Monday May 05, 2014

Is Mobility Creating New Identity and Access Challenges? - by Marcel Rizcallah

Are mobile, social, big data and cloud services generating new Identity and Access Management challenges? Guest blogger Marcel Rizcallah is the EMEA Domain Leader for Security at Oracle Consulting and today will highlight some of the new IAM challenges faced by customers with Cloud services and Mobile applications.

Sales force users ask more often for iPad or mobile devices to access Cloud services, such as CRM applications. A typical requirement is to use an AD or corporate directory account to login seamlessly into the Cloud service, either with a web browser or a downloaded application on a device. The benefits, compared to a different login/password provided by the Cloud provider, is more security and better identity governance for their organization; password policy is enforced, CRM services are granted to sales people only and Cloud accounts are de-provisioned immediately when people leave.

Integrating a mobile device browser with the intranet is easily addressed with federation solutions using the SAML standard. The user provides his login and password only once and tools such as Oracle Mobile Security Suite and Oracle Access Manager provide the end-to-end integration with the corporate directory.

Authenticating through a downloaded application provided by the Cloud service may be more complex; the user authenticates locally and the device application checks first the credentials in the cloud environment. The credentials are relayed to the organization’s intranet using REST services or standards such as SAML to validate the credentials.

Integrating IAM services between SaaS applications in the Cloud and the corporate intranet may lead to a weird situation. Let’s look at this example: one of my customers discovered that their CRM SaaS application, provided by a public Cloud environment, was supposed to be SAML compliant, yet did not correctly generate one of the SAML messages when authenticating through a downloaded application on the device. Despite all parties agreeing that this is a bug, fixing the Cloud application was not an option because of the possible impact on millions of Cloud customers. On the other hand, changing the Oracle Access Manager product, fully compliant to SAML 2.0, was not an option either. The short term solution would be to build a custom credential validation plug-in in Oracle Access Manager or an integration tool, such as Oracle API Gateway to transform the wrong message on the fly! Of course this should not stay a long term solution!

When we ask customers which SSO or Identity Governance services are the priority for integrating Cloud SaaS applications with their intranet, most of them says it’s SSO. Actually SSO is more urgent because users want to access Cloud services seamlessly from the intranet. But that’s the visible part of the iceberg; if Cloud accounts are not aligned to employees referential or sales force users, customers will end up paying more license fees to the Cloud provider than needed. SSO with Oracle Access Manager will improve customer experience, but cloud provisioning / de-provisioning with Oracle Identity Governance will optimize Cloud costs.

Use the following links to learn more about Oracle IDM products and Oracle Consulting Services for IDM.
About

Oracle Identity Management is a complete and integrated next-generation identity management platform that provides breakthrough scalability; enables organizations to achieve rapid compliance with regulatory mandates; secures sensitive applications and data regardless of whether they are hosted on-premise or in a cloud; and reduces operational costs. Oracle Identity Management enables secure user access to resources anytime on any device.

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