Identity Management in the Cloud: A Solution Worth Considering?

Security has always been a big concern with IT implementations, especially among businesses. Large corporations have the resources to implement the necessary security measures to protect their information, but even then, we still see data breaches and hacks being reported. Smaller businesses, which are also the active targets of cyber attacks, are facing even bigger challenges.

Implementation of security features as services is not something new. In fact, the very nature of Software as a Service or SaaS eliminates the high initial investment that often prevented businesses from implementing proper security measures. But is putting identity management in the cloud really the solution to consider?

Pooled Resources

Before we can answer that question, we need to understand how SaaS and the solution providers behind existing services work. Instead of doing individual implementations for each business, solution providers can allocate more resources towards setting up the perfect environment for their software. This means adding the right level of security measures and redundancies to the mix.

The hefty initial investment is then taken as a cost factor in the calculation of monthly or annual service charges. These are the fees that customers – in this case, businesses – are actually paying. Multiple businesses are sharing the same infrastructure and expertise offered by the service provider, allowing even small or home businesses with limited IT budget to maintain the highest standard.

Pooling resources has always been the core of turning software into a service, at least in most situations. The low entry barriers allow smaller companies to work together in creating and maintaining the best IT environment while they enjoy the features and services they need to operate efficiently.

Centralized Management

Resources are not the only things small businesses can benefit from when using SaaS solutions, particularly when putting ID and access management in the cloud. With the main database stored safely in the cloud, businesses can take advantage of the immense integration options offered by the available solutions.

Federated authentication is a good example of a feature that will benefit smaller businesses. The feature eliminates the need for transmission of high-risk information such as passwords while offering a single sign-on experience for all users. Even when the business uses multiple solutions for different parts of the operations, access management can still be controlled from one centralised cloud interface.

Security Standards

Despite the fact that there are more cyber attacks and IT risks today, not all industries have information security standards in place. Those that do, however, have good standards that will help eliminate over 80% of the risks through careful implementation and compliance alone.

Standards such as HIPAA for healthcare and PCI DSS used by the financial industry are usually applied by SaaS providers in order to accommodate more potential customers. The rest of the market can certainly benefit from having these information security standards met since businesses can rest assured knowing that their information is properly secured.

So, is cloud-based identity management solution worth considering? Considering the high standards today’s solutions are meeting, the immense flexibility they offer and the relatively low service charge and entry barrier, I say identity management as a service or IDaaS can be the perfect solution for small businesses and large corporations alike.