Managed Services

Identity Access Management (IAM) and Navigating a Shared Responsibility Model

23 Mar

Identity and Access Management (IAM) is an integral part of any cloud security system, enabling organizations to decide who has access to cloud resources, which resources they have permission to, and for how long they can access them. Think of a good IAM system as a set of keys to your home. A partner, friends, roommates, or neighbors may have a key to your house, either on a temporary basis or permanently. And these keys are only given to people you trust.

Cloud security with IAM works in a very similar way to your house keys. Organizations set up IAM policies that define the roles, permissions, and authentication methods for users, groups, and services, giving them specific access to certain areas of your cloud environment.

These permissions are built around the robust security systems created by cloud service providers (CSPs) like Azure or AWS, but it’s important to note that IAM works alongside existing cloud security, not separate from it. This is known as the shared responsibility model.


How the Shared Responsibility Model Works

The shared responsibility model is a security strategy that combines the best security measures created by CSPs with customer responsibility using IAM systems. But what does that actually mean?

Within this model, CSPs are responsible for protecting:

  • Physical cloud infrastructure
  • Hardware, software, and networking systems
  • Firewalls and storage devices

Meanwhile, customers under this system are responsible for protecting:

  • Network segmentation
  • Identity verification
  • Access management
  • Incident monitoring and response

While neither of the above is an exhaustive list, both give an overview of some of the systems CSPs and organizations are responsible for.

The importance of understanding what you or your CSP are responsible for cannot be overstated. A recent report from IBM showed that stolen or compromised credentials are not only the most common type of data breach but they also take the longest time to identify.

If we stick with our original key illustration, you can think of CSP security as the door locks on your house and IAM security as the keys. If you have great locks, but you give the keys to lots of people, lose them, or even forget to lock the doors, then your house is not secure.


Neovera Can Help You Share the Security Load

It can be overwhelming thinking of all of the ways that your organization is responsible for managing security. Luckily, you don’t have to do it alone. Neovera has both the IAM solutions you need and the know-how to walk you through the process of using them.

Our team has developed a simple three-step strategy to help organizations and enterprises:

  • Understand their IAM needs through a comprehensive cloud workshop
  • Assess their security readiness with a 3-week security analysis
  • Build and implement a customized IAM plan based on your specific needs

Neovera’s vendor-agnostic consulting services will design, build, and help you manage your IAM services so that you can be confident that the keys to your cloud systems are always in the right hands.

When you’re ready to let Neovera help you with your shared cloud responsibilities, contact us for a consultation.