According to a recent survey, 95% of companies are now adopting a multi-cloud approach, which means they try to rely on cloud services from at least two different providers to run their applications. Instead of depending on just one cloud stack, multi-cloud environments use a combination of two or more public clouds, private clouds, or a mix of both.
However, managing identity and access in multi-cloud environments has become a significant concern. The identity systems used by different vendors are often unique and do not work well together, making it tough for IT teams to keep track of user identities and access controls.
To solve this problem, experts have come up with a solution called Identity Orchestration (IO). IO is the future of identity management, which enables IT teams to manage identities and access in multi-cloud and hybrid environments more efficiently.
What Is Identity Orchestration?
Orchestration means coordinating different things to work together seamlessly.
In the context of identity management, it refers to the coordination and integration of various identity and access management (IAM) processes and technologies within an organization. It involves managing and optimizing the entire lifecycle of digital identities, including the creation, modification, and deletion of user accounts, as well as controlling access to resources.
identity orchestration is software that helps manage user identities across multiple cloud providers. It creates a consistent system for user access policies, ensuring they are the same across different systems, whether in the cloud or on-site. Companies can use IO to manage user identities and keep access policies secure, no matter where applications and data are located.
Identity orchestration is a critical component of any modern security architecture – Forbes
This process helps organizations create smooth and secure login experiences for users. When a user logs into a website, the identity and access management system (IAM) decides whether to allow access. This decision is based on login details, the device used, and the location.
IO uses building blocks from IT and security policies to determine user journeys. For example, if a user logs in from a known device and location, they might not need a password. But if they’re using a new device or connecting from an unknown place, extra authentication might be required. If a login attempt seems suspicious, it can be blocked or sent for further analysis, depending on the administrator’s choice.
Here are some key features:
No-code approach: This method simplifies building and deploying multi-cloud IAM systems. No coding skills are required. It helps both technical and business stakeholders take part.
Cloud-agnostic: Solutions use a layer that separates IT from the underlying IAM stack. It aligns IAM with IT strategy and avoids vendor lock-in.
Identity orchestration is the key to unlocking the full potential of cloud computing. – Gartner
Pre-integrated with older IAM products: Some solutions work with end-of-life IAM products. It allows organizations to upgrade to modern Single Sign-On and multi-factor authentication (MFA). No code changes are needed.
Just-in-time identity synchronization: Solutions may provide smooth registration during login. This process is transparent to the user. Passwords are checked and validated against the old back-end user directory.
Best Practices for Implementation
To tool identity orchestration, follow these best practices:
- Organize use cases: Focus on updating authentication and moving applications and users. Set up new identity providers and select the right MFA provider.
- Engage stakeholders: Involve application owners and security teams for support. Also, engage DevSecOps professionals and identity architects.
- Set clear success criteria: These could include the number of integrated applications and deadlines. Consider phasing out old IAM systems, cost savings, and adding MFA or passwordless authentication.
By using these guidelines, organizations can adopt IO. This will show their expertise and improve security and user experiences.
Managing Multiple Clouds:
Nowadays, most companies use cloud computing as a standard practice. But, relying on a single cloud service can be risky. That’s why many companies opt for a multi-cloud approach and use the services of more than one cloud vendor.
Identity orchestration is a game-changer for organizations that are struggling to manage multiple identities in a multi-cloud environment.– IDC
But, using many clouds can be complicated. This is because each cloud service may have different rules for identity and access management (IAM). This can cause IT teams to manage multiple identities for the same user. Doing so is time-consuming, inefficient, and increases security risks.
Thus, to address this challenge, an IO solution can simplify the process. It provides users with access to multiple cloud and on-premises applications. This is done without requiring multiple identities. This solution uses a distributed identity model to maintain consistent identities across various environments.
Minimum security tools:
Managing security in a multi-cloud environment can be complex. Many organizations use up to 30 security monitoring tools, which can lead to security risks. Thus, IO uses a simple policy model to simplify and secure access management. This reduces the number of security tools needed.
The IO layer facilitates the management of identities in hybrid environments. It does this by connecting the identity systems of cloud providers and data-center systems. Additionally, the IO layer extends zero-trust access to on-premises resources. This ensures that consistent security policies and compliance management are enforced.
Navigate regulatory compliance
A drag-and-drop identity orchestration platform can help businesses navigate regulatory compliance. It adapts to new verification policies as it enters new regions or encounters regulatory changes. This ensures that businesses remain compliant while adapting to changing circumstances.
Challenges in the Implementation
There are several challenges that organizations face when implementing IO.
- One of the significant challenges is building identity orchestration tools in-house. This approach requires a lot of investment and coordination between different teams. Integrating with third-party providers and maintaining legacy code can also result in higher operating costs and vendor lock-ins.
- Sometimes, certain vendors don’t provide enough identity data, such as a user’s name, email, phone number, and address. This can negatively impact customer experiences and fraud detection capabilities, as incomplete or incorrect identity data can lead to verification problems and mistakes in identifying fraudulent activities.
- Lastly, fraud techniques are constantly evolving. This means that IO platforms need to be flexible and agile to adapt to new fraud detection methods.
Identity Orchestration Tools and Platforms
Here are some of the popular identity orchestration tools and platforms available:
- Ping Identity
- Strata – Maverics Identity Orchestrator
- IBM UrbanCode Deploy
- ForgeRock Identity Orchestration
These platforms provide a variety of features, such as single sign-on, multi-factor authentication, identity governance, and access management across multiple cloud providers and applications.
To Wrap Up
Identity Orchestration is a critical part of modern identity management. It allows businesses to coordinate multiple vendors and data sources to streamline workflows. This includes managing access for apps across multiple cloud and hybrid environments. This ensures scalability and improves the user experience.
Identity Orchestration helps businesses enhance their security posture and streamline operations. By using an orchestration layer, companies can simplify access management. This helps to make the process more efficient and reliable, reducing the risk of errors and security breaches. Ultimately, IO benefits both the business and its customers. It ensures the security of sensitive data and improves the user experience.
What is Identity Orchestration, and why is it essential for multi-cloud environments?
Identity Orchestration (IO) is software that streamlines user identity management across multiple cloud providers, ensuring consistent access policies, crucial for efficiently managing identities in multi-cloud environments.
How does Identity Orchestration benefit organizations in managing multiple clouds?
IO simplifies access to multiple cloud and on-premises applications without requiring multiple identities, reducing complexity, inefficiency, and security risks associated with managing disparate identity rules.
What are the key challenges faced in implementing Identity Orchestration?
Challenges include the high cost and complexity of building in-house tools, potential data gaps from third-party providers impacting customer experiences, and the need for constant adaptation to evolving fraud detection techniques.
How does Identity Orchestration address security concerns in a multi-cloud environment?
IO minimizes the complexity of managing security tools by using a simple policy model, ensuring consistent security policies and compliance management in both multi-cloud and hybrid environments.
Which are some popular Identity Orchestration tools and platforms?
Simeio, Ping Identity, Strata – Maverics Identity Orchestrator, IBM UrbanCode Deploy, ForgeRock Identity Orchestration, and Entrust are popular platforms offering features like single sign-on, multi-factor authentication, and access management across multiple cloud providers.