What is IDaaS? Understanding Identity-as-a-Service

Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS), refers to identity and access management (IAM) services hosted on the cloud. IDaaS functions relate to user identity, enabling industries to ensure their users are authorized and keeping cyber-criminals away from systems that contain sensitive data.

Many businesses analyze extremely large data sets to discover patterns, associations, and trends related to human interactions and behaviors. IT companies, AI specialists, governments, and cloud computing businesses all rely on IDaaS to keep their data safe and in the hands of authorized users.

IDaaS is especially important for these and other businesses operating in today's Industry 4.0, which stands for the integration of systems comprising automation, robotic control, and, most importantly, big data analytics.

It's a big decision for organizations to choose between storing applications in the cloud or on-premise.

While some prefer on-premise environments, these solutions can be more expensive to manage and maintain than moving to the cloud. That's because they need software licenses, in-house server hardware, integration capabilities, and IT specialists to provide support and manage any potential issues in real time.

On the other hand, if your company uses a cloud environment, all your data and applications are hosted by a third-party provider, and the variables mentioned above are their headache. You'll also spend less capital in the long-term maintaining a cloud system than an on-premise system since you won't need to hire IT specialists. Any maintenance that your cloud system requires will be outsourced to the experts at the service provider.

It's much faster and easier to implement cloud systems since they're already configured and ready to go as soon as you are done subscribing. Installation and configuration are taken care of so you can access cloud applications as soon as you integrate new software into the environment.

However, businesses and vendors that operate in cloud computing environments have often struggled with data ownership. With IDaaS, you can make the data stored in cloud environments secure through user authorization functions, such as biometric security and multifactor authentication.

What is Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS)?

IDaaS is part of the SaaS model, which stands for Software-as-a-Service. SaaS is a subscription-based software licensing and delivery platform in which software is hosted centrally in a cloud environment.

The cloud-hosted access management and identity services that IDaaS provides are utilized through a subscription. IDaaS authenticates users to ensure that each individual can access the correct software, files, and resources that they have permission to use.

IDaaS systems also log events, collect information, and generate user reports. These reports detail which users accessed what data for how long, for audit trail and monitoring purposes. Using an IDaaS system benefits your organization by reducing any likelihood of fraud and ensuring that only authorized users access sensitive data.

Why is IDaaS Important?

Your organization doubtless has sensitive data that it wouldn't want hackers and other cyber-criminals to access. Cloud-based infrastructure is extremely convenient but requires an IDaaS system to keep your data secure. Only using password protection makes your data vulnerable to cyber-attacks and opens your organization up to the risk of fraud.

While it can be time-consuming and costly to manage an entire firm's identity, a reliable IDaaS provider can seamlessly secure your data and applications. Identity-as-a-Service enables your organization to reduce fraud, implement verification faster, and create a frictionless CX.

Reduce Fraud

It's critical for any organization to keep sensitive information secure. Failure to keep clients' personal information and other sensitive data private could result in legal action against your organization. For instance, thieves attacked three servers belonging to the credit bureau Equifax in 2017. They spent a total of 76 days stealing data piece-by-piece from 51 databases.

Equifax had to agree to a global settlement of up to $425 million with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Trade Commission, and all the U.S. states and territories.

Data breaches are expensive and could cost you both money and your reputation. Protecting your information starts with the collection of sensitive customer data. Your organization bears the responsibility to ensure that only authorized personnel have access to sensitive records, and that this information is used in an ethical, legally compliant manner.

Implement Verification Faster

You don't have to integrate cloud-based ID verification into your existing legacy system. The verification service is already configured, and you can make use of it as soon as your organization subscribes. Since you don't have to configure or install any new software, cloud-based identity verification systems are easy and quick to set up.

Create a Frictionless CX

The cloud-based authentication and management of digital identities that IDaaS systems provide ensures that clients access the right resources. Quick verification functions, such as biometric recognition and multifactor authentication, save time for your employees and clients.

IDaaS users can sidestep all manual processes—such as changing their passwords and usernames—thereby greatly enhancing their overall experience. It's a win-win for your organization and your clients.

What Does IDaaS Detect?

Hackers and identity thieves mount increasingly sophisticated attacks against organizations to extract valuable data and hold sensitive information ransom for money. While they can swipe bank account passwords and Social Security information, they can't steal physical identities.

IDaaS is an integral aspect of cloud security since it relies on physical identity-based verification, such as fingerprints, facial recognition, and other biometric information. Here are some key factors that IDaaS detects.

Identity Attributes: IDaaS detects whether the physical attributes of the person accessing sensitive data are the same as the biometric information stored in the system. Characteristics that IDaaS systems detect for identity recognition include fingerprints, faces, and irises.

Proof of Life: Fraudsters and identity thieves sometimes try to access deceased people's pension and other financial accounts. IDaaS detects whether the person trying to access the system is alive.

Data Breaches and Spoofs: The use of facial recognition has given rise to cybercriminals using videos or masks to enter systems they don't have authorization for. IDaaS recognizes and eliminates spoofs by using multifactor authentication and liveness detection.

Known Threats: IDaaS makes use of Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) solutions to detect money launderers, individuals on watch lists, convicted sexual predators, and other criminals.

What Makes Up IDaaS?

IDaaS integrates various verification methods to ensure that your data systems are as secure as possible from external and internal threats. Here are the IDaaS components that make safe, centralized cloud storage possible.

Single Sign-On

Using single sign-on (SSO) allows users to log in to various independent but related software systems using just one ID and password After logging in once, users access services without having to re-enter authentication factors each time.

SSO helps users by reducing the number of passwords they need to remember to one. It also makes password and username management easier for IT departments during personnel changes, since employees leaving the company give up their login details and privileges.

Your company's identity security improves with SSO due to its two-step and multifactor authentication. SSO reduces cyber-security risks for your partners, vendors, and customers.

Multifactor Authentication

Instead of using the outdated security that passwords provide, multifactor authentication (MFA) delivers added layers of protection by asking users for more than just one identifier. Most MFA systems ask users for at least two of the following criteria:

  • Something the user knows, including digital security measures, such as a PIN or passcode
  • Something that the user is, as a confirmation of physical identity through facial scans, retina scans or fingerprints
  • Something the user has, such as a wallet, mobile phone, or key fob

Biometrics

Digital systems use physical characteristics to identify a person and recognize whether to grant them access to devices, sensitive data, or systems. These characteristics are called biometric identifiers and include facial patterns, fingerprint mapping, and retina scans.

Using biometric information to determine access eliminates the majority of risk for identity theft and fraud for your company. More sophisticated biometric systems use behavioral characteristics—such as the cadence of your voice or typing—in addition to physical features.

The Future of Security is in IDaaS

With more and more companies moving to cloud-based environments, the importance of IDaaS cannot be understated.

You want your company to remain on top of security issues and offer your clients fast services that protect their privacy. IDaaS is the way to go.

The advanced security that IDaaS provides through biometrics, multifactor authentication, and single sign-on leaves traditional password protection in the dust. IDaaS is necessary for any company that stores its data and applications in the cloud. With convenient integration and no capital expense, IDaaS is the future of digital security.

 

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