Identity and Access Management for Cloud Security

The importance to guarantee data security in the cloud is crucial in the contemporary conditions of fast technological development. All measures are to be taken in order to prevent personal data leakage. Identity and Access Management (IAM) is considered one of the most effective ways to provide cloud security. This essay will analyze why Identity and Access Management domain the most significant control for data security in cloud environments.

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The operational areas of Identity and Access Management include identity management, authentication management, federated identity management, authorization management, and compliance management. This comprehensive approach ensures that only authorized users are effectively incorporated into the cloud environment (Indu et al. 575). Firstly, identity authentification is crucial for cloud security, as it allows to verify and prove the identity of a user. A similar process exists in the real world in the form of presenting an ID card or other identification documents. Access Management ensures that the identified entities have the capability to perform only the tasks they are permitted to perform. The process of authorization allows to verify what access an entity is entitled to. In order to avoid data security compromising, cloud environments determine the levels of authorization for different entities.

The common authentication mechanisms in a cloud system include “log-on credentials, multifactor authentication, third party authentication, simple text passwords, 3D password objects, graphical passwords, biometric authentication, and digital device authentication” (Indu et al. 576). In order to enhance the security check, some cloud service providers (CSPs) use physical security mechanisms, for instance, access cards or biometrics denying unauthorized access through authentication. In addition, Identity and Access Management may include some digital mechanisms, ensuring security in cloud environments. In Federated Identity Management, cloud services are authenticated by using the organization’s identity provider. Federated identity management ensures the trust between a web-based application and the identity provider by exchanging Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) certified public keys (Indu et al. 578). Thus, IAM systems provide a high level of cloud security by a number of secure authentification mechanisms.

The second IAM operational area concerns authentication management, ensuring that credentials are managed securely by means of access control policies or access right delegations. Cloud service providers create special policies to control access in the IAM system for guaranteeing that only valid users are able to access the protected resources and services. Therefore, CSPs are to provide three essential characteristics, which are Governance, Risk Management, and Compliance (GRC) (Indu et al. 579). Due to GRC, it is possible to synchronize sensitive information and the activities across governance, compliance for improving the efficiency, and effective report activities in organizations. After successful authentication, authorization management determines whether the authenticated entity is allowed to perform any function within a given application. The last operational area of identity and access management is compliance management. This ensures that an organization’s resources are secure and accessed only according to the policies and regulations.

To sum up, IAM systems are essential in providing security in the cloud environment through elaborated mechanisms of authentication and authorization management. These mechanisms may include physical methods or digital methods, for instance, Public Key Infrastructure. Thus, privacy is regarded as a vital issue in the cloud environment protection and can be attained through Identity and Access Management, which ensures a highest level of data security at the moment.

Work Cited

Indu, I, et al. “Identity and Access Management in Cloud Environment: Mechanisms and Challenges.” Engineering Science and Technology, an International Journal, vol. 21, no.4, 2018, pp. 574-588.

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