Combine NordLayer with SCIM user management for total network security

Azure AD & Okta

User provisioning allows companies to manage employee and client accounts, making it simple to add or offboard users when required. NordLayer offers flexible user provisioning for all customers, including integrations with major tools like Okta and Entra ID (formerly Azure AD).

In this blog, we’ll look at how NordLayer’s user provisioning services work, why they are a wise option for modern security management, and how our cybersecurity tools integrate with market-leading provisioning tools to make life easier.

What is SCIM?

SCIM (System for Cross-Domain Identity Management) tools include leading user provisioning services like Okta, Entra ID, JumpCloud, OneLogin, and Aut0. These Identity and Access Management (IAM) tools allow managers to control permissions for Cloud-based and on-premises applications

SCIM uses a standardized protocol to connect centralized human resources databases, account management tools, and critical apps and databases. This ensures that users are properly configured and assigned role-specific permissions. It also makes sure that those permissions are revoked when users leave organizations or their roles change.

Features of SCIM apps can include the use of multi-factor authentication (MFA), lifecycle management, Single Sign On (SSO), and the ability to work across different platforms such as Windows, Mac, or Linux.

What are the main reasons to choose SCIM?

SCIM has multiple benefits for companies reliant on Cloud services and remote working.

  • Secure communication between Cloud applications. Many companies rely on a diverse range of Cloud software and resources. SCIM ensures that communication between these apps is as secure as possible. User data is also stored in a standardized format, making it easier to add new Cloud apps with minimal risk.

  • Simplified account access. SCIM enables security managers to centralize sign-on processes. Employees do not need to enter credentials multiple times or manage multiple passwords.

  • Flexibility as workflows change. SCIM makes it easier for teams to expand and contract while retaining proper controls over user permissions. Add new contractors, integrate different apps and services, but stay in control over security at all times.

  • Automated on and offboarding. Managing accounts can be difficult in complex organizations. A well-configured SCIM system will automatically transfer permissions as roles change and users enter or leave corporate settings.

  • Reduced security errors. Automation saves time, but also minimizes the risk of human error. Manual account management can result in dormant or misconfigured accounts, leaving networks vulnerable to insider threats and outsider attacks such as credential stuffing.

  • Simplified compliance. SCIM makes it easier to provide solid evidence of compliance via simplified security architectures.

The beauty of SCIM is its simplicity. It enables security teams to extend permissions reliably across every single node on their network via a uniform system that covers every single user.

In a world where 95% of cyberattacks can be traced back to some form of human error, consistency is vital. Automation both reduces errors and boosts efficiency, while providing peace of mind for managers. 

The alternative is potentially disastrous - a chaotic setup with far more points of vulnerability and an expanded threat surface that is waiting to be breached.

What SCIM services does NordLayer offer?

NordLayer has made SCIM integration a core part of our products, making it easier to apply Zero Trust Network Access principles.

Our services provide seamless integration with Okta and Entra ID – two of the most popular and effective user provisioning solutions. Users of these services can instantly combine existing permission management systems with NordLayer’s perimeter management, data protection, and network monitoring tools.

NordLayer’s tools enable SCIM users to:

  • Add NordLayer users to their centralized permissions systems automatically without the need to log into the NordLayer CP.

  • Add or remove NordLayer users from their Entra ID or Okta platforms easily when the need arises. There is no need to do so via the NordLayer control panel.

  • Use NordLayer’s CP for device network activity monitoring and threat mitigation services, adding an extra layer of security awareness to complement permissions management.

These features powerfully complement NordLayer’s many security benefits. Fuse seamless permissions management with endpoint security solutions, VPN protection and active threat prevention to create a network that is fit for today’s security challenges.

How can users request an Okta or Entra ID connection?

Customers will need to request an Okta or Entra ID connection to take advantage of synergies between SCIM-based user provisioning and NordLayer’s security tools.

Setting up a connection is fast and simple. Just contact your dedicated account manager. They will enable Okta or Entra ID connectivity and help you create a customized integration that covers every aspect of your organization.

You may also need to set up NordLayer as an enterprise application on your permissions management system, but that’s also easy to achieve. We have created an easy-to-follow tutorial for Okta and Entra ID that explains how this is done. And if any problems occur along the way, NordLayer’s team can step in to provide a solution.

How NordLayer is building the future of user provisioning

User provisioning is a crucial aspect of managing complex modern networks. Poorly managed accounts can open doors for hackers, putting vast amounts of data at risk.

According to a 2021 Varonis study, the average new hire has access to 11 million files as soon as they log on for the first time, rising to 20 million files for larger companies. Many companies also fail to manage non-expiring or redundant passwords, creating plentiful opportunities to hijack accounts and breach critical databases.

Tools like Okta and Entra ID allow companies to reduce these risks and limit access to exactly what employees require. And they are much more powerful when used in conjunction with NordLayer’s security tools. Integrating Always On VPN into this framework ensures that employees are always connected securely to the network, enhancing security measures already in place.

With our help, you can easily centralize permissions management across any size of organization. Apply firewalls and VPN protection, segment networks, set flexible rules for different apps or resources, and monitor user activity to track potential threats.

To find out more, get in touch with NordLayer’s security team and we will discuss how to take the stress out of user provisioning.

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