It has achieved this by extending its Identity Service through the use of federated identity. The use of federation for identity management has been around for some time. The problem in the past has been that many solutions have been hard to deploy. Earlier this year at the OpenStack Summit in Vancouver, there was a broad agreement that cloud providers needed to support federated identity to reduce the risk of shadow IT and improve single sign-on over multiple clouds.
Centrify using OpenID Connect
Centrify is choosing to take several routes to provide a wide range of single sign-on. One route is working with other identity providers to deliver a proper integrated federated identity solution. Another is to offer social identity support and SSO support for OpenID Connect applications. This is an interesting move as companies begin to deploy more and more apps via social media. One such company is Tableau, who in their latest release support OpenID Connect.
Centrify hosts their Identity Platform in their own data centres in the US, Europe, Singapore and Brazil. It has also announced new data centres in Japan and Australia where it will also run its Identity Platform.
According to Bill Mann, chief product officer for Centrify: “The addition of partner and customer identity management expands our market reach to a whole new set of organisations — those who need to share apps that are deployed on-premises or in the cloud with their business partners and end customers. Centrify’s Identity Platform can now become part of any organisation that wants secure, unified identity across all applications and systems irrespective if they are deployed in the cloud and/or on-premises.”
Support for B2B and B2C
Centrify has decided to split their Identity Management service to support both B2B and B2C customers. B2B support means that users will be able to use their own security credentials to access shared applications making collaboration much easier between companies. Much of the collaboration today is carried out via cloud services and the Centrify Identity Service makes it much easier to federate identity across companies.
For customer facing applications, as part of a B2C service developers will be able to use the Centrify Identify Service solution as an authentication platform. This means that users will be able to take advantage of their Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google or other social media identities when they use the apps.
Companies are struggling to control how their users are connecting to cloud services. Many simply duplicate their domain credentials without realising that an attack on the cloud service they are using delivers their business credentials to hackers.
By providing the widest possible ways of federating identity Centrify will hope to steal a march on other providers.