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How SaaS and Cloud Storage Is Shifting Your Security Perimeter

Nick Fisher
Nick Fisher
Director of Solutions Marketing

Modern organizations have embraced Software as a Service (SaaS) in a big way—and for good reason. Cost savings, increased efficiency, and boosted productivity are just some of the benefits of outsourcing IT solutions like email, app hosting, and data storage to independent third parties. In fact, solutions offered by cloud providers like Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, Google, Oracle, and Salesforce now play a fundamental role in modernizing the IT footprints of most forward-thinking companies. Yes, on-premises infrastructure remains important for many organizations and is unlikely to disappear, but companies that aren’t thinking about a move to the cloud run the risk of being left behind.

However, while the cloud brings new levels of convenience, it also introduces new security implications. With more partners and solution providers in the mix, managing secure access for hybrid cloud architectures is a complex task. Attackers now have more potential avenues to access an organization’s sensitive data and resources—all it takes is a compromised username and password.

According to Verizon’s 2018 Data Breach Investigations Report, phishing attacks represented 98% of social incidents and 93% of breaches in 2018. Hybrid cloud organizations need to acknowledge these threats and adapt their security technologies to the times—or risk facing data breaches, financial penalties, and reputational ruin. The good news? There’s a security model that’s just right for hybrid cloud IT models.

Hybrid cloud architecture requires Zero Trust

Zero Trust is a security model first developed in 2009 by Forrester Research. It is based on the premise that all network traffic, regardless of its source, should be untrusted.

Zero Trust insists on three best practices of security:

  • Guarantee secure access for all resources
  • Enforce strict access controls
  • Inspect and log all traffic

As enterprise technology and its security risks have evolved, so has Zero Trust. The Zero Trust Extended Ecosystem (ZTX) advances the original model with a framework designed for a cloud- and mobile-first world:

  • Protect data with classification schemes and encryption
  • Distrust people, workloads, and devices by default
  • Automate and orchestrate processes for greater security and efficiency

Thanks to the rise of mobile and cloud, people are the new security perimeter. This means that to truly secure hybrid cloud architecture, you not only need to verify the identity of every user requesting access, but also consider the devices, workloads, and networks that people use to access data. While there’s no silver bullet when it comes to achieving a Zero Trust security architecture, identity and access management is the core technology that organizations should start with on their Zero Trust journey.

Implementing Zero Trust for hybrid cloud models with Okta

Okta’s identity solutions are the ideal foundation for any Zero Trust architecture, allowing organizations to protect their employees, provide safer access for customers, and keep their enterprise safe—all while adopting the SaaS and cloud storage solutions that are now so crucial to business success.

Here’s a snapshot of how Okta’s solutions can safeguard your enterprise in a Zero Trust world:

  • Single Sign-On allows organizations to centralize identity and access control.
  • Adaptive Multi-Factor Authentication provides unified policies for authentication of users trying to access cloud or on-premise resources.
  • Lifecycle Management automates the provisioning and deprovisioning of users, helping to reduce an organization’s attack surface by getting rid of orphan accounts.
  • Centralized Reporting delivers real-time security reporting, giving organizations the visibility they need to deal with any credential compromise.

With modern security measures in place, your organization can make the most of SaaS solutions while safely storing data in the cloud and staying compliant. Okta can help to keep your data secure while offering a simple path to all the cloud solutions you need. With 5,500+ pre-built integrations, the Okta Integration Network provides quick and easy access to popular apps while never sacrificing security in the process.     

If you’re in the cloud—or considering making the move—you need to think about Zero Trust, and Zero Trust starts with identity. Okta’s platform provides the strong bedrock you need to manage identity and access in the modern world at no cost to performance.

Want to know more about taking a Zero Trust approach with Okta? Download our whitepaper, Zero Trust with Okta: A Modern Approach to Secure Access from Anywhere.

Nick Fisher
Nick Fisher
Director of Solutions Marketing

Nick Fisher runs Solutions Marketing at Okta, with over a decade of experience in enterprise SaaS and modern security solutions.