Eight Critical IDaaS Capabilities to Optimize Your IAM Strategy in the Cloud

Identity management-as-a-service (IDaaS) products are popular these days because they have capabilities that help address many of the common challenges related to identity and access management (IAM) across the hybrid enterprise.

With IDaaS capabilities, organizations looking to embrace the cloud can find relief from the overhead associated with infrastructure support and the specialized staffing needed to operate common on-premises solutions. IDaaS solutions allow for faster deployments and built-in, continuous maintenance and upgrades.

Vendors promise a wide range of benefits that often seem quite similar. So, what IDaaS capabilities are most critical to consider when making a purchase decision?

Cloud Identity for Dummies

Below is an excerpt from IBM’s new e-book, “Cloud Identity for Dummies,” which explores the various ways in which IDaaS can help organizations overcome these obstacles and optimize their IAM strategy in the cloud.

Not all environments will use all components for every application, but most IDaaS implementations have these components:

  1. Directory services are the authoritative source of user identities. The IDaaS checks the user identity against the directory service to see if a user exists and what level of access is granted within the application. Microsoft Active Directory is the most common implementation. Directory Services can be deployed on-premises or in the cloud.
  2. Single sign-on (SSO) is the technology and implementation that allows one application identity and login event, enabling access to other applications without re-executing the login process. SSO is a convenience to users and enhances security.
  3. Federation is the concept and technology that a user’s identity is valid within their own enterprise, but it is also published and integrated outside the enterprise to other applications providing access.
  4. Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML), OAuth and OpenID Connect (OIDC) are protocols and standards for the exchange of authentication and authorization between services, and enable SSO and federation implemented by the IDaaS.
  5. Multifactor authentication (MFA) is an authentication mechanism that requires users to provide two or more of the following: something they know (such as a PIN number); something they have (such as an electronic token); and something they are (a biometric attribute).
  6. Self-service via web portals enables users to register themselves for application access, create accounts and passwords and recover lost credentials. Additionally, profile management; delegated user management; workflow processing for requests and approvals; and recertification approvals are possible.
  7. Launch pads are centralized portal pages for employees to access applications from. They provide centralized control and convenience for the applications employees may access.
  8. Connectors serve as the integration points into applications from the IDaaS cloud. IDaaS vendors create and maintain an ever-expanding library of connectors facilitating access.

Learn More About IDaaS Capabilities

To learn more about how IDaaS can help your organization clear common identity hurdles, download a complimentary copy of the e-book, “Cloud Identity for Dummies.”

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Michael Bunyard

IAM Product Marketing Lead

Michael leads IBM IAM’s product marketing efforts. He brings over two decades of product management and marketing expertise to this role. Prior to IBM, Michael led marketing for a start-up company in the endpoint detection and response market, product management for Fiserv’s fraud detection solutions, and product marketing for BMC software’s enterprise application integration solutions.