Research

By Adrian Lane

We are proud to announce the availability of our Cloud Identity and Access Management research paper. While you have likely been hearing a lot about cloud services and mobile identity, how it all works is not typically presented. Our goal for this research paper is simple: Present the trends in IAM in a clear fashion so that security and software development professionals understand the new services at their disposal. This paper shows how cloud computing is driving extensible architectures and standardization of identity protocols, and how identity and authorization is orchestrated across in-house IT and external cloud services. Changes to IAM architectures provide the means to solve multiple challenges; additionally, external service providers offer commoditized integration with the cloud and mobile devices — reducing development and management burdens.

Here is an except from the paper:

If you want to understand emerging Identity and Access Management (IAM) architectures, it’s best to start by forgetting what you know. The directory services we use today (most often LDAP and Active Directory) were designed in the client-server age, and their implementations generally presuppose a closed system. Third-party cloud services, and to a lesser extent mobile computing, have forced a fresh approach that embraces decentralization. We liken the change from in-house directory service to Cloud IAM as that of moving from an Earth centric view of the universe to a Sun centric view: it’s a complete change in perspective. We are talking about the fusion of multiple identity and access management capabilities — possibly across multiple cloud services — for computers and devices not fully under your control. We are developing the ability to authorize users across multiple services without distributing credentials to each and every service provider.

We would like to thank Symplified for licensing this content. Without their interest in projects such as this, we would not be able to bring you cutting edge research, free of charge. Please email us if you have questions!

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