The growing prevalence of data breaches, particularly in identity theft, continues to pose a serious threat to businesses and enterprises worldwide due to the ever-increasing reliance on digital and cloud technologies.
The situation has grown even more critical since 2020, with COVID-19 normalising remote working for most organisations. This new normal has created increased vulnerabilities in enterprise data security due to the complex and problematic issues of tracking remote data access.
According to a 2020 study entitled Cybersecurity in the Remote Work Era: A Global Risk Report, since COVID-19, “60% of mid-sized businesses that had asked their employees to work remotely experienced a cyberattack in the last year; 56% of those experienced credential theft, and 48% experienced social engineering, such as phishing.”
This underscores the vital need for organisations to outsource their identity and access management needs to identity authentication experts—i.e. Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS) providers.
What is Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS)?
Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS) is a rapidly growing segment of the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) industry, and for good reason. Identity management is a complex field with intricate ties to security, user experience (UX), and scalability.
IDaaS providers specialise in cloud-based identity authentication services for IAM (Identity & Access Management) systems. Their key purpose is to ensure that users are who they claim to be, in order to prevent cybercriminals and unauthorised users from accessing sensitive data.
In-house authentication and identity management services are challenging and resource-intensive to maintain. Instead, implementing a centralised cloud-based system that’s managed and maintained by experienced identity experts such as IDaaS providers is much more cost-effective and sustainable as a long-term solution.
How Does Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS) Benefit Organizations?
MarketsandMarkets published a 2019 report on Identity-as-a-Service Market that projects “the IDaaS market is predicted to grow from $2.5 billion in 2019 to $6.5 billion in 2024.”
Reasons for this move towards third-party identity solutions include cost-efficiency, compliance with data privacy regulations, and the need to implement a scalable identity management solution.
By outsourcing identity services to IDaaS providers, an organisation’s costs are limited to subscription fees and administrative tasks. They don’t have to worry about the add-on costs of server maintenance, software purchase, upgrade, and installation, management of network security, VPN set-ups, etc which would undoubtedly amount to a lot more in the long run.
- Improved Cybersecurity, Especially on Public WiFi
IDaaS provides a secure and seamless login process whether the user is logging in from a private network at home or in the office, or from public WiFi at airports. This is possible due to the advanced features of IDaaS such as multi-factor authentication (MFA), stringent access control, and brute force and anomaly detection.
- Compliance with Data Privacy Laws
With the recent introduction of new data privacy regulations such as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), organisations are under pressure to beef up their data security, which has been a compelling factor for them to turn to IDaaS services.
By implementing an IDaaS provider’s focused and sophisticated identity solution, organisations have greater bandwidth and resources to scale their business operations and grow their profit margins rather than getting sidetracked by never-ending systems maintenance and software development needs.
What are the Common Applications of IDaaS?
- Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
Single-factor authentication—e.g. password authentication—only requires users to present one form of identity verification, making the system vulnerable to hackers. Multi-factor authentication, on the other hand, requires multiple authentication points to verify a user’s identity. This can feature a combination of biometric authentication methods such as facial recognition, fingerprint or iris recognition, as well as SMS authorisation, QR scanning, and dynamic tokens.
- Single Sign-On (SSO)
Instead of requiring users to create and remember different passwords for individual applications that can lead to data breaches and blocked users, a single sign-on (SSO) system allows for seamless identity-based authentication across all applications with a single login. This protects the organisation’s data security while providing a user-friendly and efficient authentication process. The company will be able to manage users’ access to different applications on a centralised platform.
- Centralised User Directory
Another common application for IDaaS is the provision of a centralised cloud-based user directory for companies to manage security permissions for their employees, contractors, partners, and customers. This ensures that only authorised users will have access to restricted data.
What To Look For When Choosing an IDaaS Provider
In addition to robust and sophisticated identity authentication applications, here are a few key features of a first-class IDaaS provider.
Multi-Platform Seamless Access
A number of enterprises still prefer to have their business applications hosted both on-site and in the cloud for flexibility. A good IDaaS provider will ensure seamless access for multiple platforms such as web, mobile, and API environments, particularly to cater to legacy solutions, in order to provide a simplified and integrated user experience.
Complete Lifecycle Management
A comprehensive IDaaS solution takes into account the complete lifecycle management of the user journey. This includes automatic account creation, role-based authorisation management, and automated account de-provisioning with the introduction of new users or changes in existing users’ roles.
Automated lifecycle management reduces the need for helpdesk or IT support, enhances operational efficiency, and simplifies offboarding by automatically revoking access and deactivating app accounts.
Another plus to look for in an IDaaS provider is their ability to offer custom configurations that are affordable and designed to scale. One of the main reasons for outsourcing an organisation’s IAM system is to allow it to perform optimally to achieve rapid growth, so this should be a prerequisite to add to the list.
New to Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS) and interested to learn how it can benefit your business or organisation?
TrustGrid™ enables governments and organizations to create secure digital ecosystems anywhere in the world with sovereign control of data and maximized citizen privacy. This solution can be delivered with unlimited scale and unprecedented speed. TrustGrid™ orchestrates multiple state-of-the-art technologies into a single platform, combining innovative cryptography, data privacy, confidential computing, and distributed ledger technology into a highly customizable identity platform.
Talk to us to find out how we can help your organization safeguard its data privacy and security while growing your bottom line.