- Michael Jones
Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS) is a relatively new—and somewhat nebulous—concept in today’s market. Gartner, a global research and advisory firm, has a category defined as “identity management as a service” but most Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) companies providing identity and identity management functionality tend to define IDaaS to their own strengths and capabilities, so it is hard to find a consistent definition.
Yet the world of digital data we engage today requires digital identities for access and operations. Using digital identities we can trust is at the heart of modern cybersecurity—and hacking, phishing, or stealing identity credentials is one of the most common attack vectors for cybercriminals seeking to penetrate digital systems. As such, IDaaS has a very well-defined need, if not yet a well-defined category.
Atos, a French multinational IT service and consulting company, summarizes the space as such: “Digital identities are essential for continued digital growth. If digital services were insecure or data were inaccurate or irrelevant we couldn’t trust them. At the center of digital transformation, the international mobility and e-business issues are becoming more and more essential for today’s organizations to remain competitive.”
What is IDaaS?
At a basic level, all IDaaS platforms are created to enhance online user experiences, secure access to critical enterprise applications, and reduce IT resource-related expenses with efficient identity and access management (IAM) and privileged access management (PAM).
“There’s no way around it: sound identity management is essential,” writes Mark Diodati at Gartner. “Without good IAM, you are at real risk for data breaches and denial of service attacks. And IAM is hard to get right.”
The overarching goal of IDaaS solutions is to ensure users are who they claim to be—and to give users access to applications, data, systems, or other digital resources as authorized by their organizations.
Why Organizations Need IDaaS?
Foremost, IDaaS solutions can improve data security and cybersecurity. Knowing with confidence who your digital users are can elevate privacy and security across all digital systems. With an estimated 81% of hacking-related breaches leveraging either stolen and/or weak passwords, effective IDaaS solutions can eliminate one of the most glaring gaps in cybersecurity.
For government agencies and public-sector organizations, IDaaS is quickly becoming a critical need. “Cyber attackers always target government agencies to gain access to confidential government data,” explains Markets and Markets™, the world’s largest revenue impact company, headquartered in Pune, India.
Another key advantage of IDaaS is operational cost savings. Provisioning IAM with onsite solutions can be expensive: IT teams have to manage servers and software—purchasing, installing, upgrading, and managing backup data. Plus, onsite teams must shoulder the burden of monitoring network security and endpoint device management.
With IDaaS, however, costs can be minimized to subscription fees and administration. In one-ready example, secure single sign-on to applications can significantly reduce IT help desk costs related to password resets.
Besides security and savings, the ROI for IDaaS solutions can include improved user experiences with saved time via faster logins and fewer password resets. “Whether a user is signing in from open WiFi at an airport or from a desk in the office, the process is seamless and secure,” notes Fabrice Berté, director at Weborama.“The improved security can keep companies from facing a hack or breach that might topple their business.”
Today, Gartner defines key market drivers for IDaaS as access to SaaS applications, provisioning, managing, vertical communities, ensuring strong authentication, and gaining SaaS efficiency. And trends in IDaaS that Gartner reports include information breach concerns, the broader use of consumer authentication, and reverse-proxy WAMs.
“We’ve been talking about this for a very long time,” said Diodati in a CSO Magazine article. “But didn’t have the big data/analytics capabilities and the mobile platform architectures until recently.”
How ZorroSign Delivers IDaaS to Verify Users
While it used to be acceptable to grant access via username and password, the industry standard is two-factor authentication and rapidly evolving to MFA with password-less logins. Here are ways ZorroSign delivers IDaaS to verify users:
* ZorroSign technology leverages the biometric capabilities of hardware endpoints to verify user identities.
* ZorroSign is the first to adopt password-less login amongst our digital signature competitors.
* ZorroSign multifactor authentication (MFA) provides maximum security, as before a user can sign a document, our platform can validate multiple dimensions of authentication based on the transaction security needs: What you know (i.e., your ZorroSign login password), what you have (e.g., your laptop or mobile device), who you are (e.g., biometrics such as fingerprints or eye iris on the device securing who can access it), etc.
Additionally, ZorroSign users can optionally use our dynamic knowledge-based authentication (KBA) feature provided by LexisNexis. KBA requires the knowledge of private information of the individual to prove that the person providing identity information is the actual person.
These technologies secure the endpoints of our private, permissioned blockchain architecture where only approved nodes (endpoints) are allowed to access our Hyperledger Fabric distributed ledger. Hyperledger emerged as an open-source collaborative effort, hosted by the Linux Foundation, to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies and improve trust, transparency and accountability.
For governments, companies, and individuals that desire to securely transform paper-based workflows, ZorroSign’s digital signature and document management platform can decrease costs, reduce errors, and increase productivity. And built on a private blockchain, ZorroSign can ensure privacy is always maintained as only approved nodes (endpoint users) can write to ZorroSign’s blockchain. As a result, ZorroSign’s architecture has even tighter privacy and security measures than other blockchains.
Moving forward, ZorroSign will be adding further user verification capabilities, including integrations with U.S. driver licenses via state motor vehicle departments, verification via passports (with approximately 72 countries to start), other government-issued identities (with approximately 100 countries to start), and even tapping U.S. credit union databases for identity verifications.
Further, we will be implementing a blockchain-based audit trail for all user activities—including profile updates, signature changes, etc.—and will maintain a separate blockchain to maintain users’ signatures. With these immutable blockchain records, we can uniquely validate users in ways no competitive solution can.
Patented Z-Forensics Token
Finally, ZorroSign’s patented Z-Forensics (“4n6”) token is a kind of digital seal that captures the complete audit trail and the document’s DNA. The token is encrypted and contains information on all the details about the transaction including timestamps, user authentication, document, and attachments.
ZorroSign’s Z-Forensics token securely reads the information from the secure ZorroSign servers so it can be accessed by the document originator or third parties (with permission from the originator) when requested. Only the Z-Forensics token:
* Allows ZorroSign to manage permissions as to who gets to see what level of information about the transaction and the document
* Stores the ZorroSign security encryption certificates, which—unlike other digital security certificates—never expire
* Can verify, validate and authenticate both digital and printed (paper) version of electronically signed documents
Together, this dynamic and integrated set of technologies allows ZorroSign to provide unmatched privacy and security for our users. Our IDaaS capabilities augment our blockchain architecture to ensure users/signers are who they say they are and deliver trusted connections in a zero-trust environment.
Contact us today to learn more.