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4 identity and access management trends shaping the market

Identity technologies are evolving, but IT administrators still need to catch up. Here are the top four identity and access management trends shaping the market right now.

As end-user security threats continue to rise, it becomes more crucial for IT pros to have identity and access management tools. Organizations should catch up on the latest offerings in identity and access management to get a better grasp of the market.

Here are the top four identity and access management trends in the market right now.

End-user authentication technologies

There's no silver bullet when it comes to authentication, but it's no longer acceptable to allow users to log in to applications with one set of credentials. IT pros should be aware of emerging authentication technologies in the market and consider integrating them into their identity and access management (IAM) strategies.

Multifactor authentication (MFA) requires users to authenticate their identities with more than one method. Organizations using Microsoft 365 can consider the Authenticator app, which requires users to have a Microsoft account. Authenticator provides multiple options for users to sign in other than their password, such as a PIN, fingerprint or facial recognition. MobileIron also offers an MFA app called Authenticator, which sends a notification to the user's mobile device to authorize a login attempt.

Conditional access (CA) enables admins to implement automated access control for users based on set conditions, such as a user's login location or having an app. MobileIron offers CA control through its Access app, which only works with apps that support Security Assertion Markup Language.

IT pros can look forward to the development of direct autonomous authentication technologies. Direct autonomous authentication relies on real-time data signaling from a mobile carrier and device's SIM card to automate the authentication process. The technology is still at its development stages, but it improves UX during the login process.

IAM and UEM convergence

One identity and access management trend is the overlapping functionality of unified endpoint management (UEM) and IAM platforms. UEM vendors, such as VMware and Microsoft, add IAM features to their platforms. Meanwhile, IAM vendors, such as Centrify and RSA, add device management capabilities to their tools.

IT pros should look into the integration features of their current UEM tools and fill in security gaps with an IAM platform. Many UEM vendors offer integration with IAM platforms, such as Citrix and Okta, so that administrators only need to actively manage an UEM console. Without these key integration features, IT pros must run two independent platforms.

IAM to the cloud

Another identity and access management trend is the migration of user identity data and management to cloud services, or identity management as a service. Identity management as a service is easily scalable since providers handle most management tasks in the back end, enabling IT to focus on other priorities.

Some organizations need to keep identity data on premises due to regulation or policy.

Cloud providers, such as Google and Amazon, offer preintegrated IAM tools into their cloud services. Cloud-based IAM tools, which are usually included in a cloud subscription, benefit organizations that run all of their applications in the cloud. Cloud IAM providers also include many automation tools for user provisioning.

Some organizations need to keep identity data on premises due to regulation or policy. It's difficult to find an IAM tool that completely accommodates both on-premises and cloud data, however. WSO2's open source IAM tools enables integration with on-premises and cloud-based apps, but IT will need to manage an open source endpoint management platform. There are tools, however, such as RSA SecurID Suite, that accommodate both on-premises and cloud applications.

Microservices, machine learning capabilities

IAM vendors are adding microservices components, which break the product down into specific modules that address different aspects of IAM. ForgeRock, for example, is developing microservices that target token exchange, token validation, authorization and authentication. Microservices offer more flexibility in managing user identity data since they can run in a self-contained mode and don't require an embedded OS.

AI and machine learning in IAM tools is another major trend. Many IAM vendors add behavioral data analysis through machine learning to improve security tactics. For example, machine learning can analyze user login attempts and detect suspicious behavior, such as password guessing. Ping Identity uses AI-driven analysis to monitor an organization's API activity.

This was last published in April 2019

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