Identity management has been a critical issue that is too often ignored. Earlier this week I posted about how companies should watch out for users uploading sensitive files into consumer services because a new law in California now prohibits companies from asking for user passwords to what is loosely considered a “social media” site.
But the problem with identity management doesn’t stop there.
How often do users authorize third party apps to use their email or Facebook login credentials? More often than you may think. As I am writing this post, I decided to check my own Twitter settings and found that I have authorized 35 different applications to use my Twitter login credentials. Yes. 35! These apps range from popular blogs to commenting systems, as well as to sites such as Quora and Forbes Social. While my use case is not the best example because I have a hyperactive-overshared digital life, most users have most likely done the same to a lesser degree.
So what happens when enterprises adopt cloud apps? What happens to those identities? How many more password leaks and security lapses can Dropbox and iCloud commit for us to realize identity management is just as important as data encryption for enterprise clouds?
How enterprise cloud differs from consumer cloud: Centralized control
Maintaining security in the cloud requires a holistic approach; piecemeal bits and pieces together to plug in the holes doesn’t work. Just adding encryption at storage or use a third party identity system doesn’t work. What good is encrypting your data on storage when an external identity system is copying your enterprise’s user credentials into an insecure cloud somewhere else? How can IT maintain access control if an app integrates and authorizes other 3rd party apps to copy over your user’s data and passwords?
Imagine 35 copies of your user’s corporate password floating out on the internet somewhere. Yikes.
It is the same futile effort of adding an extra pad lock on your front door to prevent burglary when you are leaving your backdoors wide open. Nobody wants that.
This is why we let our customers leverage their existing infrastructure and identities when they use Oxygen’s Enterprise Cloud. We understand that smarter control starts with identity management. With Oxygen, you can keep your existing user credentials on your own AD/LDAP systems and manage them behind your own firewall. Your company users authenticate against your own identity system. There are no copies made and we don’t even have access to your users’ passwords.
This is the difference when we build our cloud platform as an enterprise solution and not just an app. Smarter control, better management and ease of use should not be an either-or compromise. There are no tradeoffs. And that is the Oxygen difference.