By Ryan Squires Posted January 10, 2019
Many IT admins don’t necessarily consider endpoint management a facet of identity and access management (IAM), but with systems representing the conduit between a user and his or her IT resources, it is critical to secure them. With that in mind, in this post we will discuss the identity and access management capability for endpoint management.
Identity and Access Management Microsoft® Style
Dating back to Microsoft® Active Directory® (MAD or AD) in the late 1990’s, there is a strong precedence to have IAM and endpoint management exist within the same IT management platform. For example, the concept of GPOs, a key feature of AD, was groundbreaking for the time. What GPOs did was enable IT admins to control not only the users on their Windows-based systems, but the actual device as well.
For IT admins, Active Directory served a dual role all within one neat package. Windows users were authenticated and authorized against the source of truth, Active Directory, to gain access to their Windows-based IT resources and tools. Meanwhile, IT admins were able to control critical security functions related to the safeguarding of one of a company’s key assets: its data. GPOs allowed IT admins to set screen lock timers, enable local firewall controls, disable external disks (USB), and much more remotely for their Windows systems. Plus, the ability to put users in distinct groups made it easy to execute sweeping Policies across Windows-based fleets. But, as we know, circumstances in IT don’t stay the same for long.
New Endpoints, Resources, and Philosophies to Manage
The IT landscape started to shift away from Windows-based systems to macOS® and Linux® endpoints. Infrastructure moved away from on-prem implementations to cloud-based Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) platforms like AWS® and Digital Ocean. The work people used to accomplish in Microsoft Office™ moved to G Suite™ and the cloud-based Office 365™. Applications that once demanded heavy upfront costs were now served up as web-based applications like Salesforce®, the Adobe® Creative Cloud® suite, and Tableau®. All of these additions, plus more, forced the traditional approach to IAM to break down. In addition to these challenges, many IT organizations started to question the value of endpoint management with a prevailing view that systems were effectively dumb terminals accessing the internet.
Prevailing Notion Meets Modern Endpoint Management
The IAM category, of course, has continued to evolve with the shift to the cloud and modern platforms, and in that time, many IT admins have realized that tightly controlling all types of endpoints is critical. Not all systems are in fact dumb terminals, nor should a generalized notion of them exist as such. So, in that sense, Active Directory had the right strategy back in the early 2000s. But, with today’s IT environment, ADs approach to endpoint management needed to be modernized with a cross-platform, cloud based-approach.
Thankfully, such a solution exists. It’s called JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service®. JumpCloud enables IT admins to manage both systems and users from a single pane of administrative glass. JumpCloud’s Policies and commands empower IT admins to implement much needed security-boosting system settings like OS updates, enabling Full Disk Encryption, and restricting control panel access.
Along with those endpoint management features, JumpCloud enables users to log in to virtually any of their IT resources with a single set of credentials thanks to True Single Sign-On™. That means the same set of credentials a user leverages to access their system (Window®, Mac®, Linux®) can also be used to log in to web applications, file servers on-prem or in the cloud, and wired and/or WiFi networks via RADIUS.
Learn More About JumpCloud
Ready to learn more about the identity and access management capability endpoint management? Be sure to drop us a line, or schedule a demo to learn more. If you’re eager to get to work managing users and their systems, feel free to sign up today for a free account. With a free account, you can manage up to 10 users for free–no credit card required. Once you’re signed up, our Knowledge Base is filled with support articles to help you get the most of your account.