Frequently Asked Questions
What is Cloud Identity Management?
Before we define cloud identity management, let’s first talk about what identity management is. Identity management and access control are the cornerstones of network cybersecurity. Used properly, they can help restrict users and applications only to specific areas of the network. This can help protect confidential sections from hacks and data theft.
Identity management handles a user account’s entire lifecycle, from onboarding them to the network and setting their privileges to offboarding them once the employee resigns. Cloud identity management brings this capability and adapts it to solve authentication challenges in a cloud or hybrid network infrastructure.
That’s because traditional identity management systems are designed to manage user logins in a closed network from a single location, which reflects how most onsite enterprises work.
However, hybrid networks are more “open” in the sense that there’s no strict network perimeter in place. In addition, there are more endpoints involved that are prone to attacks – user devices, Wi-Fi networks, and cloud servers.
As a result, a new paradigm is required to protect sensitive data from outside threats. And that’s where a cloud identity management platform comes in.
How Do Identity Management SaaS Systems Work?
Identity management (IdM) systems, whether SaaS or on-premises, start with a database of all the users in the system. This includes their login credentials, which the IdM system uses to authenticate accounts.
Authentication methods differ based on the approach implemented by administrators. Examples include passwords, hardware tokens, single sign-on, or digital access certificates.
When a user tries to log in, the IdM system reads the account database and checks the provided credentials with the one logged into the system. If it checks out, the user is successfully authenticated.
An IdM system also includes a way to enforce access privileges. This ensures that users can only access applications and data that they’re allowed to. In case of a breach or violation, an auditing and reporting system alerts the administrators of the occurrence so they can react accordingly.
Finally, IdM platforms need a way to securely write over data in the user database. This is vital for editing access privileges over the lifetime of a user account.
What are the Benefits of a Cloud Identity Management Platform?
A cloud identity platform is a fundamental tool that every organization needs to keep its cloud or hybrid networks safe from cyberattacks.
Organizations need to keep their sensitive data secure with identity management. Cloud networks are exceptionally prone to online attacks because they have multiple endpoints with no defined perimeter and a shared responsibility model.
But at the same time, cloud identity management platforms also help speed up safe access to data and other business resources. This can improve productivity by always giving employees, contractors, auditors, etc. access to the resources they need. In addition, administrators can grant temporary access to contractors and guests rapidly without second-guessing if it is secure.
Identity management is also vital for scaling operations. It can make it easy for administrators to onboard, for example, a new employee and quickly give them access to the data they’re authorized to use.
Identity management platforms automate almost every aspect of identity and access control. This can free up your IT personnel and IAM leaders for more valuable tasks that have a bigger impact on your organization.
The bottom line is that cloud identity management can help secure an enterprise’s network — without sacrificing productivity and efficiency.
What’s the Difference Between Cloud IAM and On-Premises IAM Solutions?
While both Cloud Identity and Access Management (IAM) and On-Premises IAM solutions have the same goals, they have distinct differences and may be preferred by different types of organizations.
Cloud IAM is increasingly preferred by organizations looking to offload management of the infrastructure. Further, by opting for a Cloud IAM solution, businesses benefit from automated upgrades, reliable uptime and durability, and more.
On-Premises IAM may be preferred by organizations who are mandated by internal policy or law to deploy certain applications on-site in the datacenter.