Rezar Zefaj, New Era’s Chief Technology Officer, makes his predictions for the key trends to watch out for in Identity Access Management (IAM) for 2019 and beyond.
- Hybrid vs Cloud
The trend towards cloud-based IAM will continue, however hybrid solutions designed to integrate seamlessly with cloud-based applications and legacy on-premises software will be the main players in the IAM marketplace.
Able+ Cloud has been designed to incorporate the latest in modern identity concepts, whilst being able to cater for legacy systems and complex user requirements, giving our clients the best of both infrastructure worlds.
- Biometric inputs will start to feature in multifactor authentication (MFA)
As smartphone technology evolves to include retina and facial recognition scanning, multi-factor authentication will develop to include these security methods.
Are these developments included in your IAM system free of charge? As part of the Able+ Cloud solution our clients benefit from these developments in technology without having to redevelop their systems or pay for customisation.
- Cybersecurity is an ever-present concern
Hiscox recently surveyed more than 5,400 small, medium and large businesses across the UK, Germany, US, Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Spain and found that over 60% of firms reported one or more cyber-attacks (up from 45% in 2018). Threats from phishing, fraud, malware/ransomware are increasing. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) within your IAM can help protect the most sensitive applications or data in your business. However, it acts as a “passive weapon” and businesses need a second line of defence to protect accounts where a breach or leak of credentials has occurred.
Able+ Cloud uses intelligent detection (artificial intelligence and usage patterns) to identify unusual user activity, such as uncommon login geolocation or login from an unusual device thus providing a greater level of protection.
- Increased adoption of OAuth
The open-standard authorisation framework, created and strongly supported from the start by (amongst others) Twitter and Google has, with the release of OAuth 2.0, now been adopted by Amazon, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Netflix and Paypal. Despite concerns from some quarters about the lack of inherent security binding, OAuth looks set to attract more big name adopters in 2019.
Able+ Cloud can serve either as the identity provider (IDP), or IDP manager (where other directories remain in operation). Users provisioned into Able+ Cloud are authorised and authenticated through SAML protocols and OAuth workflows enabling access to federated service providers and allowing clients to take full advantage of these widely used open standards.
- Blockchain as identity manager
Using cryptographic keys to create a secure digital identity reference and a distributed network and servicing protocol for authorisation, blockchain looks like becoming the identity manager of the future. Probably not one for 2019, but with ongoing experiments into blockchain protocol, this is definitely an area of IAM to watch.
- Using IAM offerings to improve employee and user experience
With an increasing proportion of the workforce born after the invention of the world wide web, user and employee expectations of a seamless user experience and anytime, anywhere access to their data and applications are higher than ever. Single Sign-On solutions can provide some benefits but IT teams need to be considering all aspects of user experience and embrace new trends including the latest cloud-based apps, BYOD and collaboration tools that support remote and flexible working.
- Automating processes to support agility
Employees will change jobs much more frequently now than ever before. With increasing staff turnover, onboarding and offboarding needs to be automatically handled to improve administrative efficiency and reduce the chance of error.
Utilising bi-directional mapping, the Able+ Cloud MDX engine manages identity propagation across multiple data sources including Office 365 and G-Suite. It provides the seamless creation, update and deletion of users and groups, also pushing this data from source to Able+ Cloud and, where required, back. Comprehensive business rules and algorithms are applied to manage each identity, ensuring the right access and permissions are applied. The user’s identity is always contextual and is based on their location, role and permissions.
- Being ready and able to embrace all that the cloud has to offer
New Software As A Service offerings are coming to market all the time. Companies wanting to get ahead of their competitors are setting up an infrastructure that allows them to adopt new software easily.
Able+ Cloud has a simple on-boarding process allowing standards-based apps to be quickly added without developer intervention. Where non-standard integration is required, an efficient app integration service is provided or the customer is supported where they wish to build the api.
- Using IT budget for strategic business advantage
IT used to be an enabler, but the savvy CIO now uses the IT budget in support of business strategy. Implementation of an IAM solution provides the platform to review legacy licences, implement administrative efficiencies and reallocate precious IT budget to invest in innovation. Both Forrester, Gartner et al identify substantial ROI and enhanced risk and security management.
- BYOD becomes the norm
As BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is implemented by growing numbers of organisations and mobile malware is on the rise threatening the security of smartphones and tablets, zero-trust security architecture becomes increasingly important to protect the organisation’s critical assets. Key to this will be quality identity access management, flexible enough to ensure restricted access to critical applications and data, without imposing suffocating security protocols on basic, everyday tasks.