*********: Your First Line of Defense

Before I get started…I just wanted to invite our readers to an interesting online event on Thursday April 19. I will be hosting a webinar that delves into and dissects some of the most injurious IT threats and provide some cloud-based countermeasures. You can read more and register on the Webinars and Other Events tab above. I hope you will join me. Now onto the subject at hand:

If you’re like me, you have dozens of passwords. From Facebook to bank accounts to SaaS-based CRM or Google Apps to general network access.  And if you are like 75% of the users out there, just key in your birthday or your dog’s name or (gulp) “password.” For many users it is an inconvenience to remember the variety of access keys so you default to using the same password over and over and over again. To the IT admin or CSO, this is the stuff of which nightmares are made. And the potential for breach grows when any employees leaves the confines of the authorized applications and navigates out to unsanctioned sites.

******* is the first line of defense to ensure your enterprise users can seamlessly access their networks, applications and proprietary data. As such, password management is increasingly an important defensive strategy for your enterprise and one that can now easily be managed from the cloud.  The negative impact on IT resource productivity is well documented, as is the threat to the overall security of your enterprise. Multiply these issues across an enterprise of 10,000 users in multiple locations, you begin to understand the impact of the potential risks and threats.

The argument in favor of a single sign-on identity access management solution is twofold. It prevents access to those with no business accessing your systems, files and data. And it monitors and maintains those with credentials only to access the information (and applications) needed to do their job. But you know this; you deal with issues like this on a daily basis.

The difference here is password management and all of its benefits managed from the cloud. If you support multiple offices, hundreds or thousands of users with a multitude of roles, possibly in different countries, the ability to centralize password management across an enterprise increases the ability to secure the sign on process and access protocols. This is one of the chief benefits of the cloud. But let’s assume you are well versed in the sales pitch of how much time and resources you save (especially when you include a self-service mechanism) by using the cloud…which is considerable. Nonetheless , many experts still point to poor password management as the weak link in overall security strategies.

While there have been advances in authentication technologies, the password remains as the primary key for accessing the vast majority of systems and services.” Security InfoWatch.

With that in mind here’s a few tips for managing passwords from the cloud:

Kevin Nikkhoo