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Basic security hygiene tips that can protect your identity in the Cloud


In analysis / By Lydia Cooper / 14 August 2017

In a world where we are sharing more and more of our data, documents and personal lives online, ensuring that our identities are protected is crucial. A recent blog by Microsoft highlighted three important security hygiene tips for account protection that every organisation should consider, utilising the features of Azure Active Directory.

The first tip is to ensure that users are registered and ready for multi-factor authentication (MFA). If users aren’t set up for multi-factor authentication, then your organisation’s security policy could well block them from signing in and being able to work. Security should enhance productivity rather than hinder it, however there is a risk that when an employee has to make a choice between security and productivity, they are likely to opt for productivity.

However, MFA readiness allows users to overcome the occasional challenge such as a person travelling to a new location or using a new machine. Azure AD Identity Protection enables the organisation to identify risk, assess it as a non-threat and continue to work securely and efficiently.

Once all users are registered, the next step according to Microsoft is to stop hackers from logging in to user accounts. By using Azure Active Directory Identity Protection, organisations can be alerted to risky logins in real time. According to Microsoft, 60% of people reuse their username and passwords therefore password leakage is a fact of life. Azure AD Identity Protection uses detection algorithms that benefit from machine learning which enables it to self-adapt and identify new patterns of attack. Azure AD Conditional Access is another element of the protection strategy which allows users to specify conditions of a login which means that barriers are put in place before assess can be granted therefore challenging suspicious logins.

Fraudsters are now incredibly sophisticated at covering their tracks therefore users regularly fall for phishing scams, click on unsafe links and continue to use weak passwords that can easily be cracked. Azure AD Identity Protection will notify you if the system detects multiple attempted logins or suspicious behaviour by flagging users as “At Risk” as well as explaining why they have been flagged.

By applying these basic hygiene tips, organisations can vastly improve account protection and is one of the reasons why the majority of Nasstar’s hybrid cloud solutions begin with putting the client’s identity in Azure. We focus on supporting the end user, not just IT by delivering the entire integrated solution to end users so that they can access everything they need, in a way that is flexible and tailored to their job role. We host our hybrid services within our enterprise UK datacentres, integrating private hosting with external public cloud services to provide feature rich SaaS apps, accessed through the desktop like a traditional local application.

The first step in the process is to put the client’s Active Directory in the cloud, under which we can then deliver cloud services and SaaS applications. We then integrate general infrastructure resource, on premise IT and cloud apps. Nasstar’s hybrid solution means that organisations can give staff access to their entire digital workspace, across cloud apps, in-house application and IT, using one central username and password. The service is centrally managed by Nasstar so that our clients can let staff use personal devices to access data and apps, without the worry that information could be copied, lost or shared inappropriately.

We’re unique in delivering this joined up service, we don’t just talk about hybrid IT – we genuinely deliver it.

Lydia Cooper

Lydia Cooper

Group Marketing Manager at Nasstar PLC.

Telford, Shropshire http://www.nasstar.com
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