Like many other hot markets, the cloud identity management space is hard to pin down. Every vendor in the space has their own definition of what cloud identity management means – and end users have their own ideas of what they are looking for in Cloud IAM. Often, the two don’t match-up very well, and the result is confusion. In this blog post, we’ll discuss one of the core functions of a cloud identity management solution: user management.
The Old Approach to User Management
User management can take a lot of different forms. You may need to manage users on a server or an application, or maybe you need user management for your WiFi network. To have central control over all of these different forms of user management, you need to adopt a structure that allows user management across your entire IT network. In a modern infrastructure, this can be best achieved via a cloud-based identity management platform. But first, we’ll discuss the old approach to user management, which was established long before the advent of the cloud.
This path was historically covered by the identity management solution Microsoft Active Directory®. Active Directory was introduced in 1999 and quickly became the market leader in managing users on a network. Of course, at the time, networks were largely homogeneous. Microsoft Windows ruled the enterprise network and virtually all IT resources were on-prem or within data centers connected to the headquarters networks.
This structure allowed IT admins to simply add and delete users from the directory service to control user access to laptops and desktops, servers, files, applications, and the network itself. Permissions could be modified based on the user’s role via a concept called groups. This was user management in the early stages of the Internet era.
Conventional User Management Falls Short
Over the last two decades though, much has changed in the world of user management. Before we talk about identity and access management’s move to the cloud, we should discuss how users and access to IT resources have changed. Today, virtually every office relies on cloud-based infrastructure in some (Read more...)
*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from JumpCloud authored by Jon Griffin. Read the original post at: https://jumpcloud.com/blog/cloud-identity-management-function-user-management/