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[New Paper] Identity and Access Management for Cloud Services

By Adrian Lane

We are happy to announce the release of our Identity and Access Management for Cloud Services research paper.

Identity, access management, and authorization are each reasonably complicated subjects, but they all reside at the center of most on-premise security projects. Cloud computing and cloud security are both very complex subjects. Mix them all together, in essence federating your on-premise identity systems into the cloud, and you have complexity soup! Gunnar and I agreed that in light of the importance of identity management to cloud computing, and the complexity of the subject matter, users need a guide to help understand what the heck is going on. Far too often people talk about the technologies (e.g.: SAML, OAuth, and OpenID) as the solution, while totally missing the bigger picture: the transformation of identity as we knew it into Cloud IAM. We are witnessing a major shift in how we both provide and consume identity, which is not obvious to a tools-centric view.

This paper presents the nuts and bolts of how Cloud IAM works, but more importantly it frames them in the bigger picture of how Cloud IAM services work, and how this industry trend is changing identity systems. Moving the trust model outside the enterprise, with multiple internal and external services cooperating to support IAM, is a radical departure from traditional on-premies directory services. We liken the transition from in-house directory services to Cloud IAM as akin to moving from an Earth-centric view of the universe to a heliocentric view: a complete change in perspective. This is not your father’s LDAP server!

If you want to understand what Cloud Identity is all about, we encourage you to download the paper and give it a read. And we greatly appreciate Symplified for licensing this content! While most vendors we speak with only want to talk about their Single Sign-On capability, federation module, SAML connector, mobile app, or management dashboard – or whichever piece of the whole they think holds their competitive advantage – Symplified shares our vision that you need to understand the cloud IAM ecosystem first, and how everything fits together, before diving into the supporting technologies.

You can get a copy of the paper from Symplified or our Research Library.

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