By Hiram Machado
This post originally appeared on LinkedIn. It is published here with the permission of the author.
After spending two days with the Microsoft Identity Team, it was great to see firsthand how much effort Microsoft is putting toward identity protection and using identity as the new perimeter of network security. Since more than 80 percent of data breaches can be traced to credentials theft, it only makes sense to put this much effort and investment into securing and protecting identities while also making it easier and more seamless for users and corporates to leverage existing identities to grant access to corporate systems or applications.It is hard to imagine a modern workplace without mobile devices to enhance work streams to allow employees, partners and clients to collaborate efficiently.
The reality is that both large and small organizations must work collaboratively with partners or suppliers to deliver their services or goods. In the current environment most of the time, only companies with sophisticated IT infrastructure can properly and securely grant access to digital assets you might need to share with your partners and supply channels.
Microsoft Azure Active Directory B2B enables companies to collaborate with partners and suppliers. It has the following characteristics:
- It is comprehensive.
You can grant access to any organization on the planet using their own credentials and email accounts, and give these credentials access to your applications whether they are on-premise or SaaS applications you own.
- It is easy.
Managing these accounts is easier for the administrator of your network and, at the same time, simple and intuitive for the end user. If they are allowed to log in with some of their social network credentials, like Facebook, Gmail or any other identity provider, they don’t actually need to sign up on your network. Azure AD B2B will validate the credentials directly with the identity provider and grant the user the relevant access to your digital assets.
- It is secure.
The Azure environment follows the highest standard of security. This is a matter that Microsoft takes very seriously, investing more than $1 billion in cybersecurity every year and dedicating thousands of people to delivering products and services that are secure.
In addition to the Azure AD B2B, Microsoft also offers the Azure Active Directory B2C. Azure AD B2C is currently implemented for large organizations and government agencies who want to share digital content with millions of customers or citizens. It has the capability to handle literally millions of authentications per day reliably and securely. Some of its characteristics include:
- It is customer-centric and flexible.
It’s easy to implement and integrate with customers’ existing website structure, allows customization of the look and feel of the sign-in page, and accepts all major identity providers' logins like Azure AD B2B but users can also create and manage their own credentials, including updating or resetting their password.
- It is secure and reliable.
Microsoft has more certifications than any other cloud provider. It has a 99.9 percent uptime commitment and data residency in Europe and the U.S. This means that if the customer chooses to do so, they can keep all their data in the data centers of the region they choose for compliance with government and/or legal requirements.
- It is ready for every business.
Companies can quickly set it up using built-in templates and integrate with existing CRM systems to track customer activities and interactions. Plus it uses the most prevalent open standards to allow easy integration with any SaaS app or homegrown applications.
Identity management as the network perimeter is a new concept that is still maturing, growing in importance and becoming the mainstream solution of how to handle network security. In general, there is still a lot of room to improve, and all major cloud providers are embracing this concept.
It was fascinating to see how much more is already in the pipeline when it comes to Microsoft’s identity management solutions. I look forward to seeing the evolution that will happen over the next few years. We’ll help more clients embrace the latest in identity management and grow their business by making it easier for customers, employees and suppliers to interact with each other to maximize the relationship between them.
About the AuthorHiram Machado, adaQuest CEO, has over 20 years' experience across a variety roles in the IT and localization industries, and is a regular speaker on GDPR (general data protection regulation), privacy and cybersecurity topics.
Established in 2001, adaQuest provides project management, strategic planning, cybersecurity and compliance services to organizations around the world. Headquartered in Bellevue, WA, adaQuest is a Microsoft Certified Partner for Cybersecurity and Compliance and has helped many organizations across the U.S. prepare for GDPR and prevent cyber security issues.
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