What is identity as a service? This is something you may want to know if you are interested in investing in this technology either now or in the future. Abbreviated as IDaaS, Identity as a Service refers to a wide variety of cloud-hosted services used for identity and access management. Essentially, IDaaS is a category of technological functions that have to do with user identity, which are hosted in the cloud. Identity as a Service providers help make sure that users are who they say they are, something that ultimately helps block cyber criminals and other unauthorized users from accessing sensitive data.
The cloud is a wide collection of servers and their supporting infrastructure which are accessed over the internet. A cloud service is simply a product or application that runs on servers that are hosted in the cloud as opposed to running on a company’s local infrastructure. The cloud services use a subscription model. Instead of paying once for a piece of software, cloud customers usually pay a monthly fee, and they can can increase their level of service on demand.
There are various user authentication services that are provided by IDaaS providers. One of them is multi-factor authentication, or MFA. This is simply the use of multiple authentication factors to verify the identity of a user. A good example is requiring users to insert a USB device into their laptop in addition to providing a password. Multi-factor authentication is more secure compared to username and password combinations alone. With cloud MFA, organizations can quickly implement multi-factor authentication.
Another user authentication service that is provided by IDaaS providers is single sign-on, or SSO. This enables users to sign in once to a single portal to access all of their SaaS applications. It also provides a centralized place for organizations to manage the applications that each user has access to. A lot of the SSO services are cloud-hosted and they allow users to access their SSO login pages through a web browser.