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Jargon buster: Identity management in the cloud

Identity management in the cloud is an evolution of existing practices and standards, bringing together multiple technologies in one dashboard and gateway. Here’s what some of the common terms mean

First published on March 22, 2019

IAM: Identity and access management, a combination of strong authentication for users and management policies that determine access to data and services based on the individual.

IDaaS: IAM/Identity as a Service, cloud gateways that are able to authenticate a user for multiple services and login protocols in one place.

Bring your own identity (BYOI):The general merging of authentication mechanisms across consumer and enterprise technology. This includes the use of social logins for enterprise products and common mobile apps for two-factor authentication.

Identity federation: At the heart of Single Sign On (SSO) is the concept of a federated identity – that one set of credentials can be used to access multiple websites and online services. 

SAML: Security Assertation Markup Language, pronounced "sammel". SAML is a standardized protocol for federated identity and creating access cookies in a web browser. This enables users to log into a single service, but also gain access to related ones without the need to re-log in, and is used to underpin federated identity technologies for popular cloud services.

OpenID Connect: A protocol that is similar to SAML, but can be integrated into native mobile and desktop apps as well as browser-based portals.

Two factor authentication (TFA)A second authentication token, such as a One Time Password (OTP) or biometric token, is vital for securing cloud services and IDaaS. Standards for TFA, notably FIDO U2F, have emerged and are supported by major cloud application providers, which makes it easier to integrate into IDaaS platforms.

TAGGED IN cloud; identity and access; security