Identity management is becoming one of the hottest markets in the IT space, which is interesting because the identity and access management (IAM) category has historically been controlled by one major player for many years. Recently, though, there has been an explosion of identity management competition in the cloud. These next-generation solutions offer a variety of advantages over legacy alternatives. We’ll discuss a few of those advantages in this blog, but let’s take a look at how the identity management competition has changed through the years.
A Brief History of Identity Management
The identity management story begins in the early 1990s, with the advent of LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol). According to OpenLDAP.org, LDAP is a subset of X.500 protocols, the identity management solution that LDAP replaced, which are used for accessing information directories in a far more efficient manner. This critical breakthrough laid the foundation that subsequent identity management platforms such as OpenLDAP™ and Microsoft® Active Directory® (AD) used to create their groundbreaking products.
Active Directory has remained the core identity management solution in most enterprises for many years now, while OpenLDAP has largely remained a niche solution for data center implementations. Of course, this makes a lot of sense because enterprise networks have traditionally revolved around the Microsoft Windows® operating system and were also on-prem. In other words, it was common for all of the systems, applications, files, and networks in an IT environment to be Windows-based and located somewhere on-site. The result was that AD had a built in advantage in controlling user access.
The dominance of Windows and Active Directory also meant that the identity management competition was limited to fringe areas for many years. Consider Mac® and Linux® systems and servers, for example. These non-Windows platforms were difficult to manage directly with AD. As a result, third-party identity bridges were created to extend AD to Mac and Linux endpoints. Web applications are another easy example. These cloud-based applications and services weren’t on-prem or based on Windows either, and they were also difficult to manage (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/identity-management-competition/