The digital identity or profile of an employee or other user has become the starting point for building effective cyber security processes. Too often these digital identities are poorly managed or exist in many different forms. The inability to effectively manage digital identities not only raises costs, but it leaves the organization on the wrong side of many compliance directives and security policies.
In addition, for many organizations the cost and complexity of running on-premise identity management systems is more than they’d like to take on. This is most common in small to mid-size firms that have IT staffs that are substantially over-extended, based on the increased need for IT solutions and the relatively small staff size. The result is that many of these organizations are looking to the cloud for the management and daily administration of an identity management solution.
As organizations look to the cloud, they often focus on Microsoft Active Directory (AD), which is one of the most popular ID management solutions on the market. For small and mid-size organizations, AD is well suited to providing the security and user management they need. The linkage with tools like Office 365 and other key parts of the software “stack” that is already in use make this a natural choice.
When evaluating cloud-based options for AD, Azure’s Active Directory Premium service is an excellent choice. There are numerous benefits for both end users and the IT staff.
For end users, Azure AD Premium provides single sign-on for multiple applications and services, both those from Microsoft, but also hundreds of other vendors. This simplifies password management for end users, and eliminates the need for remembering multiple passwords. And sign-on can include multi-factor authentication to make ID management even more secure. Users can get access to thousands of apps in the cloud for many operating environments (Windows, iOS, Android and Mac). With AD Premium, users can get right to work and not be stymied by complex access privileges. Users can also create their own groups with unique privileges on the fly.
Moving to Azure AD Premium gives the IT staff many new benefits while eliminating many existing headaches. This cloud service includes improved security reports and alerts that keep the IT staff on top of any potential issues as they occur, not after the fact. AD Premium also provides a license for Microsoft Identity Manager (MIM). This server resides on your on-premise network and provides a solution for syncing any on-premise databases or directories. And to give IT peace of mind, there is a 99.9% availability SLA for Azure AD Premium.
The features for both the user and the IT professional, plus improved security and access management, help deliver modern identity management that is necessary to meet compliance and legal directives. And as a cloud-based solution, deployment and operation of Azure AD Premium isn’t onerous for already stretched IT staffs.
To learn more, click here to download white paper: Why cloud-ready identity and access management is crucial.