Centralizing Identity Management

By Rajat Bhargava Posted December 29, 2015

Centralizing Identity Management

As the IT landscape splinters into many different types of platforms, industry challenges are now extending beyond the management of a large variety of IT resources into how to create a centralized identity management system. If each type of IT resource needs separate identity management, that not only creates a significant amount of extra work for IT professionals but also a noteworthy security risk. Modern IT organizations are understandably searching for approaches that can centralize identity management.

Identity Management and the Shifting IT Landscape

Over the past decade, the landscape has shifted from being homogenous to being heterogeneous. During the late 90s and early 2000s, organizations were largely based on the Microsoft® Windows® platform. Desktops and laptops were Windows, while servers and applications were usually Windows based as well. In order for organizations to properly function, IT built deep management infrastructure and processes. As G Suite™ and AWS® emerged onto the scene in the mid-2000s, the landscape changed again. Core parts of the infrastructure were no longer Windows based or hosted on-premises. The rise in popularity of Mac® and Linux® devices coincided with this shift to the cloud. All of these changes presented a problem:  alternate platforms didn’t connect well to the core identity management platform which was often the directory service. Something had to change.

More Platforms, More Bumpy IT Terrain  

As IT organizations moved to additional platforms, there was another shift going in the space. Why? Because these different platforms and IT resources used different protocols. LDAP was once a core part of the directory services landscape. However, with the advent of Microsoft’s Active Directory®, that shifted to Kerberos. Cloud applications leveraged new authentication protocols such as SAML, OpenID, and others. WiFi started to use the networking protocol RADIUS. Suddenly, identity and access management solutions needed to support a wide array of technologies. Legacy platforms, such as OpenLDAP™ and Microsoft Active Directory, aren’t able to keep up with this shift.

DaaS: The Panoramic View of Identity Management

Identity-as-a-Service platforms, such as cloud-based Directory-as-a-Service®, are making the leap to be a centralized identity management platform. DaaS is using a True Single Sign-On™ (SSO) approach to leverage one central set of credentials to login to systems, applications, and networks wherever they may be located. Tremendous freedom and flexibility is gained when both users and IT resources can be located anywhere. The cloud-based identity management system is able to centrally control user access.

If you would like to learn more about how you can centralize your identity management infrastructure, drop us a note. We’d be happy to discuss how JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service is becoming the platform of choice for thousands of cloud-forward organizations. Or, feel free to try our Identity-as-a-Service platform for yourself. Your first 10 users are free forever.

Rajat Bhargava

Rajat Bhargava is co-founder and CEO of JumpCloud, the first Directory-as-a-Service (DaaS). JumpCloud securely connects and manages employees, their devices and IT applications. An MIT graduate with two decades of experience in industries including cloud, security, networking and IT, Rajat is an eight-time entrepreneur with five exits including two IPOs, three trade sales and three companies still private.

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