PathMaker Group has been working in the Identity and Access Management space since 2003. We take pride in delivering quality IAM solutions with the best vendor products available. As the vendor landscape changed with mergers and acquisitions, we specialized in the products and vendors that led the market with key capabilities, enterprise scale, reliable customer support and strong partner programs. As the market evolves to address new business problems, regulatory requirements, and emerging technologies, PathMaker Group has continued to expand our vendor relationships to meet these changes. For many customers, the requirements for traditional on premise IAM hasn’t changed. We will continue supporting these needs with products from IBM and Oracle. To meet many of the new challenges, we have added new vendor solutions we believe lead the IAM space in meeting specific requirements. Here are some highlights:
UnboundID offers a next-generation IAM platform that can be used across multiple large-scale identity scenarios such as retail, Internet of Things or public sector. The UnboundID Data Store delivers unprecedented web scale data storage capabilities to handle billions of identities along with the security, application and device data associated with each profile. The UnboundID Data Broker is designed to manage real-time policy-based decisions according to profile data. The UnboundID Data Sync uses high throughput and low latency to provide real-time data synchronization across organizations, disparate data systems or even on-premise and cloud components. Finally, the UnboundID Analytics Engine gives you the information you need to optimize performance, improve services and meet auditing and SLA requirements.
Identity and Data Governance
SailPoint provides industry leading IAM governance capabilities for both on-premise and cloud-based scenarios. IdentityIQ is Sailpoint’s on-premise governance-based identity and access management solution that delivers a unified approach to compliance, password management and provisioning activities. IdentityNow is a full-featured cloud-based IAM solution that delivers single sign-on, password management, provisioning, and access certification services for cloud, mobile, and on-premises applications. SecurityIQ is Sailpoint’s newest offering that can provide governance for unstructured data as well as assisting with data discovery and classification, permission management and real-time policy monitoring and notifications.
Cloud/SaaS SSO, Privileged Access and EMM
Finally, Centrify provides advanced privileged access management, enterprise mobility management, cloud-based access control for customers across industries and around the world. The Centrify Identity Service provides a Software as a Service (SaaS) product that includes single sign-on, multi-factor authentication, enterprise mobility management as well as seamless application integration. The Centrify Privilege Service provides simple cloud-based control of all of your privileged accounts while providing extremely detailed session monitoring, logging and reporting capabilities. The Centrify Server Suite provides the ability to leverage Active Directory as the source of privilege and access management across your Unix, Linux and Windows server infrastructure.
With the addition of these three vendors, PMG can help address key gaps in a customer’s IAM capability. To better understand the eight levers of IAM Maturity and where you may have gaps, take a look this blog by our CEO, Keith Squires about the IAM MAP. Please reach out to see how PathMaker Group, using industry-leading products and our tried and true delivery methodology, can help get your company started on the journey to IAM maturity.
Corporations are increasingly utilizing mobile enterprise systems to meet their business objectives, allowing mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets to access critical applications on their corporate network. These devices provide advanced technologies over traditional desktop clients, such as: information sharing, access from anywhere at any time, data sensors, location, etc. But what makes these mobile devices desirable, by their very nature, also poses a new set of security challenges. Reports by research agencies in recent years show an alarming trend in mobile security threats listing as top concerns: Android malware attacks, and for the IOS platform issues with enterprise provisioning abuse and older OS versions.
These trends highlight the need for corporations to start taking seriously a mobile security strategy at the same level to which cyber criminals are planning future attacks. A mobile security strategy might involve adopting certain Mobile Security Guidelines as published by standards organizations (NIST) and Mobile OWASP project. See the references at the end of this document:
The following guidelines are a subset of Mobile Security Guidelines I pulled from various published sources with most coming from NIST. It is by no means a comprehensive list, however they can be considered as a starting point or additional considerations for an existing mobile security strategy.
1 – Understand the Mobile Enterprise Architecture
You should start with understanding and diagramming the flow from mobile application to business applications running on the back-end application server. This is a great starting point and should be done at the beginning stages, as most of the security guidelines will depend on what is known about the architecture.
- Is the mobile application a native application or mobile web application? Is it a cross-platform mobile application?
- Does the mobile application use middleware to get to the back-end API, or does it connect directly to a back-end Restful based Web Service?
- Does the mobile application connect to an API gateway?
2 – Diagram the network topology of how the mobile devices connect
Is the mobile device connecting to the business application servers over the cellular network or internally through a private WiFi network, or both? Does it go through a proxy or firewall? This type of information will aid in developing security requirements; help with establishing a QA security test bed and monitoring capability.
