The uptake of IDaaS: making digital identity simple for developers

Securing sensitive data and controlling how it is accessed is an issue that is increasingly pushed to the top of the boardroom agenda. Across all industries, companies are looking to transform their identity management processes to avoid the negative reputational and financial consequences of commercial hacking and data breaches of sensitive identity data.

This is why more organisations are adopting digital identity solutions to improve security and experience of B2C and B2B applications, with simple use cases like single sign-on (SSO) proving a key first move towards digital identity transformation success. Through SSO and other highly impactful identity management features, such as support for third-party digital identities, businesses can improve security, privacy, and simultaneously enhance user experience. We should also remember that we will not see the demise of passwords anytime soon, so it becomes even more critical to implement password controls such as self-service credential management and password policy enforcement.

What’s more, identity management solutions also have the potential to cut costs across the business. For instance, a single manual password reset is incredibly expensive – costing an organisation over £50 according to Forrester. Identity tools can help businesses bypass this step and, in turn, considerably reduce spending.

Yet the in-house developers tasked with integrating these identity features into apps often find themselves lacking the time and resources to do so in a fast and secure way. For this reason, many companies are taking advantage of the new generation of cloud-based authentication and identity management software built, managed and delivered through an expert third party – in other words, Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS) solutions. By offering an alternative to developers pouring significant amounts of time and effort into building identity functionality from scratch, IDaaS essentially allows them to quickly bring their apps to market while ensuring proven security.

As a result of utilising these solutions, developers can focus their attention on driving the innovation core to their application and business–which is vital for success in today’s fiercely competitive market. It’s, therefore, no surprise that the uptake of IDaaS solutions is growing rapidly. In fact, a recent Deloitte report predicted that, in the near future, IDaaS could become the fastest and most tangible digital transformation driver.

On-demand identity expertise via APIs

The leading IDaaS solutions are API-first, which poses a great advantage to businesses – ultimately eliminating the need for resource-heavy, in-house development by providing on-demand knowledge.

Traditional approaches towards identity have fallen into two categories: building identity functionality internally, or taking a lower risk route of using existing software solutions. While the latter is highly suitable for catering to larger and more sophisticated identity use cases, cloud-based IDaaS solutions are better suited to dealing with core, common use cases, such as SSO, which need quick integration and typically a standardised feature set.

If you are a developer looking to gain expertise in the highly regulated and standards-dominated identity sphere, it can often take a great deal of time to learn the necessary wide range of skills. In addition, when creating identity management solutions, development teams need a comprehensive understanding of identity standards like OpenID Connect, privacy by design, and infosec policies concerning identity data management and authority delegation.

The adoption of APIs allows developers to team their existing technology with pre-built knowledge and experience. By plugging in customisable and standards-based functionality, teams can concentrate on core business areas.

Developers vs security teams: bridging the gap

When customers use an app, the protection and management of their ID data is of the utmost importance. Successful identity management is vital, as careless errors can have devastating implications – like GDPR fines, data breaches and loss of customer trust. However, during the development and execution process, tension can arise between the development teams that prioritise user experience and functionality, and the security teams that focus on ensuring security and safety in the final product.

The pressure to get innovative apps to market quickly often leads to development teams neglecting security concerns. Consequently, when the product enters the security review process, security teams pinpoint missing components that need to be rectified, delaying the launch of the product.

Lately, within the DevOps community, in particular, there has been a growing push to embed security into the development stage in an effort to reduce hold-ups and ultimately create a more secure end-product. Due to its built-in identity expertise and simple use cases, IDaaS is able to offer an easy and streamlined security solution – complemented further by rising SaaS adoption. By combining user-friendly functionality with secure access management, IDaaS solutions are able to deliver optimal cloud-based Identity and Access Management. When adopted, these solutions help to align development and security teams, easing the friction created during existing disjointed processes.

Driving secure innovation

In today’s increasingly pressurised tech industry, where developers are expected to meet tight deadlines while delivering profitable apps, a simple identity solution is necessary.

IDaaS supports application development and time-to-market objectives with strong and reliable security functions, allowing developers to focus their time on innovating high-quality, differentiated products.

Written by Simon Wood, CEO at Ubisecure