5 questions to ask your potential identity management solution providers


The Solutions Review lists five questions you should ask identity management solution providers when evaluating tools.

The main cybersecurity tool that you can use to prevent data breaches is Identity and Access Management (IAM). Identity, more precisely identity authentication, now constitutes the digital perimeter formerly composed of anti-virus solutions (now existing). This digital perimeter serves as the main mechanism by which threat actors are kept out. Even if they do enter the perimeter, identity can restrict their permissions, limiting the damage they inflict on your network.

When evaluating an identity management solution, be sure to ask these five questions of the vendors you are evaluating. Don’t forget to also consult our Buyer’s Guide to Identity and Access Management for more information on the major solution providers in the Identity Management space.

Can you describe the ability of your solution to support different authentication methods?

Each solution brings a different and solid vision of how best to deliver IAM. Make your potential supplier take a stand and develop their model while defending that position against other options. Ask your potential vendor about their ability to support password, soft-token, hard-token, biometric, and out-of-band authentication. More authentication possibilities can mean more flexible identity policies for your business.

How does your identity management solution enable or improve web-based single sign-on?

The benefits of single sign-on (SSO) are huge; reduced password fatigue, reduced time spent re-entering passwords, and reduced IT costs. Ask potential vendors about their relationship to single sign-on, the applications they support, and their plans for the future if they don’t currently support single sign-on. There’s a good chance they will, and so the question becomes how their single sign-on compares to that of others.

How does identity federation fit into your solution?

The need for partners or subcontractors to securely access internal business applications is becoming a daily reality for many companies. The need to provide employees with access to external systems, such as outsourced human resource applications, has created a real demand for Federated Identity Management (FIM). While not an immediate requirement, FIM is definitely something to consider as you grow.

How do you manage access from mobile devices? What operating systems do you support?

If you are committed to providing employees, vendors, and consumers with access to systems anytime, anywhere through a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy, then you need to understand what a vendor is. of potential IAM solutions can support in with regard to mobile devices. If your organization is committed to a BYOD policy, then you will need to understand whether an IAM solution can support not only iOS, but also Android, Windows, and Blackberry.

What is the price of your solution?

At some point, you have to go to the end. This can be difficult because IAM solutions often have very complex pricing structures. Be persistent. There is a wide range of sophistication in the solutions we have selected, and there is also a wide variety of pricing models. Some will include line items for various options and others will charge a simple fee per user. Get an apples-to-apples comparison by creating a cost model using a “per user per month” approach.

Our Buyer’s Guide to Identity and Access Management helps you assess the best systems for your business use case and presents profiles of key profiles, along with an overview of market categories, questions you need to ask your organization and potential IAM vendors, and a analysis of the results for each supplier profile.

Daniel Hein
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