This post was originally published to The New Stack here.

  • CIEM is a comprehensive solution to manage access rights and permissions for cloud resource entities, and it is critical for building a strong security strategy based on the principle of least privilege.
  • CIEM solutions offer several major advantages, including scalable entitlements visibility, compliance assurance, and more.
  • In this post, we outline 3 major reasons why you should consider incorporating CIEM into your cloud security plan.

According to Gartner, by 2023, 75% of security failures — more than half of what we saw in 2020 — will be caused by insufficient management of identities, access and privileges. Because of the increasing complexity of modern cloud infrastructure, teams must monitor and manage access credentials for multiple things — such as resources, services and accounts — across multiple cloud environments. These concerns must be addressed at the core of an organization’s cloud security strategy with a cloud infrastructure entitlements management, or CIEM, solution. 

CIEM (which is typically pronounced like “Kim”), is a comprehensive solution to manage access rights and permissions for cloud resource entities. According to Gartner, CIEM services are “specialist identity-centric SaaS solutions focused on controlling cloud access risk with administration-time controls for entitlement governance in hybrid and multi-cloud IaaS.” CIEM solutions are critical for building a cloud security strategy since they adhere to the principle of least privilege, the practice of granting designated entities contextual access to cloud data. Continue reading to learn more about the role of CIEM in your cloud security strategy.

Key Cloud Entitlements Challenges that Demand CIEM Adoption

The number of entitlements required for access control across shifting contexts continues to grow in tandem with the number of cloud deployments and infrastructures. As a result, there is an increasing permissions gap between various cloud entities — such as users, applications, and systems — that will broaden the attack surface if left unchecked. CISOs and cloud security operations center teams are constantly confronting challenges related to privileged access management as well as identity governance and administration. They should implement a CIEM system that targets several aspects of entitlements management, such as:

  • Inactive identities and super identities
  • Active identities with excessive permissions
  • Access across accounts 
  • Anomalous acts performed by machine identities

Therefore, it is essential to have a cloud security strategy that restricts unauthorized access and prevents illegal information exchange, which can be accomplished with CIEM.

3 Reasons to Consider CIEM for Your Cloud Security Strategy

CIEMs help businesses develop a solid cloud security strategy by ensuring that identity and resource access are successfully managed across dynamic cloud infrastructures. CIEMs offer several major advantages, including scalable entitlements visibility, compliance assurance, cloud permission rightsizing and the automatic discovery and remediation of access risks. Below, we’ll briefly examine three major reasons why you should incorporate CIEM into your cloud security strategy.

Multicloud Support and Compliance

Most enterprises are embracing a multicloud strategy to avoid vendor lock-in or to benefit from best-of-breed solutions. Over 75% of businesses use public cloud services, and Gartner reports that more plan to do so. This necessitates a holistic CIEM solution that delivers centralized visibility into the growing multicloud estate.

When designing a cloud security strategy, you should consider implementing a CIEM solution that provides centralized multicloud discovery and compliance. This will allow SOC teams to track cloud assets, users, services, compute pieces, roles and entitlements across numerous cloud platforms as well as ensure regulatory compliance and CIS benchmarks. A CIEM with multicloud support will also serve as a unifying platform for complex multicloud systems, thus reducing the need for teams to switch contexts among many cloud vendors. This feature will surely come in handy in terms of scalability, regardless of whether a company uses a multicloud infrastructure.

Automated Remediation 

As a crucial part of cloud security compliance, automated remediation promotes business continuity by reducing risk and eliminating human involvement in crucial processes. The primary benefits of integrating automated remediation into your cloud security strategy are cost savings and improved worker productivity. 

CIEM solutions can automatically detect, discover and remedy identity and access management (IAM) issues in cloud entitlements management. For instance, Orca Security uses artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to identify the biggest security benefits that can be gained with the fewest policy changes. Then it provides teams with guided remediation recommendations for lowering IAM risks. Additionally, users have the option of customizing alerts based on their playbooks or leveraging Orca to perform on-demand automated remediation. 

Granular and Continuous Entitlement Assessment 

One of the most difficult tasks for security teams is validating cloud infrastructure entitlements. To improve their job productivity, they must adopt a CIEM solution that enables them to assess entitlement credentials and remove those that contravene the principle of least privilege.

CIEM plays an important role in your cloud security strategy by defining a proactive, granular, and continuous entitlements assessment of your cloud infrastructure. This provides teams with contextual visibility into all identities, configurations, access policies, entitlements, permissions and activities in your cloud, which allows them to spot any misconfigurations. 

Incorporating CIEM into your Cloud Security Strategy and Infrastructure

As cloud adoption grows, organizations’ cloud plans must work in unison with their security policies to meet the increasingly complex requirements of modern infrastructures. As we explained in this post, one of the most persistent issues with modern multi-cloud settings is privileged access and identity management. The first step toward addressing this when developing a cloud security strategy is to ensure that you have a 360-degree view of your cloud estate and suitable Identity and Access Management technology. This can be achieved via Cloud Infrastructure Entitlements Management (CIEM).

We also explained that CIEM technologies play an important role in developing a comprehensive cloud security strategy by enabling centralized multi-cloud discovery and compliance, advanced AI-based automated remediation of IAM risks, and continuous granular assessment of cloud entity entitlements. You can explore the many advantages of incorporating CIEM tools into your cloud security approach by utilizing the Orca CIEM platform. Orca provides a comprehensive CIEM solution that assists enterprises in securing identities and cloud entitlements across multiple clouds, detecting misconfigurations, ensuring compliance with the principle of least privilege, and monitoring identity hygiene metrics.
The Orca CIEM dashboard manages your multi-cloud estate holistically by combining identity risks with other risk data, which can be prioritized based on potential business impact. Are you ready to witness Orca at work? You can watch a 10-minute demo video or sign up for a free 30-day trial to get started with your cloud infrastructure entitlements management journey.