Identity as a service (IDaaS) provides IAM (Identity and Access Management) service to the user over the cloud on a subscription basis just like other cloud services. In short, the IDaaS ensures that the authorized user is authenticated to access the resources of the company. The user can be the employee of the company, customer or any third party related to the company. IDaaS provider confirms that the process of accessing the information by the authorized user is seamless either on or off-premises.
In this section, we will discuss Identity as service along with its core components, its benefits. We will also discuss what criteria you must consider while selecting an IDaaS provider.
Content: Identity as a Service (IDaaS) in Cloud Computing
- What is IDaaS?
- Core Components of IDaaS
- Need of IDaaS
- Benefits of IDaaS
- Selecting IDaaS Provider
- Key Takeaways
What is Identity as a Service?
IDaaS i.e. Identity as a Service is cloud service where the objective of the service provider is to authenticate the authorised users to access the resources of the company which they are permitted to use. In a simple word, this service verifies whether the user is exactly who he or she is claiming to be.
IDaaS providers also collect the user information like their logging event, what information they have accessed and generate a report on this for monitoring and audit purpose this help the IDaaS provider to improve their services.
Now let us see why this IDaaS is important?
In any case, due to weak and ineffective data security if the customer’s data or information is misused it put a direct affects the company’s reputation. Some customer may charge penalties for their data breach.
So, there is always a need for effective identity and access management service which manages and secure sensitive and confidential information of the users. This leads to the evolution of identity as a Service.
Core Components of IDaaS
1. Single Sign-on
Single Sign-on is the one most effective feature of IDaaS. This feature allows the user to sign on one single time to access all the SaaS applications of the enterprise. This saves the user time and headache of remembering the identity credentials for each separate application they have access to. You might have experienced that with a single sign on to Google you can access Youtube, Gmail and other applications of Google.
2. Multifactor Authentication
Here the IDaaS make use of multiple factors that could be considered while verifying the user’s identity. Here two or more of the following criteria are used for authentication:
- Inheritance: Inheritance is something that is biologically related to the user like a fingerprint, retina, face recognition etc.
- Possession: Possession is something that user has ownership of cell phone, laptop, tab etc.
- Knowledge: Knowledge is something that user knows about like security password, secret code etc.
Demanding for the multiple pieces of information before granting access to any system minimizes the probability of unauthorized access. The combination of these criteria increases the level of security.
We are very familiar with the combination of username and password alone to access any system but it becomes totally ineffective in case of immense data breaches. And it is almost impossible for people to maintain several strong passwords.
So, multifactor authentication is an effective way, where the goal is to protect sensitive and confidential data.
Biometric can be deployed as one of the criteria of multifactor authentication i.e. inheritance. Biometric system uses the part of the user that biologically related to the user. We are familiar with biometric machine deployed in offices verifying fingerprints to let users access the office resources, this is the most common biometric used in IDaaS system.
With the growing technology other kinds of biometrics evolved are face recognition, handprints, retina scan, DNA, etc. Well if password verification is used along with the biometric it would indefinitely increase the level of security.
Using SCIM (System for Cross Domain Identity Management) user identity can be provisioned or integrated across multiple systems and applications of the enterprise. And when the user departs from the company their access to resources is put to end immediately.
Need of IDaaS
Yes, the need to opt for any service should be clear enough to go further with that service. Following are the points that would clear the need of IDaaS.
- For any business, it is very important that keep their customer’s data secure. The data breaches are the result of unauthorized use of identity credentials or else there may be a weak access control system. IDaaS strengthen the access control system by deploying a stronger level of authentication and better credential management policies.
- The IDaaS services provide self-account management which let the users control their own data.
Benefits of Identity as a Service
- Cloud services are always cost and time saving so, IDaaS also saves the cost and time of purchasing a separate software for identity management and installing it.
- Deploying IDaaS also reduce the overhead of maintaining data centre or prevents you from paying to a host server, upgrading the software along with this you also need to have an IT team who maintains all these stuff.
- IDaaS service provides efficient security with no matter what network you are accessing your authorized resources the process will be secure and seamless.
- IDaaS providers are always in a process to improve their user’s experience in a cost-effective manner so that the user can concentrate more on what their real business is.
Selecting IDaaS Provider
Before you choose any IDaaS provider for IAM services you must check whether the provider ensures you with the following services:
- Identity Proofing: The IDaaS provider must be able to effectively verify and authenticate the customers and employees of the company and let them access the resources they are permitted to access.
- Scalability: The IDaaS providers must scale up their services depending on the demand of the customer.
- Adaptability: The IDaaS services must be able to get modified for new purposes in future.
- High Assurance in Real Time: The IDaaS service must provide digital evidence in real time that can be cross verified to prove that the services are working as they are intended to work.
- IDaaS is identity as a service where the service provider manages the identities of the user and let them access the resources they are permitted to.
- The core components of identity as a service are a single sign-on, multifactor authentication, biometrics, provisioning.
- Single sign-on allows the users to sign-on only once to access all the SaaS applications of their enterprise.
- Multifactor authentication demands for multiple pieces of information before granting access to the resources. This makes security more efficient.
- Biometrics verifies the biological information of the user before authenticating the user. Fingerprints, handprints, face recognition, retina scan are a common form of biometrics.
- In provisioning using SCIM the user’s identities are sync across all the web and enterprise applications.
- The IDaaS providers offer the cost and time effective IAM services which let the user focus on their business goals.
IDaaS is evolving rapidly as IDaaS providers are adding new features to their services. This improved identity management service prevent your companies from the situation like data breach as it secures customers trust in your company.