How to Benefit From Identity Management in Cloud Computing - dummies

How to Benefit From Identity Management in Cloud Computing

By Judith Hurwitz, Robin Bloor, Marcia Kaufman, Fern Halper

Identity management’s primary goal in cloud computing is managing personal identity information so that access to computer resources, applications, data, and services is controlled properly. Identity management is the one area of IT security that offers genuine benefits beyond reducing the risk of security breaches.

Identity management helps prevent security breaches and plays a significant role in helping your company meet IT security compliance regulations. The benefits of keeping your customer or company financial data safe from unauthorized access can be huge.

In addition, you reap many benefits from identity management that occurs every day, not just during a major threat.

  • Improved user productivity: Productivity improvement comes from simplifying the sign-on interface and the ability to quickly change access rights. Productivity is likely to improve further where you provide user self-service.

  • Improved customer and partner service: Customers and partners also benefit from a more streamlined, secure process when accessing applications and data.

  • Reduced help desk costs: IT help desks typically experience fewer calls about forgotten passwords when an identity management process is implemented.

  • Reduced IT costs: Identity management enables automatic provisioning, providing or revoking users’ access rights to systems and applications. Provisioning happens whether you automate it or not.

After you grasp the basics of identity management, you need to understand the special conditions needed for the cloud. Because the cloud is a highly distributed environment, identity management needs to be federated for you to benefit from the process. Federated identity management lets people keep the same identification across different applications, services, and networks of different companies.

This eliminates some of the boundaries to access for your employees, customers, and partners so they can use the applications and information from multiple environments (including the cloud).