Identity as as Service

What is Identity as a Service (IDaaS)?

Identity as a Service (IDaaS) refers to a system that allows organizations to use single sign-on, strict authentication, and management controls to provide secure, streamlined access to (primarily cloud) applications. IDaaS solutions may provide further functionality such as employee self-service processes to request additional resources.

As businesses and organizations embrace, or are forced to embrace, cloud and mobile technologies, data access and security become more complicated across different platforms and systems. An IDaaS solution reduces all of these independent login processes to a single authentication step. Once a given user’s identity is verified, they will be able to access all of their resources.

Prior to cloud applications, managing identities was less challenging due to limited entry points with traditional, on-site infrastructure. These limited entry points were mostly confined to a given user’s assigned desktop computer connected to the network. Because cloud services have opened up our understanding of classic network perimeters and DMZs, identity management has grown increasingly complex as users access their resources on multiple devices, at any time, from anywhere.

If employees are using their own devices, identity management becomes further complicated. How does your company secure each device when the model, software, and more may all be vastly different? IDaaS secures the access method for each individual resource instead of enforcing substantial endpoint security on every single device. Instead of strong perimeters and DMZs, consider IDaaS as a secure tunnel network that branches out from your hub to each cloud resource hosted by a third party.

The goal of IDaaS

The goal of IDaaS is to provide employees, partners, contractors, customers, and others with streamlined, secure access to specific systems, applications, or other resources. Identity data, credentials, and SSO protocols (e.g., SAML) ensure that a given user’s verified identity is recognized by each connected resource. Every user’s access should be restricted according to Principle of Least Privilege (PoLP),so that employees have exactly the resources their role requires—no more, no less.

Security is a vital function of IDaaS. Credential management is enforced and introduces more robust levels of authentication when circumstances demand them. Since the IDaaS platform is often accessed from a myriad of devices and locations, enforcing multifactor authentication during logins substantially increases security while only requiring users to perform a brief extra step once per session.

What are the benefits of IDaaS?

The chief advantages IDaaS provides are insightful management, efficiency (time and cost savings), and enhanced security. Management controls combined with insightful reports allows high-level IT staff to organize identities and access properly for your entire environment based on real activity. IDaaS’ streamlined access, rapid provisioning, and self-service provide employees with the best platform to be productive.

With IDaaS, the service provider assumes full responsibility for maintenance and security. This may result in a lower total cost of ownership. It also takes the burdens of implementation and maintenance off your plate. Additionally, IDaaS allows customers to stay up to date with the latest authentication technologies and best practices without having to continually refresh their knowledge. Rather than paying for on-site services or staff and equipment costs, a company only pays for a subscription fee and administrative work with IDaaS. The cost savings are also linked with increased cybersecurity.

In addition to reducing day-to-day costs, IDaaS mitigates ever-rising data breach costs. Rather than a business having to invest in resources to keep data safe, working with cloud-security experts reduces the costs and headaches. Configurable access policies, enforced MFA, PoLP, and more, significantly reduce your environment’s vulnerabilities while activity logs and reporting can best prepare you to mitigate a breach should it still occur.

[1] Identity as a Service (IDaaS) - What is IDaaS

[2] Single Sign-on Solutions, SSO Authentication