User access management (UAM), also called identity and access management (IAM), refers to the process of managing user identities and administering their access to IT resources such as systems, applications, files, and networks. Identity management is critical in any modern organization from a security and efficiency perspective, but what are the advantages of cloud-based user access management? To find out, let’s take a look at traditional UAM solutions and compare them to cloud alternatives.
Traditional User Access Management
Prior to the year 2000, most enterprise IT environments were on-prem and essentially revolved around the Microsoft® Windows® operating system (OS). In fact, it was common for all of the users, systems, applications, files, and the network itself to be Windows-based and physically tethered together on the same network. This setup encouraged IT administrators to implement Microsoft® Active Directory® (AD) at the core of their user access management infrastructure. In doing so, IT could effectively leverage a single solution to manage user access to all of the IT resources in their environment. This approach worked well for a number of years.
However, the IT landscape started to change in the mid-2000s as a number of new ideas and innovations came to market. At the forefront were macOS® and Linux® systems, web applications like Salesforce® and Google Apps (now called G Suite™), and cloud infrastructure at AWS®, to name a few examples. What did all of these IT resources have in common? They were not Windows-based and, in most cases, they were not on-prem. As a result, Active Directory struggled to manage them directly.
Of course, it was this challenge that inspired the creation of a wide variety of third-party directory extension utilities such as identity bridges, web application single sign-on (SSO), privileged identity management, and more. Solutions such as these were effectively cloud-based add-ons designed to extend AD user identities to non-Windows and remote IT resources that were not natively supported. IT admins would basically layer these solutions on top of their existing on-prem identity management infrastructure to extend (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/cloud-based-user-access-management/