Does your cloud solution have a thorough identification and authorization framework?
Your cloud solution is the backbone of your organization’s functionality. It involves many resources, belonging to many users, interacting in an intricate manner. It’s critical that you ensure that the appropriate access control is maintained within your cloud environment in order to reduce risk to your data. These three earmarks are a good place to start with evaluating your identity and authorization framework, or making sure that your Cloud System Provider (CSP) is meeting your needs:
You must first determine who among your users are allowed to access which protected resources. You don’t want a lower level employee accessing and altering business critical data, this is where you start to parse out those who can/cannot access information.
Simply, Authentication translates into who is getting access to what. Your Cloud System Provider will manage this through the Policy Administration Point (PAP), where authorization policies are stored.
Also referred to as Access control, Enforcement is primarily concerned with making sure that the right users have access to what they are requesting access to, and those who don’t have access are denied it. Activities surrounding Enforcement will occur at the Policy Enforcement Point (PEP), which receives access requests and sends them on to the Policy Decision Point (PDP) and ensures that the user is granted or denied access based on whether or not they are authorized to access that data.
There is an excellent paper on Access Control for Secure Cloud Computing available here, for more in-depth reading.
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