How to Protect Non-Human Privileged Identities?

Some organizations have tried to manage non-human identities manually. But as noted by Gartner, many of these manual methods don’t operate with modern cloud environments. They succeed only in deepening the silos of departmental processes and tools, thereby further limiting the ability of organizations to maintain visibility of their machine identities throughout their networks.

Due to such limitations, analysts recommend that we first use tools to discover non-human  identities in our organization and inventory their usage/dependency. We should then use non-human identity management solutions to audit the number of such identities deployed in our environments and to identify potential risks and prevent data theft. Atlast we should consider investing in a solution to help automate the management of keys and certificates, especially with organizations mobile and IoT devices.

To know more about why you need to protect your non-human privileged identities, click here.

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Following are a few of the key capabilities that are vital for a non-human identity service that can secure your Cloud & DevOps infrastructure:

  • Application of identities to all sorts of non-human constructs including servers, VMs, containers, and CI jobs.
  • Multi factor authentication (MFA) for machines using attributes such as container ID, host API key, environment API, namespace API key, IP address / CIDR, and other attributes and, potentially custom, metadata.
  • Allocating roles and conducting roles-based access control (RBAC) for non-human operations.
  • For all data, i.e. data at rest and in motion, encryption is a must.

Protecting all non-human identities

  • Define machine identity type and its risk. You need to implement IAM policies to identify which all machines identities have access to privileged accounts and the risk these identities pose to your infrastructure.
  • Continuously monitor non-human user access.  You need to use tools which will help you to continuously evaluate the access your non-human identities have.  
  • Principle of least privilege & Just in time. The Principle of Least Privilege states that all the users should only possess the privileges they need to perform their job duties. Whereas, the just in time access states that the access should be only for a limited period of time. 

You can implement cloud infrastructure entitlement management (CIEM) that uses least privilege to  address cloud native security challenges of managing identity access management (IAM) in cloud environments.

  • Zero trust It  is enforced to ensure that only the right non-human identities can access the data and only the data they need, when they need it. It requires them to be  authenticated, authorized, and continuously validated before being granted access to the privileged data.  
  • Vaulting & password management. Keep all your privileged usernames and passwords for non-human accounts in a secure digital vault in an encrypted format. It offers an easy way to manage accounts to digital assets and along with that it helps you make your online existence less vulnerable to password-related attacks. 

The secrets & credentials used by CI/CD tools like Ansible, Docker & Jenkins must be placed in a secured vault from where they can be retrieved, rotated automatically and managed instantly. 

  • Session isolation. You must implement session isolation to get rid of hard coded credentials, and enable theft detection and blocking strategies,which helps protect privileged access by non-humans.
  • Real time threat detection. Real time detection and response to the most critical risks with targeted threat analytics, focused on privileged account activity.

Our approach at Technosprout enables you to monitor all the human and non-human identities access from the cradle to the grave, providing uninterrupted visibility and along with that enforce controls that align with industry as well as regulatory standards. With our suite of solutions you can create a holistic approach to IAM that will enable you to strengthen your cybersecurity by securing your identity perimeter

We can help you protect your human & non-human privileged identities on the private, hybrid and public clouds by implementing the best PIM solutions. To know more visit our website 

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