Is Identity Management a Priority?

Written by Katelyn McWilliams on September 6, 2018

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Identity theft is the the number one attack vector compromising networks today. The right set of credentials are the keys to an organization’s digital kingdom. Beyond security, identity management is the pipeline to connecting end users to the IT resources they need. That makes it crucial to day-to-day efficiency as well. For both of these reasons, IT admins know that identity management is a priority, but should it be a higher priority than it currently is?

The Identity Management Timeline

cloud IAM

If you were to flash back about two decades ago, identity and access management (IAM) wouldn’t warrant a second thought. There was really only one enterprise-grade option.

In the early 2000s, Microsoft® Active Directory® (also known as AD or MAD) was the leading identity management provider due to its seamless integration with Windows® systems and resources. The arrival of web applications complicated matters somewhat, but you simply needed to tack a single sign-on (or SSO) solution on top of your AD service and you were back in business—no fuss necessary. These solutions were designed to federate AD identities to their web-based applications. None of the offerings in the SSO space were seeking to compete with Active Directory to be the core identity provider.

As time went on, the IT world started to see a major makeover. Mac® and Linux® systems began to crop up amongst Windows machines in the office. Data centers started shifting to the cloud with platforms such as AWS®  and GCP™ offering cloud servers and other infrastructure delivered as a service. Web applications like Salesforce®, GitHub, Slack, and other non-Windows based solutions were replacing on-prem applications in just about every sector.

This slow march towards a modern IT environment pushed IT admins to abandon their aspirations for a single identity management solution that could manage their entire environment. With an increasing number of weaknesses between their on-prem identity provider and the solutions stacked on top of it, it’s no wonder IT admins pushed identity management to the backburner compared to other pressing issues.

Identity Management: Pressing Matters

identity management: pressing matters

For the last few years, IT admins having been adding new identity management point solutions to cover for the weakness of the on-prem identity provider. Solutions such as device management tools, SSO solutions like Okta®, MFA/2FA solutions, and much more were stacked on top of AD to assist in accomplishing what organizations needed.

Historically, admins were locked into a single vendor platform for identity management, which were severely restricting in terms of modern, heterogeneous infrastructure. As IT organizations look to the future, they realize that identity management must be a major priority. It is the bedrock of IT infrastructure and it has to be solid for an organization to grow and thrive. Admins are looking to increase productivity and efficiency in the heterogenous IT world we now live in; and Active Directory combined with a slew of tack-on solutions simply can’t keep up any longer.

Directory-as-a-Service®: Identity Management Reimagined

JumpCloud's Identity Security Tool

The answer IT admins are looking for is a cloud identity management solution called Directory-as-a-Service® to modernize their IAM approach. JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service (DaaS) is a core directory service, similar to Active Directory, but with an OS-agnostic twist. JumpCloud is a third-party, cloud-based directory with the ability to federate user access regardless of location, provider, platform, or protocol. Directory-as-a-Service offers identity management through the RADIUS, SAML, and LDAP protocols among others, connecting your users to their necessary resources with ease.

If you’re ready to see how JumpCloud can alleviate the burden of identity management off of your admins’ shoulders, consider signing up for an account. Your account is free and includes ten free users forever. You’re welcome to contact us with any questions you have, as well as schedule a demo to see the platform in action.

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