Identity Management Shifts Toward the Cloud

Michael Vizard
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Top Five Perils Facing Cloud Computing

As cloud computing becomes more favorable among companies, they are forcing their applications out of the internal network into the cloud, causing them to be vulnerable to Web threats.

As cloud computing evolves, access control is already becoming a major issue. In fact, when you ask IT organizations what their major issue is with cloud computing, some form of security is always at the top of the list.

As of late, Hitachi ID Systems and CA Technologies have begun to position their identity management offerings for the cloud. And while everyone is also wondering what Microsoft will do about delivering some form of Active Directory in the cloud, there's also a lot of concern over how various identity management systems will be federated across multiple cloud computing implementations.

If you're getting the feeling that the status of identity management systems both in the cloud or delivered to an enterprise via a cloud service is relatively immature, you're not alone.

According to Dave Hansen, general manager for the Security Management business unit within CA Technologies, it probably won't be until well into 2011 that we'll see partners of CA Technologies managing identity for their customers via the cloud or full-blown identity management services in the cloud. But once that happens, we will also finally see more sophisticated applications based on identity management software that today is largely used in a rudimentary way to govern file access.

In the meantime, CA Technologies has extended its Identity Manager software to work with SaaS applications such as Google Apps to at least allow those providers to begin working on the cloud computing challenge. The question isn't whether this is going to happen, but rather how long will it take.

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Aug 17, 2010 9:47 AM Steven Lord - Solutions Architect Steven Lord - Solutions Architect  says:

I agree with Dave.  Companies like CA Technologies that have a suite of Identity Management products like SSO, Federation, etc. will hit full stride in 2011 in offering these products in the Cloud.  Many of these products already offer companies the ability to federate identities in the private cloud and communicate with their business partners, so the next logical step is to offer them in the public cloud as a SaaS based product.

As always, the key will be how will vendors offer these products securely in the public cloud, and this is where companies looking to the cloud as a solution need to fully question potential providers.  Certain industries may have HIPAA or other compliance concerns that not all cloud vendors are familiar with.

Oct 7, 2010 3:25 AM Brian Cain Brian Cain  says: in response to Steven Lord - Solutions Architect

Fischer International already provides a purpose-built SaaS Identity Management solution. Check out The one product can be implemented as on-premise, remotely managed and as a cloud-based solution.  Neither implementation nor organizational changes require any form of coding or scripting, which is quite novel.


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