Federation of digital identities as foundation for secure workflows
In many companies, IT systems within individual business units have developed independently of each other over the years. This has led to an increasing number of isolated IT services and distributed management of identity-related information. In order to respond to current developments and meet compliance requirements, organizations are now faced with the challenge of supporting business processes not only within individual subdivisions, but also beyond their own organizational boundaries.
The solution is an open and comprehensive Identity and Access Management solution, which supports the federation of digital identities (Federated Identity Management). Modern Identity and Access Management products are able to manage digital identities (centralized and decentralized) and to exchange them between several administratively independent systems.
Federation of digital identities
Due to its decentralization and modularity, federated identity management represents a promising approach for both internal and cross-organizational scenarios. The federative approach leans more on the basic idea of peer-to-peer systems than on the basic idea of classic “centralized” identity management systems.
About Federated Identity Management
Federated Identity Management means a secure and verifiable arrangement that can be established between at least two domains, known as “trust domains”. Users in one of these trust domains can access applications and services with a single digital identity. This type of identity is called a federated identity. The implementation of such a network of trusted domains is called an identity federation.
In modern enterprises, Identity & Access Management is provided by an Identity & Access Management solution. Modern IAM solutions are also able to exchange digital identities with other IAM solutions. This function is called an Identity Broker. An Identity Broker is a service that controls access between different identity managing systems.
The federation of digital identities offers various advantages:
Users only have to remember one login, enabling a smooth user experience.
Reduces the costs for identity management.
Reduces or avoids privacy and compliance issues.
Single Sign On is typically supported.
Federation of digital identities enables secure workflows
New employees are usually created in HR databases such as SAP HR. When a new employee joins a company, the administrative effort required to set up the corresponding user profile, including all access authorizations, is usually very high. As a result, the employee cannot work efficiently for the first few days.
Federated Identity Management in everyday life
Through the federation of digital identities, the process of user provisioning can be significantly simplified and automated. Using defined criteria and algorithms stored in the IAM system, all required systems and applications receive the authorizations intended for the new employee – automatically, error-free and traceable at all times.
It doesn’t matter whether an employee moves from the first to the second floor, from Munich to Shanghai, or from accounting to sales. The automation of all processes facilitates identity and access management wherever it is needed. All identities are consolidated and managed across applications and systems in a central location. New identities can be created and existing access authorizations changed with just a few “clicks” via an interface.
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