Identity and access management (IAM) can be challenging in modern IT organizations. With cross-platform system environments, web and on-prem applications, various file storage systems, and networks spanning numerous locations, IAM has never been more complex. The good news is that a next generation cloud directory has emerged that offers a simple approach to cloud IAM. How is this possible? We invite you to continue reading to find out. Let’s start with the basics.
What is IAM?
According to Gartner, “IAM is the security discipline that enables the right individuals to access the right resources at the right times and for the right reasons.” In other words, IAM describes a category of IT solutions that serve to securely manage and connect users to their IT resources such as their systems, applications, files, and networks. This is generally achieved by leveraging core directory services platforms, which store core user identities and federate them to a wide variety of IT resources. These IT resources also look to the core directory services database as the source of truth for authenticating and authorizing user access. As a result, directory services are often called identity providers (IdPs). The key advantage with an identity provider in modern organizations is that IT can leverage core user identities to manage access to IT resources from one centralized location. In doing so, IAM is far more efficient and secure compared to manually managing user access to IT resources on an individual basis.
Traditional IAM Solutions
Historically, the most popular IAM solutions have come from Microsoft® and have been focused on the Windows® operating system (OS). Microsoft Active Directory.® (AD) is probably the most notable example. Released in 1999, AD is an on-prem directory services platform designed to manage Windows users and their access to on-prem, Windows-based IT resources. Initially, this gave AD an advantage over competitors (e.g., OpenLDAP™) because enterprise IT environments were basically networks of Windows-based IT resources and just about everyone was a Windows user. This homogeneous setup made IAM relatively straightforward. In most cases, IT simply implemented (Read more...)
*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Blog – JumpCloud authored by Vince Lujan. Read the original post at: https://jumpcloud.com/blog/a-simple-approach-to-cloud-iam/