How to Implement an Atlassian Cloud IAM Security Strategy

With the advent of digital transformation, organizations need an IAM Security Strategy to become more agile and realize new opportunities for greater productivity, collaboration, and growth.

Unlike traditional on-premise solutions where only a select group of people had access to critical information and centrally managed applications, autonomous teams are now adopting cloud tools that suit their specific needs.

Many organizations are eager to embrace digital transformation and make the migration to the cloud, but embracing the benefits and capabilities of the cloud requires embracing greater control over governance and cloud identity access management (IAM).

This is absolutely critical to safeguarding organizations against the data vulnerabilities inherent in teams transmitting data across an ever-increasing number of applications. In their recent eBook, Atlassian lays out how Access Governance and cloud IAM is solving this issue through their cloud platform. You can download that here.

In this post, we’re going to expand on how enterprise organizations can implement an Atlassian Cloud IAM strategy to increase efficiency, automation, and security for their organization. But first, let’s do a quick review of what Cloud Identity and Access Management is.

Cloud Identity and Access Management (IAM) Defined

Cloud IAM refers to the resources and processes utilized for controlling user access and identity management as it relates to both cloud and on-premise applications. Ideally, an effective IAM Security Strategy should allow for governance from one central location and allow  access to any resource regardless of OS, authentication tool, location, or vendor.

Unlike the on-premise identity management of years passed, that could only manage a few applications, the re-imagined cloud IAM model can manage hundreds. In addition, cloud IAM:

  • is offered as a SaaS and integrates with different systems.
  • can be accessed by all the various types of devices.
  • allows you to unify your identity and access protocols.
  • can handle constantly changing requirements.

10 Steps to Implementing a Cloud IAM Security Strategy

Managing user identities requires an IAM Security Strategy that includes the right tools and governance policies that can support future growth. If you’re ready to make the commitment to a cloud identity and access management program, here’s what you need to get started.

  1. Set your goals – Plan ahead for where you’d like to see your organization in terms of growth and scale, so you can create an IAM Security Strategy that you won’t outgrow down the road.
  2. Prioritize vendors based on where you are now – With most vendors, there is an opportunity to scale. It’s important to find one that is realistic for where you are today but can also support you down the road.
  3. Take note of where your IT environment is currently – Document all protocols, platforms, and networks within your infrastructure, to ensure functionality with your identity provider.
  4. Take an Inventory of all apps and tools that are non-negotiable – This way, as you develop an integration plan, you’ll remember to cover access to all of these critical components.
  5. Select your cloud identity provider
  6. Choose your profile master – Once you’ve selected your cloud identity provider (IdP), next you’ll need to identify the application that will be your single source of truth for users and teams. This can be the cloud identity provider itself or an HR information system.
  7. Connect your cloud IdP to your on-premises directory – If you have an on-premises Active Directory or LDAP database, you need to connect your cloud-based IdP to your directory service hosted on your network.
  8. Connect your cloud IdP to your cloud applications – You can connect cloud apps to your cloud IdP, and users can access and authenticate to those apps via a protocol such as SAML single sign-on (SSO).
  9. Manage user access to Atlassian applications via your cloud IdP and SSO – Utilize authentication between Atlassian Organizations and the IdP via SAML SSO. When users access Atlassian applications, they’ll be redirected to your IdP to log in.
  10. Provision new Atlassian users via your cloud IdP – Provision users and groups that exist in your cloud IdP (that originally synced from your local on-premises Active Directory) to your Atlassian Organization. Those groups are then automatically passed downstream to apps you’ve linked to your Atlassian Organization.

How to Create a Seamless Transition for Your Company

Going through a digital transformation, you organization is likely to experience a few obstacles here and there. As Atlassian Platinum Solutions Partners, we’ve pinpointed a clear IAM Security Strategy that works and have created some guidelines to help you get past them quickly and ease your transition to the Atlassian Cloud.

Centralize Governance
To create maximum efficiency, control costs, and create ease in enforcing security policies, Atlassian allows you to create a centralized system for identity management and governance through “Organizations”.

Integrate your Identity Provider
It’s worth stating again the importance of incorporating an identity provider to secure user access through SAML single sign-on, or SSO. This allows you to ensure that all users are meeting your password requirements and authentication standards. It also allows you to automate user provisioning and de-activation.

Enforce Security Policies
To take security one step further, be sure to incorporate these policies into your security enforcement protocols:

  • Two-step verification, otherwise known as 2FA (two-factor authentication).
  • Require users to adhere to strong password policies.

Monitor User Activity
Utilize audit logs as a means of proving compliance with various internal regulations and policies. With Atlassian Access, audit logs give increased visibility into user and group changes across your Jira and Confluence products.

Help Implementing an IAM Security Strategy

For some enterprise organizations, the path to digital transformation is complicated. If you’re in need of an expert hand, Coyote Creek can help. We’ve been helping enterprise organizations migrate to Atlassian Cloud for many years and are also experienced in mixed and hybrid migrations.

To learn more about how we can help you streamline your cloud adoption process, contact us today.