3 – Develop Mobile Application Security Requirements
At a high level, a security function must protect against unauthorized access and in many cases protect privacy and sensitive data. In most cases, building security into mobile applications is not at the top of the mind-set in the software development process. As such, these requirements should be gathered as soon as possible in the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). It has been my personal experience in many cases that you have to work with application software developers in adopting best security practices. So the sooner you can get that dialogue going the better. Security objectives to consider are: Confidentiality, integrity, and availability. Can the mobile OS platform provide the security services required? How sensitive is the data you are trying to protect. Should the data be encrypted in transit, and in storage? Do you need to consider data-in-motion protection technologies? Should an Identity and Access Management (IDAM) solution be architected as part of the mobile enterprise system? Should it include a Single Sign On functionality (SSO)? Should there be multi-factor authentication, role based or fine-grained access control? Is Federation required? Should the code be obfuscated to prevent reverse engineering?
4 – Incorporate a Mobile Device Security Policy
What types of mobile devices should be allowed to access the organization’s critical assets. Should you allow personal mobile devices, Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD’s) or consider only organization-issued or certified mobile devices to access certain resources? Should you enforce tiers of access? Centralized mobile device management technologies are a growing solution for controlling the use of both organization-issued and BYOD’s by enterprise users. These technologies can remotely wipe the data or lock the password from a mobile device that has been lost or stolen. Should Enterprises consider anti malware software and OS upgrades to become certified mobiles on the network? To reduce high risk mobile devices, consider technologies that can detect and ban mobile devices that are jail broken or rooted, as these can pose the greatest risk of being compromised by hackers.
5 – Application Security Testing
According to a study performed by The Ponemon Institute, nearly 40% of 400 companies surveyed were not scanning their applications for security vulnerabilities, leaving the door wide open for cyber-attacks. This highlights the urgency for security teams to put together some sort of security vetting process to identify security vulnerabilities and validate security requirements as part of an ongoing QA security testing function. Scanning application technologies typically conduct two types of scanning methods: Static Application Security Testing (SAST) which analyzes the source code and Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST), which sends modified HTTP requests to a running web application to exploit the application vulnerabilities. As the QA scanning process develops, it can be automated and injected into the software build process to detect security issues in the early phases of the SDLC.
6 – System Threat Model, Risk Management Process
What will typically come out of the application scanning process will be a list of security vulnerabilities found as either noise, suspect or definitive. It will then be up to the security engineers knowing the system architecture and network topology working with the application developer to determine whether the vulnerability results in a valid threat and what risk level based on the impact of a possible security breach. Once the risk for each application is determined, it can be managed through an enterprise risk management system where vulnerabilities are tracked, fixed and the risk brought down to a more tolerable level.
7 – Consider implementing a Centralized Mobile Device Management System
Depending on the Mobile Security Policy that is in place, you may want to consider implementing a Centralized Mobile Device Management System especially when Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) mobiles are in the mix that can:
- For mobile devices, manage certificates, security setting, profiles, etc through a directory service or administration portal.
- Policy based management system to enforce security settings, restrictions for organization-issued, BYOD mobile devices.
- Manage credentials for each mobile device through a Directory Service.
- Self service automation for BYOD and Reducing overall administrative costs.
- Control which applications are installed on organization-issued applications and check for suspect applications on BYOD mobile devices.
- A system that can remotely wipe or lock a stolen or loss phone.
- A system that can detect Jail-broken or rooted mobile devices.
8 – Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)
Monitor mobile device traffic to back-end business applications. Track mobile devices and critical business applications and correlate with events and log information looking for malicious activity based on threat intelligence. On some platforms it may be possible to integrate with a centralized risk management system to specifically be on alert for suspicious mobile events correlated with applications at higher risk.
- Guidelines for managing the Security of Mobile Devices in the Enterprise http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/PubsSPs.html#800-124
- Vetting the security of Mobile of Mobile Applications http://nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/SpecialPublications/NIST.SP.800-124r1.pdf
- Top 10 Mobile Risks https://www.owasp.org/index.php/Projects/OWASP_Mobile_Security_Project_-_Top_Ten_Mobile_Risks
Are your C-level leaders sending a clear message about Cyber Security?
Despite the high profile security breaches making news headlines and increased attention around cyber risks, executives in the C-suites are still lacking commonality and communication of a clear goal when it comes to a cybersecurity strategy. These individuals need to work together to manage their organizational risks to help prepare, mitigate, and minimize the damage caused by cyber incidents.
