While the cloud makes many things simpler for the end user, it increases complexity for the administrator, especially in the case of security. Add in compliance requirements, such as HIPPA, PCI and SOX, and you now have a cloud service that is not only easy to use but can easily violate security requirements, resulting in fines or, worse yet, the loss of intellectual property and the liability that goes along with it.
Some administrators turn to firewalls and layered security, as well as encryption, to protect cloud-accessible digital assets, but real security lies with being able to control the who, what, when and where of access--and that requires a unified security management approach that coordinates user access with policies and security controls across IT assets. This is something that is becoming increasingly difficult with each business process and cloud application having its own access and user security systems. Security vendor Centrify is looking to unify security management and provide the tools needed for compliance support, secure access and auditing via its latest iteration of Centrify Suite products and modules.
Centrify is available in four different suites, with the Platinum suite offering the most features. In a nutshell, Centrify offers centralized management and administration of user accounts, centralized authentication (single sign-on), roles-based privilege management, detailed auditing (and playback) of user activity and trust-based protection of sensitive systems. Simply put, the product unifies user access and security under one umbrella, using account synchronization and policy controls to maintain that security.
For organizations maintaining the security of several distributed systems, Centrify takes the pain out of user management by federating user account control into a comprehensive, single-directory structure, which makes it much easier to control access, regardless of the system, service, location, end point and user.
Integrated auditing and forensics plays a critical role in maintaining compliance, while providing administrators with the ability to effectively protect applications and data. These are key capabilities that are needed to simplify cloud-based systems, especially hybrid and private clouds. Centrify is currently available, and more information can be found at http://www.centrify.com/products/centrify-suite-editions.asp.
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