Let the Right Ones In: The Best Identity Management Solutions

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Using Advanced Authorization: What are the Best Identity Management Solutions?

Previously, we discussed risks related to key management, specifically the problems of storing the key and lock together and the problems that arise from key manager or Hardware Security Module failures. While these pose problems for your organization’s security and efficiency, a central part of key management is functionality. In an increasingly technological world, allowing clients access to your applications is a central part of the day-to-day functioning of your organization. This involves verifying the identities of clients via advanced authorization. Ultimately, advanced authorization is a means of creating permissions to allow or deny access and interchange between applications. There are a number of these identity management solutions, allowing clients access while keeping non-clients and potential threats out.

Certificate Exchange

Certificate exchange utilizes public-private key pairs, or asymmetric cryptography. Here, a public key is created and widely disseminated. Meanwhile, a private key is maintained on your server. A certificate authority (CA) acts to mediate the key interaction, and to provide a certificate to users. The certificate verifies the identity of key holders, and gives them access to your applications and platforms, while maintaining the integrity and confidentiality of the private key. In verifying user identities, the CA can give out different types of certificates depending on the access you want specific clients to have. For example, a server could provide a client with an “admin” certificate for greater access to the application/server. With private-public key pairs, when your CA signs or verifies certificates, it creates a trust relationship between the three parties.

Web Tokens

JSON web tokens, another of these identity management solutions, are similar to symmetric keys. You can upload tokens into your key manager, and then the corresponding token can be used to verify the identity of clients and give them access to servers and applications: when they login to your server/application, the key manager can recognize the user via the token. Like certificates, tokens can also provide different forms of access to clients: once the client has logged on via the token, they will then have all the access that their specific token permits. To prevent security breaches, any modification to the token would result in an authorization error that prevents access.

Federated Authorization

With cookies, when you visit a particular website, your identity and previous use of the site can be verified. But cookies can only be accessed by their original creator – the site of origin.  This is referred to as “same origin policy.” Federated authorization or single-sign-on (SSO) utilizes a common authorization mechanism to allow access to users, but integrates this authorization across multiple different, but related, applications and platforms. Ultimately, a token is created by the central application/platform, and this includes parameters for clients to utilize other services. When a client’s identity is verified for one of the applications/platforms, the token is passed along to verify their identities and give them access to the other applications/platforms. SSO helps to simplify the authentication process and improves user experience because users no longer need to use multiple authentication mechanisms – the single sign-on allows access to all the connected applications/platforms.

The KeyNexus Solution: Integration, Flexibilization, Centralization

The use of these authorization mechanisms facilitates functionality, while also protecting your organizations’ technological infrastructure. But administrating all of this is a complex and time-consuming process, often requiring multiple key managers, identity management solutions and authorization mechanisms. This can lead to a fragmented and hard to manage infrastructure.

KeyNexus’ Unified Key Manager (UKM) provides a one-stop approach to key management. This includes flexible and centralized key management, which can be fully integrated into your existing identity management platform, simplifying key management and increasing functionality, performance and cost efficiency. KeyNexus’ UKM is compatible with leading identity management platforms, such as Active Directory and Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP), through the support of SAML 2.0, which allows KeyNexus to support a myriad of identity platforms. Because of this compatibility, KeyNexus is also compatible with leading SSO providers, such as Okta and Onelogin. With all of these options integrated into a single key manager, KeyNexus’ UKM offers flexibility and ease of use, while simplifying and streamlining your technological infrastructure.

For more information on how KeyNexus can meet you advanced authorization needs, contact us.

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