Small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) generally have a hard time trying to control access to an ever-expansive list of systems, applications, files, and networks. Most of these businesses cannot afford what really takes a team of IT experts to handle. This is where we think the next generation of cloud identity and access management solutions can really come in handy for SMBs. This article is intended to serve as a stepping-off point to get your head around what cloud identity management solutions are and why they can be critical for SMBs. In case you want to know more about this topic, please refer to Cloud Services Vancouver.
What is Cloud Identity Management?
Cloud identity management essentially refers to the next generation of identity and access management solutions that seek to streamline and simplify the entire identity infrastructure of the cloud. This covers everything from the identity provider, SSO, MFA, PAM, IGA, and more. It takes the idea behind the traditional, on-premise, and legacy solutions and provides a single unified solution for most identity and access management needs, such as web application single sign-on, multi-factor authentication, privileged access management, identity governance, and administration, and more. This provides a much-needed single point of access management and control for organizations irrespective of their size. The highly adaptable nature makes it applicable across any device, operating system, on-premise or web-based application, and indeed any cloud, on-premise, or remote resource. Since these cloud IAM solutions are inherently designed to support multiple protocols, they can, in theory, be harnessed to connect to virtually any IT resource using its ‘native’ authentication language.
How Does Cloud Identity Management Differ?
With their workforces more mobile than ever, enterprises need a combination of Identity-as-a-Service and Enterprise Mobility Management for efficient identity and access management. The key differentiator here is the need for the traditional access management solutions to move beyond centralized repositories, enterprise/proprietary applications, and known endpoints to serve a more decentralized architecture. As the workload gets dispersed across an ever-evolving list of devices, operating systems, applications, and resources and cloud migration opens up to endpoints on geographically diverse locations outside enterprise control – the identity and access management solution needs to be optimized for integration across all of them
The key benefit of such integrated cloud identity management comes from the essential security it offers in user authentication, managing access to WiFi networks, connecting to cloud servers, and more. With enterprises engaged in all-out fire-fighting with nefarious cybercrime actors, streamlined identity and access management is essential for ensuring zero trust and least privilege security models. The benefit of such authentication protocols stems from the fact that they are eminently scalable, guarantee seamless user experience, and are equally effective against external and insider threats.
These are also effective in reducing operational costs for organizations. IT Consulting Vancouver can help you get started with deploying cloud identity management in your organization.
What Does Cloud Identity Management Include?
Single Access Control Interface
When you are operating on limited resources, you want your cloud IAM solutions to consistently provide a clean access control interface that is simple to maneuver. Modern Cloud Identity Management Solutions provide this through a single, user-intuitive interface for all cloud platform services.
Cloud Identity Management also helps enterprises enhance their security posture through better security for critical applications and resource-level access control. It enables your security team to work at a really granular level to define roles and grant permissions for resource access.
SMBs Cloud Forward Approach
Small and medium businesses have to do a delicate job managing security, user expectations, and resource allocation. This is why it’s imperative for businesses to make use of the most innovative technical resources available to them. SMBs have really picked up speed in recent times to move towards a cloud-first approach and leveraging web applications. In fact, they have a critical advantage over larger-sized organizations in this respect as they generally don’t have to deal with the complexity of legacy infrastructure limiting their core process efficiencies. This has resulted in many small and medium-sized businesses being outright innovative in their approach to IT management.
Recent data supports SMBs bias towards shifting infrastructure to the cloud with the numbers indicating that 78% of small businesses engaged in the process of adopting cloud computing by 2020; 92% of small businesses using one or more cloud-based solutions; and small businesses experiencing a reduction in workload by at least 42% thanks to cloud solutions. This is why it behoves SMBs who are yet to reap the benefits of cloud to take advantage of the plethora of Infrastructure-as-a-Service providers like AWS® or Cloud Services By Google.
SMBs Need Modern Cloud IAM
Despite their enthusiastic adoption of the cloud, small and medium businesses are still stuck with legacy solutions for directory services. In fact, for nearly two decades, companies have had little choice beyond Microsoft® Active Directory®, an expensive, and often needlessly complex choice. As enterprise infrastructure has veered away from an out-and-out Windows® and on-premise environment, IT admins have increasingly been in favor of cloud-based, web-based applications and remote servers such as those hosted in AWS. This change in direction is what has precipitated the need for next generation cloud identity and access management solutions that can serve the core needs of these organizations.
Ask any IT admin at an SMB and they will tell you that they are essentially looking for Solutions that are designed to solve their core challenges, preferably delivered as a service, and one that integrates well with a variety of IT resources. SMBs need identity access management solutions that prove cost-effective and enhance security, in the long run, have the necessary features to support the organization’s needs over time, prove capable of integrating with a wide variety of IT resources, and supports the cloud-centric approach that most SMBs are keen to adopt. For more information on this topic and to know more, please refer to Managed IT Services Vancouver.