While at surface level it may seem like a simple task, controlling and securing identities can actually become quite a significant responsibility. Historically, IT organizations have leveraged the on-prem solution Microsoft Active Directory® (AD) as their identity provider. But now, in the modern era of cloud forward IT organizations, a managed identity platform is replacing AD. This may seem like a sudden transition, but when you look closely at the IT landscape, it’s easy to see why it’s occurring.
Active Directory and Traditional IT
Active Directory emerged in 1999 and very quickly became the de facto standard in the identity management space. With it, IT admins could centralize their identities within AD and then enable end users to access the Windows resources they needed. It was a powerful tool that gave a great level of control to admins.
The key to this approach was that it was predicated on an on-prem IT network. This meant hosting AD on-prem, as well as having all of the IT resources on-prem or connected to Active Directory via VPN. In the early 2000s, that was not an uncommon IT environment. As a result, IT admins spent a good amount of time implementing and managing this legacy approach to identity management.
Active Directory and Modern IT
For a while, as long as everything in the IT network remained Microsoft-based and on-prem, IT was happy. Employees could easily access their resources, and that access could easily be managed. However, as you might expect, this trend quickly changed. As web applications, cloud infrastructure, and Mac / Linux platforms emerged, the on-prem Active Directory approach to managing identities started to break down.
AD struggled with non-Microsoft IT resources, and as a result IT was forced to purchase additional solutions to fill in the gaps. This included identity bridges to connect to Mac and Linux machines, web application SSO platforms to connect to web apps, and more. Even with this multi-layer approach though, IT admins still were stuck manually managing identities to a wide range of solutions.
Managed Identities for Modern IT
With this understanding of the IT (Read more...)