- Policies: Formal definitions or rules that specify what actions identities can or cannot do on resources. They are a structured way to combine identities, permissions, and sometimes conditions to establish who can do what under which circumstances.
- Scope: Entitlements can be scoped to specific parts of the cloud environment, such as a particular region, resource group, or organizational unit. This helps in limiting the breadth of access for any given identity.
- Conditions: Some entitlements might only be valid under specific situations. For instance, an entitlement might only be valid when accessed from a certain IP range or during specific times in a day.
- Time-bound Entitlements: Permissions granted for a specific duration. Once the period expires, the entitlements are automatically revoked.
- Audit Trails: While not a direct component of the entitlement itself, maintaining a log or audit trail of entitlement changes and access events is crucial for security reviews, compliance, and incident investigations.
- Lifecycle Management: The process of periodically reviewing and adjusting entitlements to reflect changing needs, removing obsolete permissions, and ensuring adherence to the principle of least privilege.
- Inheritance: Some entitlements are derived from parent entities or overarching settings depending on the team or department of a user.
The concept of least privilege
The concept of least privilege is a cybersecurity term that describes the practice of granting users only the minimum level of permissions required for their specific requirements. Implementing least privilege helps limit the potential damage of misconfigurations, insider threats, or external breaches. CIEM tools operate under the least privilege methodology by monitoring and managing cloud entitlements to ensure that identities have as little access as is necessary.
Relevancy of least privilege for CIEM
Least privilege is a foundational component of CIEM solutions. By focusing on the effective management of cloud entitlements, CIEM solutions ensure that users have only the narrow entitlements they require to effectively perform their functions. This helps by reducing the overall attack surface, mitigating insider threats, simplifying audit and compliance, and reducing the risks of misconfigurations.
CIEM key concepts include the foundational elements for protecting identities in the cloud, enabling organizations to understand who is accessing your cloud resources, what data, projects and systems they are using, and how they are using your IP within your cloud environment.
Matt Graves, MajorKey Principal Solution Advisor – Cloud Security