Cloud Identity Service

Written by Greg Keller on January 26, 2016

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The process of building your organization’s identity management infrastructure is challenging. With so many different options and approaches today, IT admins’ heads are spinning. Do you choose an Identity-as-a-Service solution, a directory service, SSO solution, password vault, or Directory-as-a-Service? And, that’s just a few of the solutions currently on the market. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) and privileged identity management are a couple of other contenders. The challenge for IT organizations today is how to identify the cloud identity service that will best fit their requirements.

Charting a Course for Cloud Identity Service  

To figure out the right identity and access management course of action to take, the first step is to understand your needs. We’ve compiled some important questions that will help you to identify your organization’s goals. The answers to these questions will put your organization on the right path forward.

Do I want a core directory service for all of my platforms?

The core, authoritative directory service connects users to the IT resources that they need. These IT resources can include systems, applications, and networks. They can vary across platforms such as Windows, Mac, and Linux; locations, including on-prem and in the cloud; and varying protocols such as LDAP, SAML, RADIUS, or SSH. Listing out your organization’s needs is critical to finding the right solution that will span your IT resources.

Do I want single sign-on for my users?

Many organizations are interested in simplifying the process for users to login to their IT resources. This category has meant web applications historically, but more recently it is including systems, on-prem applications, Google Apps, and the WiFi network. A major benefit of a True SSO solution is increased security.

Do I want to integrate my Infrastructure-as-a-Service into my IAM approach?

With more servers and infrastructure moving to the cloud, the most pressing question becomes, how do those servers and resources integrate into the core identity management strategy? Here’s another consideration: will those resources be managed separately or integrated into the core identity provider infrastructure? A cloud identity service can be helpful here as the servers are also hosted in the cloud.

Am I comfortable with cloud-based identity services?

It has taken a long time for identity solutions to make the leap to the cloud. IT admins have been largely skeptical of cloud-based identity and access management solutions. What’s at the heart of this skepticism? Identities are the keys to the kingdom, so placing them in the cloud can be scary. Of course, savvy organizations are now realizing that the amount of security surrounding cloud identity solutions often far exceeds the security measures taken on-prem.

What reporting needs do I have?

Identity management is a core part of any compliance requirements. Regulations and statutes are requiring logging of data around who has accessed what resources and when. If your organization is required to be compliant or is interested in understanding user access to various IT resources, you’ll want to define your requirements.

Plan Your Route with DaaS Today

By documenting your essential requirements around your identity management requirements, you’ll be able to start to figuring out what types of solutions will be most beneficial. A cloud identity service could be a central part of your strategy.

If you would like to learn more about what types of Identity-as-a-Service approaches could be helpful to your organization, drop us a note. Or, feel free to try Directory-as-a-Service for free.

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