloud environments.
Overall, the adoption of a multi-cloud model introduces added complexity to cloud identity and access management, making it essential for organizations to consider best practices and solutions to address these challenges. By implementing industry standards, monitoring cloud identity roles and privileges, and integrating multi-cloud IAM into other initiatives, organizations can ensure that identities and access controls are secure and effective across cloud environments.