Virtual Identity Management

The modern identity management category kicked off with the advent of the LDAP protocol. Over the last 20+ years, the identity and access management space has certainly seen dynamic innovation – but in many ways it has stayed remarkably the same. Today, there is a tension between modern identity management needs and the legacy technology that still underpins much of the space. So what is the future is virtual identity management?

We will give our answer to that question below, but first let’s take a look at the history of virtual IAM and how we got to where we are today.

Virtual Identity Management Began with the Creation of LDAP

OpenLDAP Logo Worm

Tim Howes and his colleagues at the University of Michigan created LDAP – the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol – in the early 1990s. It was just around the time the internet and desktop computers became a staple among the workforce, and the current directory system (the X.500 standard) was too complex to support these new resources. IT found themselves needing a protocol that wasn’t as network intensive and could be used over the internet’s modest bandwidth. So, Tim created the LDAP protocol, a more efficient version of the Directory Access Protocol that is used in the X.500 (Gracion).

identity management active directory

The creation of the LDAP protocol spawned two major identity providers, OpenLDAP™ and Microsoft Active Directory®. Active Directory ended up becoming the most dominant IAM solution in the space. AD’s dominance in the IAM market had a lot to do with where people worked at the time and what they were using to accomplish their tasks. Typically, an organization’s users would work in the same place, and they would use Microsoft resources to complete their work – Microsoft Windows for their system, Microsoft Exchange for their email, Microsoft Office for productivity software, and Windows Server running on the backend. Together with Active Directory, this Microsoft ecosystem offered IT seamless control over their environment and created a smooth experience for the end user.

Stagnation and Change in the IAM market

Active Directory fails in the cloud

While certain aspects of the workplace have undergone (Read more...)

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from JumpCloud authored by Natalie Bluhm. Read the original post at:

Natalie Bluhm

Natalie is a writer for JumpCloud, an Identity and Access Management solution designed for the cloud era. Natalie graduated with a degree in professional and technical writing, and she loves learning about cloud infrastructure, identity security, and IT protocols.

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