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More cloud, less contact wanted for identity and access management

More cloud, less contact wanted for identity and access management
Both cloud and contactless solutions have been gaining ground in the security industry. The coronavirus pandemic has placed a spotlight on these features as part of cyber-physical identity and access management solutions.
Adjusting to the new normal created by COVID-19 requires businesses to adapt current identity and access management (IAM) solutions. Cloud-enabled and contactless solutions are among the features helping businesses run smoother during the pandemic.

Better security with cloud-enabled IAM

Thales Chris Harris
 Chris Harris, Technical Director,
EMEA, Thales
Before the pandemic, on-premise IAM was still the focus for many businesses; however, these solutions don’t offer the scalability or security needed, especially during the pandemic. To achieve these things, many companies have been forced to move everything to the cloud to enable remote employee access.

Willem Ryan, VP of Marketing and Communications at AlertEnterprise, explained that a cloud deployment further enhances a provider’s ability to integrate and connect to critical systems such as physical access control, HR, workflow, information databases, industrial control and even legacy IAM systems.

“IAM providers are offering solutions that enable organizations to have better control, agility and visibility over their cloud estates with greater security, ease of use and automated security capabilities to reduce the threats of identity-based attacks,” explained Chris Harris, Technical Director for EMEA at Thales.

Harris noted, though, that it is still important to have an IAM solution that covers both cloud and on-premise applications. As companies move their applications online, it will take time and can’t be done in one move; therefore, it is vital to ensure applications are protected no matter where they are during this period.

The move to the cloud may place extra burden on IT administrators, who require numerous consoles to manage cloud identities, and the user, who has to maintain countless usernames and passwords. One solution to this problem, according to Harris, is the single sign on (SSO) authentication method.

Having one credential for all cloud apps allows users to log on once to several apps and saves IT precious time over password resets. However, since that single identity is only as secure as the authentication used to verify it, the method of verifying users’ identities becomes vital to maintaining cloud access security.

“To this end, access management solutions and SSO solutions offer granular control over the access policies defined per application. By requiring an additional authentication factor in high risk situations, a frictionless user experience is maintained,” Harris added.

Contactless solutions

With COVID-19 continually spreading, organizations must take action to reduce physical contact with surfaces and among employees, staff and visitors.

Many businesses are looking for touchless ways to check-in visitors and reduce the infection risk of COVID-19. Sharon Jung, Product Line Manager at Genetec, explained this can be achieved with intercom touchless entry with QR code, mobile credentials and specifying strategic entry and exit points for hardware installation.

Ian Lowe, Director of Product Marketing for Identity and Access Management at HID Global, also noted that there has been a decrease in demand for fingerprint biometrics and an increased interest in facial biometrics.

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