Identity-as-a-service, or IDaaS, is an application delivery model (like software-as-a-service, or SaaS) that allows user to connect to and use identity management services from the cloud. Also referred to as cloud-based identity governance, the shift to deploy IDaaS began several years ago and was led by companies with a “cloud first” IT adoption strategy.
History and Evolution of Identity-as-a-Service
Across the software industry, cloud computing has changed the way organizations deploy, implement and consume technology. Software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions like Salesforce.com and Workday have become leaders in their segments, as more and more enterprises shift their buying preferences to the cloud.
SailPoint brought to market the first cloud-based identity governance solution. We believe IdentityNow provided the first full suite of identity management services delivered from the cloud, including access request, provisioning, access certifications, and password management, managing both cloud and on-premises resources.
With the market and technology maturing, all indications are that more companies are taking a cloud-first approach to their IT operations and security solutions, particularly as the identity-as-a-service (IDAAS) solutions provide enterprise-grade identity governance features.
Why is Cloud-based Identity Governance Critical to Security?
The right cloud-based identity governance solution can help your organization effectively address today’s complex business challenges, balancing three critical objectives:
- Deliver access services efficiently and cost-effectively. By providing self-service access request tools and provisioning, IDaaS can streamline the delivery of user access across your organization while continuously enforcing governance rules and
compliance policies. It also empowers business users to manage their own access and passwords, thereby reducing the workload on help desk and IT operations teams.
- Protect against internal and external security threats. Effectively securing the enterprise requires quick identification of potential exposures, such as inappropriate access, policy violations, and unsecured data and applications. The right IDaaS solution can help enterprises proactively detect and remediate inappropriate access, strengthen password policy, and eliminate risks such as orphan or rogue accounts.
- Meet regulatory compliance requirements around security and privacy. IDaaS can help your organization replace
expensive paper-based and manual access reviews and certifications with automated tools. Not only can you significantly reduce the cost of compliance for regulations such as GDPR, you can also establish repeatable practices for a more consistent, auditable, and easier-to-manage access certification effort.
The Power of Identity from the Cloud
The right cloud-based identity governance solution will help you manage and control access across your entire organization. By leveraging a unified system to manage access to both on-premises and cloud-based resources, you can stay in control of identity no matter where an application is deployed:
- See everything. Identity governance solutions must be able to connect to all enterprise systems, from the legacy applications that have been in use for years, to the SaaS applications being adopted today. They must provide visibility into all the information about an identity, across all the applications an enterprise uses, all the data they have and across all users – no matter where they are located or what devices they may use.
- Govern everything. Organizations need to know who should have access, who does have access, and what users are doing with their access to all applications and data. This requires the ability to define a desired state and continually assess where access is not aligned with the model.
- Empower everyone. Let business users work how they like to work, wherever they are and on whatever device they use. Empowering users to manage access, while balancing the security and risk management needs of the organization, enables organizations to safely increase collaboration both inside and outside the network.
Common Misconceptions About Identity-as-a-Service
Because identity-as-a-service is a relatively new option for identity management buyers, there is some confusion around its capabilities and even what the term “IDaaS” means. Here are two common misconceptions that every organization should be aware of:
- Myth: IDaaS is limited to access management or single sign-on (SSO). This perception arose because some early IDaaS products were focused on SSO for cloud applications. However, today’s IDaaS solutions provide much more than SSO, including provisioning, password management, access certifications, policy enforcement, role management, risk analysis, and data classification.
- Myth: IDaaS is only for managing cloud applications. Because IDaaS came to market at the same time as many new SaaS applications, early solutions focused on cloud-to-cloud management, providing SSO for cloud applications. However, today’s IDaaS solutions provide rich connectivity options that enable unified management across cloud and on premises applications.
Bottom line: in order to meet today’s business requirements, IDaaS solutions must provide the same functional components as traditional on-premises identity management solutions.
How does our open cloud identity governance platform help your business?
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