Companies still using legacy access tools face an uphill battle to properly secure their cloud or hybrid infrastructure. Oracle Identity and Access Management (IAM) is a powerful-but-complex solution for authenticating users and controlling access to sensitive data and systems. Although Oracle IAM can effectively safeguard enterprise resources, deploying a cloud-native solution that offers cross-cloud, Just-in-Time (JIT) permissioning can streamline the process.
Cross-cloud solutions grant users time-limited, as-needed access to accounts and resources in multi-cloud environments, including Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI). In this article, we’ll explain why legacy access tools struggle to support JIT permissioning, the importance of this cybersecurity feature in preventing unauthorized resource access, and the essential role that a privileged access management (PAM) solution plays in enforcing cross-cloud JIT access.
Why Legacy Access Tools Struggle to Support JIT Access
JIT access helps businesses maintain a strong security posture. By providing users with temporary access to resources only when they need it, and for the minimum duration of time required, organizations can significantly reduce risk. But attempting to implement this modern approach using legacy tools presents a set of unique challenges. Here are the key challenges that come with attempting to implement JIT access with legacy tools.
One of the major drawbacks of legacy access tools is their lack of granularity. This can have a significant limiting effect on the types of access they can manage. Managing privileged access with older tools can make it difficult to provide users with the specific level of access they need for a particular task.
Legacy access tools built for a different time and place can be difficult to adapt to complex multi-cloud environments. They may lack the visibility required to quickly identify and remediate access-related risks, creating security vulnerabilities that make it challenging to detect and effectively respond to threats in real time.
Legacy access tools are not well-known for their intuitive design and may require someone with a significant amount of experience to properly configure. This complexity can make it challenging to set up JIT access for users, requiring a significant investment in time, technical expertise, and ongoing support. Especially for smaller businesses, this additional burden can be significant.
As the scale and complexity of business IT systems rapidly expand, traditional access tools can struggle to scale to meet the needs of modern businesses. These scalability constraints can make it difficult to manage access for a large number of users or resources.
Why Implement Just-in-Time (JIT) Access in Oracle IAM
In today’s cloud environments, organizations need a modern, reliable privileged access management solution purpose-built to support modern cloud platforms, applications, and services. There are many compelling reasons for implementing JIT access in Oracle IAM and other cloud platforms. Here are three primary ways this security practice facilitates efficient and secure access to sensitive data and applications.
When human and non-human users such as service accounts are granted access to systems or applications on a just-in-time basis, organizations can shrink their potential attack surface significantly. When access is granted only when it is needed and revoked when no longer necessary, organizations can help prevent unauthorized access, data breaches, and other security incidents in Oracle OCI and other business-critical digital infrastructure.
Many regulations and standards, such as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), require organizations to implement stringent access controls to ensure that only authorized personnel can access sensitive data or systems. Implementing JIT in Oracle IAM can help organizations safeguard their sensitive data by improving the efficiency and security of their identity management.
JIT access can be used to streamline access management processes, eliminating the need for manual provisioning and deprovisioning of access. This automated approach can save time and resources, and reduce the risk of human error.
Modernize Oracle IAM with a Privileged Access Management Platform
As organizations expand their IT environments to take full advantage of advances in cloud-native platforms and applications, the pivot to modern ways of working introduces new security challenges. A privileged access management platform is a centralized solution for managing, controlling, and monitoring access to sensitive resources. Here’s how it can complement Oracle IAM to help organizations stay ahead of the curve in access management.
Implement JIT access in multi-cloud environments
Standing permissions present a significant security threat in Oracle OCI and other cloud platforms. User accounts with static access create valuable opportunities for hackers. Once the system has been compromised, malicious actors are free to access potentially sensitive resources.
Dynamic provisioning solves this by granting elevated permissions only for the minimum duration required to complete a task. Once that time period has elapsed, resource access is automatically revoked. This process can be applied not only to human users, but also to synthetic users, including applications and scripts. Using a PAM platform to implement JIT access in multi-cloud environments provides an efficient and secure way to manage privileged access to cloud resources, helping keep DevOps, SecOps, and CloudOps teams safe and productive by automatically granting access privileges only when they are needed as long as they are needed.
Enable cross-cloud discovery
Many organizations operate on numerous cloud platforms and services. A PAM platform helps organizations manage this complexity to discover and identify privileged accounts and access across multiple cloud environments. The PAM platform not only discovers privileged accounts across all the cloud environments, but it can also identify service accounts, IAM roles, and other types of privileged access. It unlocks intuitive visibility and reporting capabilities to provide administrators with a more comprehensive view of privileged access across different cloud environments, helping them to more easily identify any inconsistencies or compliance issues.
Proactive threat monitoring
With robust tracking capabilities, a PAM platform allows security teams to conduct in-depth analysis of access changes and policy drift to identify and correct potential vulnerabilities before they can be exploited. This data can also accelerate post-incident investigations involving identity-based incidents. In addition, for organizations using UEBA or SIEM technologies, this data can be fed into these systems to create a holistic view into cloud privileges and activity.
Least privilege enforcement
When users have more permissions or resource access than their job requires, hackers with access to their user credentials can accomplish more than they would be able to if their permissions were right-sized. Least privilege enforcement can also help limit the fallout from an active insider threat. Especially for organizations with large numbers of users, a PAM platform can help streamline least privilege enforcement in Oracle IAM.
Modernizing Oracle IAM with Cross-Cloud JIT
Oracle IAM provides a useful toolset for managing user access and entitlements in both cloud and traditional deployments. But upgrading the capabilities of this identity and access management software with a cloud-native PAM platform that provides cross-cloud JIT can add additional layers of security, helping businesses protect their most critical assets, in the cloud and beyond.
Download this guide to learn how cloud access management platforms are designed to support JIT access privileges in multi-cloud environments.