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What is cloud-native authorization and why should I care?

Cloud-native software is a priority for enterprises. Learn what the biggest challenge along the cloud-native authorization journey and how to solve it.

Cloud-native software has emerged as a priority for enterprises. It facilitates the implementation of changes at scale and powers a flexible working environment, which enables organizations to grow, accelerate innovation, and improve productivity.

As cloud-native software expedites updates within applications, the need for more sophisticated management and security practices for cloud-native software has also grown in popularity.

When looking for an authorization strategy for cloud-native software, making sure it is scalable, centralized, and flexible is important.

But when talking with customers the biggest challenge along the cloud-native authorization journey is that…

Every landscape is different, so you can’t take a cookie-cutter approach to authorization

The biggest challenge we hear is that every landscape is different. There are so many products on the market, making it difficult to have a cookie cutter approach to securing the cloud and having any kind of cloud authorization.

When you talk with different organizations, the common thread is that they don’t even know where to begin with the authorization journey. This usually kickstarts a long list of questions like where do you fit in for microservices, where do you fit in for this particular platform, and how do you integrate in general with this particular setup?

However, it can be difficult to understand the landscape if the question “where does authorization fit in?” can’t be answered. This is because authorization has to fit into every different type of environment, software and/or setup.

How Axiomatics addresses this challenge

Our architecture is set up in a way that we aren’t necessarily worried about how the environment or software is built as we can fit into almost any environment. The key is to understand how the different technologies work together and what type of landscape is in place.

With this approach there is a lot of work upfront to find out what kind of environment is in place and work to understand how it functions. Once that is completed, we can set up the infrastructure to get our solution installed and work forward to deployment.

Once deployed in the cloud environment, our solution protects the specific resources the organization has tasked us with protecting. It does not protect the entire platform.

It is good to note that if we are deployed in the cloud and are cloud-native, it does not mean we are always protecting something in the cloud.

In fact, many of our projects begin with an organization having a defined legacy application they are looking to modernize and move to the cloud.

This is a great starting point to kickstart the authorization project, including training the organization how to use it, as well as how to scale it across more applications. If an organization is intent on keeping some legacy application in place, it can still be integrated into an authorization strategy.

Enterprises must remember that just because an application is designed with cloud-native functionality at heart, it can still be easily deployed on-premise, if desired.

The main factor is that the organization needs to change how access controls are managed in the legacy application code,and externalize it to just accept and enforce decisions coming back from the new policy decision point (PDP).

This does require some development effort to reconfigure, but it can save time compared to completely redesigning an application, especially if the organization is not ready.

The good news is that…

Once Axiomatics is in the cloud environment, authorization becomes repeatable.

Once the first deployment is completed the hard part is done. The process becomes like hitting copy and paste for us as with each new application, it is easier to put together.

This is because it becomes a routine of what applications are we integrating with and what are the use cases as those are the only things changing as new applications are brought into the authorization solution.

At this point in the process, the focus switches to ensuring everything is built and ready to go, especially as the number of applications the organization wants to add to the project starts to evolve.

Because of this,  it doesn’t matter what application we tackle next. Even if the next application has a different language, Axiomatics has the pipeline and integrations already done in the environment, which is the step that takes the longest amount of time.

The key to successfully deploying cloud-native authorization is to work with an experienced partner who understands any environment and can help you make the process repeatable, for both your cloud-based and legacy applications.

Take the next step

Request a demo with one of our solution experts to learn more about cloud-native authorization with Axiomatics.

You can also download our white paper to learn more about cloud-native authorization.


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About the author

David Morvan is a Professional Services Engineer at Axiomatics, focusing a large part of this time guiding clients in realizing the complete potential of their authorization solution. He has been in technology for 20 years in a variety of disciplines, but highly focused on Data Protection, Data Security, and Identity.