Aligning Access with SSH Keys for Better Controls
Information security starts by controlling – ‘Who’ has ‘What’ access to systems & data and ‘How’ that information is being accessed. Keeping in perspective the security aspect of information routed via SSH Key management, there are a few important questions for IT department heads to ponder over:
- Can your IT Team detect a new SSH Key Introduced in the Enterprise IT Network?
- How does your organization mitigate the risks associated with the structural issue that SSH Keys do not expire?
- What security systems are implemented by your IT Security folks for SSH keys integration in cloud environment?
SSH Protocol is a widely deployed facility for establishing encrypted connections, with changing security dynamics it is important to align SSH Key with Identity and Access Management (IAM) capabilities.
Enterprises have been using SSH to access IT Systems. However, they lack an understanding that management of SSH keys require robust access management and identity-linked protection. SSH Keys have often been overlooked in Identity and Access Management planning, implementation and audits. In a scenario where SSH Key and IAM Technology are not integrated – when a user gets created, management of SSH key related to granted access is done manually without any oversight and controls.
The keys grant access to enterprise resources such as production servers, databases, routers, firewalls, disaster recovery IT systems, database including financial information, payment channels, intellectual property and sensitive information. Furthermore, SSH Keys often grant access to privileged accounts at an operating system level, in many cases, the SSH key is utilized at the command line level within an IT System.
Many organizations report varied issues related to SSH keys, including no record of available keys, no provisioning and termination processes for users having key-based access and system administrators permanent key-based access is governed without policies, processes, or oversight. The mismanagement is believed to be a systematic in nature. Most large organizations have accumulated a great number of SSH keys in their environment and they are finding enterprise-wide deployment issues in Secure Shell (SSH) authentication management, which has suffered from the lack of governance for years. Lack of access alignment encourages misuse of SSH Keys, violations of corporate access policies and open back-doors for cyber criminals.
SSH Keys synchronized with IAM capabilities bring customers correct access processes and services to keep SSH key management from becoming a cyber-security risk that may get out of control. It also widened security umbrella and strategically aligns cyber security considerations.
For a greater understanding of dealing with SSH Security issues, experts at Avancer can discuss specific SSH challenges. This will help in creating a reliable authentication mechanism and prevent keys from being used to circumvent controls that exist for SSK Keys based logons.