Virtual Password Management

Written by Jon Griffin on November 3, 2017

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Controlling passwords and enforcing rules to help them be stronger is a critical part of any IT organization’s job. Passwords are the keys to the digital kingdom, and as we know they are being hacked and compromised at unprecedented rates. With this heightened need for security, the protection that a password management platform can provide is paramount. As IT admins think about the next generation of identity management, one item on their mind is if a virtual password management platform can protect their credentials from hackers.

Old Password Security

As the IT infrastructure became networked in the late 1990s and extended to the Internet, the concept of securing user identities became much more important. IT admins wanted to make sure that their networks were secure and their users wouldn’t be compromised.

Of course, at the time, identity security was not nearly as much of a focus or as critical as it is now. Nobody really focused on strong, complex passwords or multi-factor authentication. Compromises of identities were rare. Also, a single password on the Windows device would get the person access to just about everything that they needed on the network. Web applications were still few and far between and cloud infrastructure was barely a glimmer in the IT admin’s eye.

Since the turn of the century, password management at the enterprise level has been controlled by Microsoft Active Directory®, which for many years was effectively a monopoly in the directory services space. As the IT landscape changed with web applications, cloud infrastructure, new platforms such as macOS and Linux, WiFi, and much more, Active Directory started to control much less of a user’s account. IT had less control over password security and management. As a result, the risks for IT started to increase. Users started to have simpler passwords because they had so many accounts, and password reuse was popular. Password managers started to appear to help address this problem, but they only exacerbated the problem with sharing of passwords and less control over accounts from IT. The situation has become way too risky for many admins.

Virtual Password Management

With all of these risks coming to light, the concept of a virtual password management platform started to become interesting. Could Active Directory be shifted to the cloud and control more of a user’s accounts than just their Windows based systems and applications?

The answer is yes. A new cloud identity management platform called Directory-as-a-Service® has emerged as a cutting-edge virtual identity provider with a built-in password management platform.

Taking a step back, the concept of this modern IDaaS platform is truly to be a cloud-based alternative to Active Directory. JumpCloud’s Directory-as-a-Service enables organizations to securely connect a person’s identity to virtually all of the IT resources they need – regardless of platform, protocol, provider, and location. This grants the administrator a single pane of glass to control systems (Windows, Mac, Linux), cloud and on-prem servers (AWS, GCP, on-prem), web and on-prem applications (via SAML and LDAP), virtual and physical data storage (such as Samba file servers and NAS devices), and wired and WiFi networks through RADIUS. This platform allows you to assign users one secure credential that works for anything they might need and then to set requirements for those credentials, including requirements for length, complexity, originality, and age.

If you would like to learn more about how you can set up virtual password management to nearly all of your IT resources in one place, reach out to us. We would be happy to answer any questions that you might have. Alternatively, you can sign up for a free trial of the Directory-as-a-Service platform. Your first 10 users are free forever, so you can test the product for as long as you want to make sure that the solution is the right one for you. Sign up for a free account today!

Jon Griffin

Jon Griffin works as a writer for JumpCloud, an organization focused on bringing centralized IT to the modern organization. He graduated with a degree in Professional and Technical Writing from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, and is an avid learner of new technology from cloud-based innovations to VR and more.

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