Strategies To Reduce Risk By Improving GCP IAM Revealed: Benefits Of JIT Access

In its new research, Britive revealed the top strategies to reduce risks by improving identity and access management (IAM) on the Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

More details can be found at https://www.britive.com/blog/3-frictionless-strategies-to-boost-your-gcp-iam

While GCP provides a solid IAM solution, with measures in place to minimize control access and exposure, cloud identity lifecycles expand over time and can lead to standing privileges. Britive’s research identified several associated risks, including vulnerability to security attacks.

“Standing privileges represent a major threat to an organization; attackers recognize these opportunities and target them aggressively,” explains Britive. “When companies scale with GCP and rely on additional administrators, users, and groups to satisfy key business drivers, their security risks are catapulted to higher levels as their attack surfaces expand.”

Britive further explains that Google itself advises businesses to grant just enough access a user needs complete their tasks. This is in line with the principle of least privilege access, and in combination with a security policy that dictates access levels for all roles, can mitigate cloud security risks.

As such, Britive’s team of cloud security and management experts recommends three strategies to improve identity access management in GCP and boost security.

Just-in-Time (JIT) Privilege Grants

JIT permissions, which Britve offers as part of its CIEM platform, facilitate zero standing privileges by allowing only temporary access upon request. Once authorized, users will be granted limited-time access to complete the necessary task. Britive explains that by revoking access automatically and as soon as it’s no longer needed, JIT privilege grants eliminate the risks associated with standing privileges.

Cloud Secrets Management

Similar to JIT privilege grants, cloud secrets should be monitored and managed, as API keys may become vulnerable to attacks. As such, Britive advises that all cloud secrets should be issued and automatically revoked only for authorized authenticated users. To accomplish this, it enables JIT permissioning for dynamic secrets and vault storage for static secrets.

Cloud Visibility

As most teams rely on several cloud solutions along with GCP, as well as various SaaS products, Britive understands the importance of cross-cloud visibility. Its research found that while GCP provides a degree of visibility, its ability to identify comprehensive user behavior and elevated and standing permissions could be improved for optimal cross-cloud visibility. As such, Britive’s platform is designed with cross-cloud capabilities, allowing DevOps teams full insights into control access across the entire ecosystem.

Britive concludes by underscoring the dangers of unused and unnecessarily broad privileges. To mitigate these risks, it advises cloud-native and cloud-hybrid organizations to employ GCP-compatible solutions for increased security.

The full research can be found at https://www.britive.com/blog/3-frictionless-strategies-to-boost-your-gcp-iam

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