Is it possible to have a virtual identity and access management (IAM) platform? Historically, the answer to that question has been no. But a new wave of cloud-based identity and access management solutions is emerging – and these modern tools are transforming the best practices for identity and access management.
The Identity Management Market
Before we walk through new, virtual IAM solutions, we should step back and walk through how the identity management market has evolved. The modern era of IAM kicked off in the early 1990s with the advent of LDAP. This protocol was created by our advisor Tim Howes and his colleagues from the University of Michigan, and it turned into one of the core authentication protocols of our time. Solutions such as OpenLDAP™ and Microsoft Active Directory® ended up using LDAP as a springboard to become some of the core identity providers for organizations. OpenLDAP took over the open source directory market, and Microsoft AD took over the commercial market.
As AD started to dominate the IAM field, new categories were created that leveraged AD as the core directory service for an organization. Directory extension software, web application single sign-on, privileged identity management, password managers, and multi-factor authentication all became important parts of the identity management market. All of these solutions were built on top of Active Directory, solidifying the directory’s place in the market.
Changing to the Cloud
In the mid-2000s the IT landscape started to shift. Web applications became more critical. Cloud infrastructure from AWS and others started to threaten the on-prem data center. Google Apps emerged as an important platform for workplace productivity. On top of all of that, Mac and Linux devices started to take over for Windows-based systems.
All of these changes impacted how IT conducted identity management – which is made clear by the explosion of different solutions in the space. However, even with all of these changes and all of the one-off solutions trying to address them, Active Directory still persisted. AD had a firm grip on its customers and forced IT organizations to keep one foot on-prem.
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*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from JumpCloud authored by Jon Griffin. Read the original post at: https://jumpcloud.com/blog/virtual-identity-access-management/