Cloud Access Management Trends

Organizations are seeing increased pressure to implement a cloud access management solution. The vast majority cite security concerns and the threat of large scale breaches as the primary driver for implementation. With access management, users maintain a single identity for all their resources with cloud SSO, and secure that single identity with risk-based policies and 2FA. This lets businesses lock down access to cloud-based services without sacrificing speed.


Two-factor authentication is the most likely access management tool to be seen as best at protecting cloud and web-based apps.

  • Almost half of surveyed ITDMs state smart single sign-on (49%) and/or biometric authentication (47%) are some of the best tools at protecting cloud and web-based apps.
  • Social identity credentials is the area which is least likely (24%) to be perceived as the best, which makes it even more surprising that over half (56%) would allow employees in their organization to log on to corporate resources using their social media credentials.

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Nearly all respondents cite that cloud access management for cloud and web applications is conducive to facilitating cloud adoption.

  • Over half (56%) go as far as to say that this is definitely the case.
  • In 2017, slightly fewer (91%) reported that cloud access management for cloud and web applications is conducive to facilitating cloud adoption; this suggests that there is an even bigger bond forming between cloud access management and cloud adoption.

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When it comes to managing cloud access management centrally for all applications, seven in ten respondents’ organizations are currently doing this for two-factor authentication, while fewer say the same regarding SSO (53%) and/or smart SSO (36%).

  • This is an increase from 2017 where smaller proportions were doing this for two-factor authentication (58%) and/or SSO (36%).
  • Central management seems to be the way that organizations are moving and this may further facilitate the adoption of cloud.

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Three quarters of respondents’ organizations secure external users’ access to online corporate resources with access management.

  • Slightly more than one in ten (14%) say that their organization does not offer, or plan to offer, external users access to online.
  • This relatively high adoption could be due to the rise in access management capabilities which are being used in organizations generally and/or the changes in security policy that are happening, but ultimately, the end goal should be using access management for all internal and external users.

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Almost all of those surveyed state that there are challenges to cloud-based security and authentication.

  • The cost of a secure solution (40%) and human error in managing solutions (39%) are the most likely challenges to cloud-based security.
  • These challenges and weaknesses could explain why cloud applications are often a target for cyber-attacks; if organizations want to protect themselves as best as possible then they should invest in cloud access management solutions.

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Approaching all respondents say that their organization does/could see impacts to its cloud/web resource as a result of ineffective cloud access management.

  • The most likely impacts are cloud becoming a security issue (48%), IT staffs’ time being used less efficiently (44%) and an increase in operational overheads and IT costs (43%).
  • Interestingly, 28% say that it could result in a slower adoption of cloud; while cloud access management can be conducive to cloud adoption, there is also a danger that it can harm adoption if the solutions being used are not effective.

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Around eight in ten respondents agree that their organization’s level of employee authentication needs to be able to support VPN and cloud access.

  • A similar proportion (78%) agree that policy-based access management is the future of access security.
  • Just under three quarters agree that access management and identity governance administration is more effective when separated (73%) and/or that authentication methods used in the consumer world can be applied to enterprise resources (72%).
  • While organizations may not feel comfortable allowing employees to use social media credentials, it seems that in the long run there could be a big crossover between consumer and enterprise authentication.

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