Logging on to any computer, accessing a cloud application, or even just pulling up your apps on your phone requires you to enter authentication information. For companies managing dozens, or even hundreds, of cloud applications, identity management can become a time-consuming, costly burden.
Every cloud application requires registration and authentication in order to identify users as unique from others. This serves to allow the user to save their work, but it also allows web applications to keep user sessions separate from others using the application simultaneously.
Identity management allows security professionals to authorize users, as well as differentiate them, for better understanding and establishing normal application access. Not prioritizing identity management can create a security crisis, because a breach can go undetected when users are not understood for their normal patterns and usage behaviors.
As enterprises gain more and more appreciation for as-a-service solutions, they are examining how different services might streamline processes. Referred to as both Authentication as a Service (AaaS) and Identity as a Service (IaaS), the idea is similar to that of Software as a Service, and any other outsourcing of IT functions: a third-party service provider assumes the role of authenticating and registering users as well as the management of their information.
These providers use standards, such as Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) and Open Authorization (OAuth), to enable the providers to manage the implementation.
The Benefits of Outsourcing Identity Management
Information Management: Delegating identity management means that the service provider keeps track of passwords and the responsibility of renewing them. The enterprise also gains the option of adding multi-factor authentication, with the peace of mind that this information will be well-analyzed by the provider.
Developer Resources: When identity management is outsourced to a third-party provider, there is less code for developers to write. This frees them up to market new features and advantages that positively impact the customer experience. They can quickly onboard new application extensions or services that move company objectives forward.
Convenience: Depending on the situation, enterprises may also gain some conveniences. If the provider already has a relationship with the enterprise, there may be some possibilities for using existing login accounts and credentials. The drawback is that the enterprise has a potential single point of failure: if the provider is experiencing downtime, nobody can log in.
Before choosing an identity management provider, IT executives should consider, not only their current applications, but also, how they may need to integrate with legacy applications and user accounts in the future. This may seem like an obvious first step, but many enterprises overlook the importance of it and end up being forced to piece together more than one identity management product.For more information about how identity management with an AaaS solution could benefit your enterprise, contact us at Access Tech. We can help you identify the most relevant factors that will impact your choice of provider and help you choose the right solution.