Identity management solutions have been around for decades. They really started when LDAP picked up in the mid-90s. From there, Microsoft developed Active Directory and, later, an open source project known as OpenLDAP took the ball and ran with it. Over the last several years, a group of companies known as Single Sign-On solutions (SSO) emerged and built what they called cloud-based identity management solutions. This was a bit of a misnomer as these solutions relied on an identity provider such as Active Directory or LDAP which were on-premise solutions.
Recently, a new innovation has emerged to produce a true cloud-based identity management solution. It’s called Directory-as-a-Service® and serves as a true identity provider for organizations from the cloud and for the cloud. Let’s unpack what this cloud identity management solution can do for an organization:
- Cloud-based infrastructure – a DaaS solution emanates from the cloud. It’s hosted in the cloud and is accessible from everywhere and at any time. As more of an IT organization’s infrastructure is located across the world, these assets can easily authenticate and authorize regardless of location or where in the infrastructure it is located.
- Central directory services – a cloud-based directory can serve as central, core directory services for an organization. Unlike SSO solutions that generally act as an extension to AD or LDAP, DaaS’ goal is to be the single identity provider in an organization.
- Access control over a variety of device and application types – the core purpose of a cloud-based identity management system is to connect users to the IT resources they need. Modern organizations are leveraging a wide variety of devices and applications including Windows, Mac, and Linux compute devices, cloud servers hosted at AWS and Google Compute Engine among others, SaaS-based applications such as Salesforce, Workday, and others, and on-premise applications. DaaS solutions manage all of the above and do it with ease.
- Increase security – modern IT organizations are extensively leveraging cloud systems and as a result they are re-creating directory services in a number of locations. A central directory service ensures that access is controlled tightly to all IT assets. This is a critical principle in securing systems. Further, DaaS solutions can enforce password complexity, add multi-factor access, and rotate SSH keys as needed.
- Cloud-based business model – a critical innovation with cloud services has been the pay-as-you-go business model. The model enables both small and large organizations to pay for only what they use. DaaS follows this approach putting the power and control in the hands of IT organizations to cost-effectively leverage new innovations.
Identity management is as core to an organization as the network itself. As modern IT innovations such as cloud computing services dominate the industry, a cloud-based identity management system that is from the cloud and for the cloud is necessary.
To learn more about JumpCloud’s cloud-based identity management solution, see our solutions page. If you are interested in trying JumpCloud, we offer a free account with 10 users free forever.