Every organization needs a clear strategy and roadmap with supporting tools that protect critical assets. Read more about this topic and the crucial role the C-suite plays in the dynamics surrounding Cybersecurity.
Identity and Access Management (“IAM”) as an industry started gaining significant recognition and momentum around 2003. During these last 12 years, we’ve seen product vendors come and go, we’ve seen industry consolidation, and we’ve seen important product innovation driven by real business need.
While all this has been going on, many companies have leveraged IAM products to achieve important and significant gains in security, efficiency and compliance enforcement. On the other hand, some companies have tried and tried to establish effective IAM programs only to fail in their attempts to affect real change.
What makes one company succeed and another one fail while attempting to leverage the same products and technologies? What are the characteristics of a truly mature IAM program?
Over the next few weeks, I will attempt to address these questions. I also hope to create an important dialogue among those of you who have “been at it” for the last 5-10 years and have seen and been part of great successes and colossal failures. Although I have been part of hundreds of IAM projects, and will lend my experience to the discussion, you, as the readers and contributors, may have much more to contribute to make this topic come alive. Will you help?
Let’s get started with three important characteristics of a mature IAM program. This list is not exhaustive but these capabilities are common among organizations that have made IAM a strategic part of the IT infrastructure.
#1 – User Identity Integration
Pieces and parts of a user’s identity can exist across many different systems in an enterprise. HR systems are an obvious source along with IT systems like Active Directory. Then there is the badge or physical access system, the phone system, and various business applications that become critical for a user to perform their role. Before long, keeping up with all these disparate systems and keeping user attributes current becomes unmanageable. Most organizations recognize the problem and also recognize the need for a consolidated view of a user’s identity. It seems simple enough, but it takes planning, time and good processes to move an organization down the road to centralizing processes, automating synchronization, and removing redundant identity attributes from across the enterprise.
#2 – Account Provisioning
Creating an account on an appropriate system with the correct permissions is a straightforward task when you’ve been given the right information and you have the time to get it done. When a company grows to around 3,000 employees, the enterprise reaches a tipping point where going about this using people and manual effort becomes untenable. Too many requests for new accounts, or too many changes to existing accounts, or repeated requests to remove accounts for terminated employees all begin to pile up. This creates a backlog delaying new workers from getting started, hampering productivity, or creating security exposures where accounts of terminated employees remain active far too long. Centralizing and/or standardizing the process can help but adding technology that provides automation will speed up the process along with enforcing identity standards, access entitlements, and important policies and standards. Automatic account removal of terminated employees is also a significant gain. All accounts on key systems can also be tied back to a central, validated user account eliminating unknown, orphaned user ids from across the enterprise.
#3 – Password Management
Password management activities face a similar challenge as an organization grows and adds more and more people, systems and applications. Initial steps should be to provide tools to help desk personnel centralize and automate this activity. Ultimately an organization needs to move this function away from the help desk and enable the end user to manage his own passwords on key systems, including resetting their own Active Directory password. This is another step that seems simple on the surface but can actually take a significant amount of planning and coordination to get it right and keep it running smoothly. Organizations that make a misstep on their first attempt find it difficult to gain user adoption the second (or third) time around. Eventually, standardized help desk procedures can assist the user community in adopting the self-service approach to managing passwords.
Identity integration, provisioning and password management are three essential building blocks, but there are another 8 – 10 key capabilities we could discuss that should be considered when talking about IAM maturity. What other capabilities would you consider to be essential building blocks? Please contribute to the discussion.
Up next, let’s talk about the essentials for planning a long-term, mature IAM program. If you’re just getting started or have been struggling to make progress, what are some of the keys to putting plans in place that can be effectively executed?
So you think your organization is secure . . . think again! IBM X-Force 2013 mid-year report says that many of the breaches recently reported were a result of “poorly applied security fundamentals and policies and could have been mitigated by putting some basic security hygiene into practice.” Covering the basics is exactly what we help companies achieve through our “SecurePath” 16 domain rapid security assessment. In one week we can review your security posture, cover all your bases and help you prioritize the big security gaps in your environment.
Going through the process of developing a set of policies for your workplace is a must as you reach some point of growth within your organization. Many companies operate for years without taking the time to develop a standard set of information security policies. We have started to see an uptick in the number of organizations making the move toward budgeting time for policy development, testing, and implementation as a result of the various regulatory requirements the business may be subject to. I want to take a moment of your time to cover some areas I recommend you think about as you go through the process of putting together the necessary policies for your organization. Read more
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PathMaker Group is a specialized Security and Identity Management Consultancy, blending core technical and product expertise, consultative know-how, and extensive implementation experience.
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