Identity in the cloud

With the popularity of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), enterprises will be using cloud-based software for identity and access management (IAM) or identity-as-a-service (IDaaS) to reduce costs and increase security, according to Idan Shoham, chief technology officer at Hitachi ID Systems Inc.

Now companies have separate internal networks apart from the public Internet, but in the near future we will see the convergence in IDaaS. IDaaS will be used to identify users and control what company documents they have access to, according to Andras Cser, analyst at Forrester Research, Inc.

“We should look at cloud as an augmentation of the services we already have,” Cser said.

Workers are increasingly working outside of the office, and SaaS allows easy access to company documents and applications from home.

Companies may also start to use forms of IDaaS by using Facebook logins to control access to information, rather than separate company logins for individuals. This means employees will be able to login from anywhere using their Facebook account, according to Shoham. This makes it easier for users because they do not have to remember multiple logins or passwords. Everything will be accessible from one account.
This form of cloud-based software runs on public networks and is therefore, less costly to implement. This further decreases the cost for enterprises because they can allow employees to use their own hardware like laptops rather than supplying company equipment on which to access corporate data. IDaaS would also cost less because companies would not have to pay for IT support to change passwords or create logins.

“The mobile user needs to get into applications that may be accessed by the cloud,” Shoham said. “The workforce is mobile.”

Enterprises may be concerned with using cloud-based software because it is through the internet and no one monitors the large network, according to Cser. Companies would also be dependent on the software providers online.

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