In our first post in this series, we discussed how traditional IT environments and legacy identity and access management (IAM) systems are being pushed to their limits due to the increase in remote users and sessions. We also touched on the increase in security risks associated with the significant increase in employees working from home. We then detailed five modern IAM capabilities, such as enabling Zero Trust security and bring your own device (BYOD) models, that help support remote work, study, and play at scale.
In this post, we’re continuing the conversation with five additional (and highly important) capabilities that support business at scale without compromising security and user experience.
1. A Unified Experience Through a Single View of the User
When shopping, studying, or working from home, poor user experiences can become deal breakers. From an IAM perspective, a disjointed view of a user is often to blame. Most users (employees, customers, students) interact with an organization across many different channels (ie. applications and systems for things like HR, marketing, accounts payable, and so on). There may be user data integration between some channels, but on the whole, across an organization, each channel and its data about a user are siloed. This presents difficulties in fully understanding a user (student, consumer, workforce) from a 360-degree view. This includes knowing all their access rights, preferences, usage, potential risks, and more. Unfortunately, legacy IAM cannot bridge the siloes to help solve the puzzle.
In order to gain a complete picture of your users and how they interact with your organization, modern identity and access management (IAM) uses identity management and directory services products to synchronize, migrate, and manage identity data across your organization’s system environment. With a single view of a user, you’re then able to:
- Consolidate user identities and increase their security with behavioral, contextual, and risk-based authentication and authorization policies
- Standardize and unify the user experience across any device (omnichannel)
- Continuously gather information about users in a streamlined, non-intrusive way (progressive profiling)
- Increase user acquisition and retention with easy registration (social registration) and exceptional, personalized experiences
- Conduct analytics on profiled user bases to better understand users and risks
2. AI and ML Powered Identity and Governance
Today, many organizations are unexpectedly supporting their entire workforce remotely. This increase is likely challenging their current employee IAM systems, as well as the IT staff, administrators, and managers who have to ensure that the right people have the right to access the right systems and applications while working from home. Additionally, the risk of breaches, hacks, fraud, and other malicious activity also increases with the sudden increase of remote employees. All of this is a problem to be solved.
Identity Governance and Administration (IGA) helps you manage and provision user access, as well as reduce the risk that comes with employees having excessive or unnecessary access to applications, systems, and data. Machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) take IGA to the next level by automating the most common activities. This includes automatically approving access requests, performing certifications, and predicting what access should be provisioned to users. All-inclusive modern IAM platforms that offer identity and IGA powered by AI and ML increase efficiency and provide more time for IT staff and access approvers to focus on access rights that have been identified as risky or anomalous. The result is improved security and reduced administrative burden.
3. API Security
APIs make today’s remote world go round by linking people, systems, and services together, no matter where they are. As detailed by KuppingerCole in their API Security Leadership Compass report and Modern Identity Fabrics research paper, API security is a linchpin of modern identity and access management strategy. With identity-enabled APIs, you can:
- Meet customer expectations by delivering seamless, omnichannel experiences
- Create value-added services through partnerships and third-party integrations
- Bridge legacy systems with modern applications
- Aggregate internal and third-party user data into a single view
To secure APIs requires a standards-based, modern IAM platform capable of exposing rich APIs for seamless integration, deployment agility, and continuous delivery. Modern IAM platforms also leverage a gateway to secure APIs and users by enforcing authorization for any type of traffic. You can also monitor API traffic, throttle traffic volume, and detect anomalies.
4. DevOps Friendly Architecture
Time is of the essence when it comes to developing and deploying capabilities that support remote work and online business. One of the best ways to improve speed to market is to adopt a DevOps model.
DevOps enables software development and deployment cycles to run continuously, so you can roll out new apps, services, and capabilities faster by reducing time to production. Because of the efficacy and rapid adoption of DevOps, future-minded IAM platforms support DevOps deployment with containerisation and orchestration technologies such as Docker and Kubernetes.
5. Flexible Cloud Options to Consume or Deploy
Today, getting modern IAM capabilities that securely support remote work and online business quickly is important. Traditional, legacy IAM deployment and maintenance is often lengthy, costly, and complex, requiring numerous resource hours and slowing time-to-market. Further, legacy IAM solutions can be very difficult to modify in order to meet new needs, trends, and demands. On the flip side, consuming or deploying modern IAM in the cloud accelerates time-to-market, increases flexibility, availability, and scalability, and saves resource time.
By deploying modern IAM platform in a cloud environment (private, public, hybrid cloud, multi-cloud) or consuming it as a service (IDaaS), you can easily move your existing workloads and and get up and running within minutes without sacrificing rich features and extensibility. Further, with IDaaS, you also get the benefit of offloading maintenance to the provider, as well as the big advantage of always being on the latest version.
Importantly, IAM providers that offer an IDaaS platform with feature parity to their software platform give you the invaluable flexibility to easily shift your IAM environments according to your business needs with minimal disruption.
Get IAM Done Right With ForgeRock
The modern IAM capabilities explained above, as well as those discussed in our first blog post, enable exceptional experiences and security for your remote users and online business at scale.
With our eyes on the present and the future, we ForgeRockers are passionate about helping our customers create exceptional, secure user experiences. We’d like to help you. Learn more about connecting everyone, anywhere or contact us for a conversation.