The Startup Magazine The Role of IAM in Preventing Insider Threats

Organizations are often looking for ways to mitigate external cybersecurity risks. However, the one thing they fail to uncover is the threat of an inside infiltration. Identity and Access Management (IAM) is a system that allows you to control all the employees who work under the aegis of an organization.

cyber security protocols

There are always contingencies when there are many users working on the same project. Managing individual access can be complicated if you don’t have a proper system in place. This is where IAM comes into play. It gives IT managers a bird’s-eye view of everyone working on a particular project. With security protocols of one-time passwords, security keys, and multi-factor authentication, IAM can have a huge impact on your organization’s security. So if you want to know how to comply with IAM policies to keep all insider threats at bay, you need to take a look at the following aspects.

Regulation of access control

Providing access to employees is not as easy as it sounds. There are several steps that allow administrators to regulate access control to their offices. Each employee has access according to their specific role. Each department has its own set of resources that are only available at its discretion. The IT department’s access will be completely different from the HR department’s access.

IAM supports role-based access control and automated permission level transition if a given employee’s role changes within the organization. This division of information and rules will also help establish professional and personal boundaries in the workplace, thus minimizing insider threats.

Implementation of user tracking

Gone are the days when managers simply walked around the office to check on their employees. In the age of digital workspaces and remote work, it becomes difficult to monitor the activity of each user. IAM allows administrators to monitor each user based on their user activity.

This can be done by monitoring the number of times a user has logged into their account and whether there have been any failed attempts to access company resources. User monitoring helps you stay vigilant and prevent any attacks that may arise and put your valuable IT resources at risk.

Denial of privileged access

Make sure that privileged access remains privileged. Most organizations make the mistake of providing privileged access to people working at the second or third level of administration. This delegation of responsibilities may seem easy at the time, but it has drastic effects on the security of the organization.

Administrators must provide any information on a need-to-know basis. If someone does not need to know the information reserved for privileged access, it should be kept that way. An effective IAS strategy must incorporate the principle of least privilege, which follows the concept of least user rights or minimum authorization level.

Application of multifactor authentication

Multi-factor authentication is a foolproof method of enforcing organizations’ security policies. By providing multiple forms of verification, the chances of insider threats becoming reality are reduced to zero.

Single-factor authentication is not as secure as MFA, and it’s easy to hack password-only authentication. By contrast, using security keys and TOTP (time-based one-time password) gives users only thirty seconds to verify their identity. If a user is not on your employee list, they will not be able to access your company’s sensitive information.

Configuring IAM protocols for remote access

IAM is an ideal security solution for organizations that rely on a hybrid or remote workforce. IAM establishes protocols that strictly follow IAM policies and ensure the security and integrity of data during transfer and storage.

These protocols are specifically designed to transfer authentication information and consist of a series of messages arranged in a predetermined sequence to secure data during its transfer between servers or across networks.

Creation of data protection policies

A role trust policy, which is associated with an IAM role, is the only type of resource-based policy that the IAM service supports. The IAM function works as a resource and as an identity that supports identity-based policies. Therefore, you must associate an IAM role with both a trust policy and an identity-based policy.

After implementing IAM policies, be sure to base your regular operational tasks on them. This allows you to cut through the noise to find potential abnormal behavior, making it stand out like a sore thumb and improving your chances of stopping and identifying insider threats.

Set IAM permission limits

When you leverage a managed policy, it sets a limit on the number of permissions that identity-based policies grant to an IAM entity. Simply put, identity-based policy grants permission to the entity while permit limits limit these permissions. By setting a permission limit for an entity, the entity can only perform those activities that are in line with the permission limits and identity-based policies.

However, resource-based policies that fundamentally specify the role or user are not limited by the permission limit. Any of these express disclaimer policies supersede the authorization.

Following Service Control Policies (SCP)

Along the same lines, organizations can make use of service-based policies to deter insider attacks. Service-based policies are organization policies that are used to manage permissions. SCP gives your administration full control over the maximum permissions available to all accounts in your organization. In addition, service-based policies help your organization comply with your access control policies, ensuring maximum security for your valuable resources.

However, SCP cannot successfully grant permissions to its own domain. They can set limits for permissions, which your IT admin can delegate to IAM users, but you still need resource-based or identity-based policies to grant permissions.

Using Access Control Lists (ACLs)

Another set of policies known as access control lists (ACLs) let you manage which principals in another account have access to a resource. However, a director’s access to the same account’s resources cannot be controlled using ACLs. ACLs allow you to specify who has access to your cubes and objects, and to what degree. Although IAM rights can only be granted at the bucket level or higher, ACLs can be specified for individual objects. Although these ACLs are similar to resource-based policies, they are the only ones that do not take advantage of the JSON policy document format.

key points

Insider threats have become an enterprise-wide concern that requires executive-level attention. The malicious intent of your company’s trusted employees can cause devastating damage to your company’s security and reputation. However, if you implement an effective IAS framework that aligns with your governance and related policy rules in your central access system, your ability to detect and deter internal security threats will greatly increase.

That said, there is currently no solution or mechanism that can guarantee 100% prevention and detection of insider risks, but IAM is currently one of the most efficient and effective ways to secure access and counter insider attacks. To get the most out of your IAM solution, you should have visibility into IAM policies and their permission limits, as well as a set of policies, such as service control policies, so that you can follow them effectively and protect your business resources.

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Security is a top priority for any startup, and insider threats are an especially concerning risk. Insider threats, where malicious actors within an organization gain access to confidential information, steal assets, or sabotage operations, can cause significant damage. To mitigate these threats, companies have begun leveraging Identity Access Management (IAM) to identify suspicious activity, and safeguard against the unauthorized access to sensitive data.

Ikaroa is a full stack tech startup providing comprehensive IAM solutions to guard against insider threats. It’s solutions enable organizations to manage user access to corporate data more effectively. It not only limits access to business critical data but also to continuously monitor user access and detect any suspicious activity.

Ikaroa’s IAM solutions make use of two-factor authentication and verified user credentials to ensure that only the right people can access the data. It also allows administrators to set up policy rules that enforce limits on access and activity based on user roles. This means that users are only able to access the data they need and can’t perform actions outside of their designated roles.

The startup also incorporates sophisticated analytics into its IAM solutions to detect any potential insider threats and suspicious activity, such as access for deleted accounts, privilege escalation attempts, and suspicious user behavior. By detecting potential security issues before they become an issue, the IAM solutions protect businesses from potential data breaches and other malicious activities.

Ikaroa’s solutions also enable organizations to stay compliant with audit standards and data regulations, while encouraging safe and secure data access. Proper IAM can make a huge difference in preventing insider threats, and the offerings from Ikaroa are instrumental in helping organizations protect their most sensitive assets.


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