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Transitioning To The Cloud: Some Aspects To Consider

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By Author: appsian
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Hardware-Based Risks

When it first entered the corporate lexicon, IT practitioners used the word shadow IT to refer to unauthorized hardware operating in their business setting. Shadow IT has shifted from hardware to software over time.

When they were weighed down by the absence of an important function, workers would use their own tools under the radar. Businesses, lacking official guidance or enterprise-grade authentication, were exposed to unknown risks these apps would bring to the company.

Many companies still struggle with software-based shadow IT, but the tides are turning back to "hardware-based." risks. While workers have increasingly moved beyond suddenly bringing new hardware into the office, they are simply recreating the same vulnerabilities across cloud-based technology by setting up unsecured servers.

This can be done deliberately because they want to bypass what they consider to be onerous security controls and unintentionally because the operations team is not exposed to these servers, so they do not apply to them the normal security controls.

The ease with which ...
... department leaders and employees can purchase and set up new virtual devices with a company expense account has decreased their reliance on the IT department. Nevertheless, it has done little to improve their awareness of security. In situations like this, security is far from being the only issue; without a centralized management structure for the company's virtual systems, costs can quickly spin out of control as IT efforts are duplicated across teams.

Identity Management

IT professionals have historically focused on managing hardware, not users. Through an on-premise paradigm, this makes complete sense: the organization knows what hardware it owns, and the IT department knows how to handle and secure it.

When businesses move their technologies and software to the cloud, IT no longer has full insight into what endpoints they handle. Organizations need to focus on employee identity management across services, making it easier for employees to request access to new features and support while retaining IT in the loop. Your organization's identity management framework should allow your business to track employee access at multiple levels, both by the endpoint and by privilege. Crucially, this platform must easily incorporate into a multi-cloud ecosystem rather than locking the business into a small list of approved vendors.

IT organizations need to rethink the way end users are served, too. They need to collaborate with HR to make employee roles the basis for access, instead of depending on the access of a user's device to set rights. Adjusting permissions on a per-system rather than a per-employee basis leaves endpoint security in the hands of employees rather than IT professionals. This is not a new approach but a fairly classic access strategy, sometimes lost due to the limitations of the system or the time it takes to properly plan and execute it.

Ensuring Visibility

Companies cannot afford to lose visibility of their vital resources during their cloud transformation process, and staff cannot be trusted across a variety of evolving systems to master security.


Instead of encouraging your company's digital transformation to evolve into a disorganized scramble, manage identity by introducing a standardized employee identity management framework at the center of the cloud migration strategy of your organization. This helps you to track who has access to key systems as well as manage operational risks such as the spin-up of unsecured servers.

More About the Author

Appsian One of the leading ERP data security,compliance,implementation solutions provider that gives organizations to complete control and visibility over their ERP data.

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