Are your cloud environments protected from identity based attacks?

Pranav Kumar
March 14, 2022


Cloud allows for rapid scale and the ability to take advantage of modern mobile and web technologies. It also allows for greater security and reliability than ever before. However, the cloud can be a double-edged sword. 

Today, the security teams are struggling to protect their cloud environments from complex identity-based threats. Identity based attacks (IBA), also known as “account compromise” or “stolen credentials attacks” are growing in scale and sophistication. Credentials can be stolen through a number of means including phishing campaigns, on-premise data breaches, password reuse and social engineering. Once an attacker gains access to an account, they can move laterally within the environment, remain undetected and wreak havoc - exfiltrating data, installing malware or ransomware and even shutting down critical business applications.

The cloud gives us unprecedented flexibility and agility, but it also means that our IT environments are becoming more complex, and therefore more difficult to protect. This is especially true when it comes to identity and access management (IAM), because the users and applications that we need to control are constantly changing.

How can you ensure that your cloud environment is properly protected from the common threats?

Understanding the problem:

The main problem is that in on-premise environments, security is relatively simple - so you simply lock down the network and servers from outside attack. If you are able to do this effectively, you minimise the risk of a security breach, and your business will be secure enough for most purposes.

In cloud environments however, you are allowing your users to access systems from any device with an internet connection - and potentially from any location. This means that the traditional way of protecting your business simply won't work in cloud environments, and new approaches will be needed that take into account modern security threats.

Here are some tips to help keep your cloud environment secure:

1. Encryption: The sensitive information should be encrypted before it is stored in the cloud. This will add a  security layer and also help in achieving compliance requirements.

2. Identity Access Management(IAM):  IAM may include several different services, or it may be a single service that combines all of the following capabilities:

  • Access Control: The first step is to make sure that you only grant access to the resources in your cloud environment to those users and systems that need it. 
  • Single-Sign-On: SSO  services are systems that allow users to authenticate their identities for multiple cloud applications with one set of credentials. It makes working across multiple platforms easier and more convenient while reducing the risk of lost or stolen credentials.
  • Multi-Factor Authentication: MFA provides an extra layer of protection from unauthorised access by requiring users to provide another verification method, such as a one-time password or biometric, beyond their username and password.
  • Passwordless: Use a passwordless solution to avoid credentials-related attacks. 

3. Monitoring: Regularly audit your access management system to ensure it doesn't grant overly broad permissions.

4. Backup plan: As with any other kind of security, there must be a plan for when things go wrong. To prevent data from getting lost or tampered with, data should be backed up in another cloud or on-premise. There should also be a failover plan in place so that business processes are not interrupted if one cloud service fails.


In order to win the battle against the modern hacker, enterprises need to protect their cloud apps. This means incorporating a solution beyond simple password protection.
If you need help in protecting your cloud environment, get in touch with us.

Pranav Kumar

Excited about digital disruption and exponential impact of emerging technologies; I have a deep passion for technology, business, and progress. I envision a future where an intellectual and responsible use of technology will positively change the future of work, and life.