Identity as a Service (IDaaS)

Identity as a Service (IDaaS)

Identity as a Service (IDaaS) is quickly becoming popular in the IT world. It promises a new level of flexibility and security compared to past solutions. Why should you bother with this solution? Take a closer look at the status quo approach to identity management. You will find there are all kinds of subtle costs and pains linked with the old way of managing identity and access.

The Problem With Traditional Identity Management

Identity management is a critical process to reduce IT security risk. However, it is only useful if it is kept up to date. When a person changes jobs or gets promoted, their identity and privileges need to change. Unfortunately, keeping up with these changes is tough. What happens when a software developer downloads a new app, creates a user account and starts using it? Traditional identity management tools are not equipped to respond to such behavior quickly.

For companies committed to providing flexibility to employees and implementing an agile mindset, traditional identity management is a roadblock. Having to wait hours or days for a user ID approval hurts momentum on projects. Technology professionals, in particular, have little tolerance for using outdated software and apps at work. After all, there is a war for talent and forcing people to use out-of-date tools does not make sense. Using Identity as a Service is the way to address these problems.

The Next Generation Solution: IDaaS

Instead of relying on databases and spreadsheets to track identity, use Identity as a Service. This approach to identity management recognizes your changing work habits. Need access to a dozen SaaS apps like Salesforce, Office 365 and beyond to get your work done? The identity management solution you choose needs to keep up with that expectation. After all, your identity management is only as strong as your weakest link. If you have critical SaaS tools or a group of users like contractors that are not covered by your identity solution, your organization faces increased security risk.

What about the challenge of staying current with employee changes? For example, if a user moves from sales to customer success, they will need different tools and access. When you use Identity as a Service, you will have a flexible solution that keeps pace with those changes. For example, you can set up standard profiles for “customer success” employees so they can all start work with the same permissions.

How Does Identity As A Service Protect Your Organization?

IDaaS bolsters improved IT security to your organization in two ways. First, you can reduce the risk of fraud and employee misconduct by maintaining an up-to-date identity framework. According to IT security news website Dark Reading, insider threats were responsible for some of the worst security events of 2018. If you combine Identity as a Service with supporting processes like employee offboarding, you will have a robust defense against this type of threat.

Identity as a Service also benefits your organization by saving time. Specifically, Identity as a Service solutions often provides single sign-on (SSO). That’s a powerful way to save time and keep employees happy. Rather than expecting employees to memorize dozens of passwords, they can use one highly secure password to get all their work done. When employees save time with their passwords, your IT department will have more capacity to take on other IT security objectives.

What To Look For In An Identity As A Service Solution

Do you want to explore Identity as a Service but don’t know where to start? Don’t worry — use the buying criteria below to develop a shortlist of solutions.

1) User Experience

For Identity as a Service to deliver value, give weight to the user experience. For example, what is the learning curve for your end-users to adopt the solution? If it takes a long time to implement, you may face a rebellion from your users.

2) Reports and Monitoring For Management

Now let’s turn our focus to the needs of managers and IT. You need a reliable way to access reports and monitor your users. For example, you may assess whether or not it makes sense to renew a certain SaaS license. With a robust Identity as a Service tool, you can pull a report on how many users access their app. If you find your organization is only using 50% of your licenses, you have a definite cost savings objective to pursue in your negotiations.

Beyond cost savings, management also needs reporting to meet compliance and audit requirements. By using a tool that logs all identity requests in one place, you don’t need to worry about losing track of documentation.

3) Automation Capabilities

Automation is critical to easing the burden of identity management. Without automation, AI or machine learning capabilities, your staff will have an ongoing responsibility to keep up with staff changes. For example, Group Enforcer uses rules to deliver automation. Rather than setting up each customer service representative with their access, you can administer changes as a group.

4) Related Identity and Access Management Solutions

Improving identity management on its own is powerful. However, that is not enough to keep your organization safe from unauthorized access. The vendor you select should offer related solutions like single sign-on and password management. Taken together, these solutions will help you achieve success. If you end up assembling a patchwork of security software solutions from different companies, that approach will put more pressure on your team to learn multiple tools.

How To Make Sure Your Identity As A Service (IDaaS) Solution Always SucceedsImplementing an Identity as a Service software solution will deliver a significant leap forward in terms of consistency. To provide full results, you need to implement supporting practices. For example, encourage employees to create stronger passwords and equip them with password training. After you have that process in place, develop a reporting cadence so that you detect risky patterns quickly. By using these practices, your organization will have robust identity management that stays one step ahead of insider threats.

Written by Nelson Cicchitto