Your workforce needs flexibility in how they access corporate resources. For example, the need to sign on to multiple applications and databases — both in your network and partnering enterprises — can hinder your employees’ workflow. Working with a federation identity provider allows you to step into the next generation in identity management solutions.
By establishing a federated identity, your users will only need to verify their identity a single time to gain access to all necessary applications. This allows for increased security and productivity as users gain immediate access to their essential online resources.
What Is Identity Federation?
Simply put — identity federation binds identity management solutions. It allows user identities to be coordinated and managed across different identity security domains, portals and applications — in your own network as well as other approved enterprise networks.
That means multiple enterprises, even third-party contractors or vendors, can arrange a federated identity solution that allows all users to input the same credentials to access data throughout all connected IT environments. By securely logging in to one security domain, they automatically log in to the others in the identity federation.
How Identity Federation Works
During the identity federation process, one system acts as the Identity Federation Provider (IdP), storing all the users’ identities. When a user attempts to access a database, application or another Service Provider (SP), that request is accessed through the IdP.
Identity federation is built on mutual trust between several systems — often referred to as a “circle of trust.” So, once the user authenticates a single time with the IdP, the database or application they’re requesting access to knows they can trust this user. This is known as federated authentication. On the user’s end, this translates to simplified access and better password practices.
In some ways, you can compare identity federation to single sign-on (SSO). However, there is an important difference. SSO refers to a one-time login to an enterprise’s network to access all the user’s relevant business processes and databases. Identity federation, however, broadens access to include third-party or partner business networks — any enterprise incorporated in the circle of trust.
The Benefits of Identity Federation
Identity federation offers several comprehensive benefits:
- Provides a seamless user experience
- Limits the number of logins a user needs to perform throughout their workday
- Reduces the number of passwords users must remember
- Encourages stronger password creation for better security
- Facilitates cost reduction as multiple businesses can effectively share one overhead
- Simplifies data management
- Avoids privacy and compliance burdens
Find Your Optimal Federated Identity Management Solution
As your organization grows and evolves, your users will need to securely access all the applications they need without logging in to multiple systems. Optimal IdM Is the perfect solution for all your identity federation needs. Our versatile federated identity management solution can solve both current and future identity management challenges.
At Optimal IdM, we will work to create an innovative and fully customized identity management solution specific to your organization’s needs. If you are ready to learn more, we invite you to request a free trial of our service today.