Identity and Access Management in and around the Cloud

The world of access controls is expanding at a rapid pace with Cloud Services that it is causing a discomfort to today’s enterprises and their IAM strategy with new regulations, new opportunities in business and not to forget the complex challenges brought in by the Cloud adoption.

The cloud is a disruptive, business-driven IT decision created in response to the economic realities and mounting pressures to reduce costs and increase efficiency and agility with computing. Cloud shift very well has a democratizing effect on the Identity and Access Management grounds: IAM deployments and access controls were once only accessible to enterprises with deep pockets and large IT shops are now accessible to all and for seemingly much less cost. While the cloud addresses many problems to small or medium enterprises, however, it also brings up many new ones. One thing that is clear is that identity and access controls dependent on it, are absolutely central to the secure adoption of cloud services.

The need for the moment to look for Cloud IAM strategy comes from the identity splash with in and out of the today’s enterprise. Organizations need to proactively protect their business-critical applications from external and internal threats throughout their entire life cycle, from design to implementation to production. Users are no longer just employees, you also need to extend access to partners, contractors, and even customers. These users are no longer just accessing company resources through a desktop at the office, but now in the BYOD era, a growing number of devices must be included in the enterprises’ security picture.

For business, cloud can be a big boost allowing the diversified users to access critical processes such as HR, billing, payroll from anywhere, everywhere without the hassle of deploying and managing them in-house. Thanks to the central access model of most of the Cloud IAM service providers, applications can authenticate users against the authoritative sources within your organization to enable SSO across cloud apps—and your essential identity data doesn’t have to cross the firewall every time you synchronize user accounts.

IAM strategy
Cloud with ladder isolated on white and open door with sky on background – 3D Rendering

Challenges

Traditionally, IAM challenges and the products that address them have been focused on large enterprises and governments that contain large, dedicated IT infrastructures and lots of applications and users. For many years now, these organizations have recognized the challenges of giving and controlling user’s access to applications in large, heterogeneous environments. However, with the cloud, IAM expands to other communities, including smaller organizations and government entities. Small organizations now face IAM challenges too as they move from the homogeneous Microsoft Active-Directory-centric identity world that they currently inhabit to one where their IT services will come from a varied and heterogeneous world of the cloud.

In such ever changing situation, each type of organization is asking questions related to identity and the cloud, for:

  • Large organizations: How to extend their existing IAM systems to manage users and their access to cloud-based applications and services.
  • Smaller organizations: How to leverage a multitude of cloud services without encumbering your users and losing control of your organization.

Secure the Cloud Services with IAM

Larger enterprises have complex infrastructures with identities spread across many heterogeneous sources, along with a multitude of legacy applications that rely on those sources. For those organizations, a move to cloud-based identity would be extremely disruptive, and cannot be undertaken without some intermediate identity federation steps with a thorough analysis of their existing and aligned requirements in the pipeline.

For Smaller enterprises, while a move to cloud-based identity may be part of the long-term identity strategy, beginning with an on-premises deployment is safer and easier for the current needs of most enterprises.

As seen in the picture below, security and IAM needs to be ingrained at different levels of the integration with Cloud Services and in to different use cases with a very detailed understanding of the existing architecture and business needs.

 

IAM strategy
Cloud IAM

Benefits that indirectly contribute to the ROI are:

  • Seamless Collaboration through Cloud-Based Solutions
  • Enhanced Business Agility
  • Reduced Risk
  • Centralized Management of users, services and applications
  • Better On-Demand Support
  • Service Mindset by providing different services to all customers
  • No More Complicated Upgrade Cycle
  • Improved Productivity
  • Better Network Capabilities

Please contact us to see Demo and Proof of Concept environments to easily develop prototypes for critical use cases of On-Premise/Cloud Single Sign On, Federation, Identity Management, Cloud integration and Enhanced Authentication mechanisms like Multi Factor Authentication and Risk Based Authentication.

Never miss an update by following us and subscribing to our monthly newsletter!

Summary
Identity and Access Management in and around the Cloud
Article Name
Identity and Access Management in and around the Cloud
Description
The world of access controls is expanding at a rapid pace with Cloud Services that it is causing a discomfort to today’s enterprises and their IAM strategy.
Author
Publisher Name
Atos Consulting CH
Publisher Logo
Srinath Uppalapati

Srinath Uppalapati

Srinath has worked as a Identity and Access Management professional in his entire career advising, developing and consulting for customers in US, EMEA and ASIA. He has knowledge of leading Identity and Access Management products in the market. While working for clients invarious sectors, he has worked in the roles of Developer, Module Lead, Consultant, Technical Manager. Srinath is currently working as a Senior Consultant with Cambridge Technology Partners in Zurich.
Srinath Uppalapati

2 thoughts on “Identity and Access Management in and around the Cloud

  1. Serrah Mark Reply

    Hey Srinath
    Very informative article you have shared here! Cloud based identity management systems are the latest trends now a days and undeniably it is here to stay. Enabling cloud based CIM solutions gives businesses peace of mind in respect to managing the thousands or millions of digital identities effortlessly and be confident their valuable data is secure. The concept of cloud based CIM is already being used by many businesses and it is sure to keep growing in the upcoming years as well.

  2. Pingback: Challenges of an Identity Management Deployment - Atos Consulting CH

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *