Smart Identity on Azure™

Identity security is a critical component of cybersecurity since it involves protecting the digital identities of individuals, devices, and systems from unauthorized access, theft, or misuse. In today’s digital landscape, the significance of this cannot be overstated, as sensitive data and information are stored on digital platforms, encompassing both internal data centers and cloud environments.

Access control

Access control is a fundamental aspect of cybersecurity and involves ensuring only authorized users can access resources and data. Effective access control mechanisms can help prevent data breaches, unauthorized access, and other security incidents that could compromise an organization's data and systems. For access control to operate properly, it needs a reliable and governed source of identity and access data.

Here is an in-depth webinar with our CTO Sami Mäkelä on Smart Identity on Azure.

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Identity security is essential for compliance with laws and standards such as GDPR, PCI DSS, ISO 27000, and NIS2. These regulations require effective access controls and governance measures to protect sensitive data and information.
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A full scale cloud transition

Microsoft, a long-trusted identity security vendor, is elevating its identity security offerings in Azure. As many organizations shift from on-premises data centers to the cloud, a full-scale transition can be challenging. Many opt for a hybrid infrastructure, making it hard to replace existing, functional technologies with cloud alternatives.

We have developed a hybrid-friendly identity administration and governance product, purpose-built to facilitate organizations' transition to cloud-based identity security. It's constructed on Microsoft technologies, including Azure AD, SharePoint, Teams, Power Automate, and can seamlessly sync identity data between Azure and on-premises applications.
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Key features of Smart Identity on Azure™ are:


Identity and access administration and governance of all user types employees, business partners, contractors, students, etc


User friendly UI for administration and governance tasks


Automated user on and off boarding processes


Role based identity lifecycle and access management


Self servicing and delegation


Digital Access Review process


Easy implemantation of workflows


Analytics and Reporting

Identity security is a crucial aspect of cybersecurity because it helps organizations protect sensitive data, prevent unauthorized access, and comply with regulations and standards Smart Identity on Azure™ provides a cloud based solution for identity and access administration and governance designed for organizations living in a hybrid IT environment
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The challenges

Cybersecurity threats have steadily increased over the years, consistently highlighting human vulnerability as the weakest link. This susceptibility to malware, credential sharing via phishing, including data breaches, ransomware, penalties, and operational disruptions. This has led to the emergence of concepts like 'identity is the new perimeter' and the 'identity-first approach,' emphasizing the pivotal role of identity security in modern cybersecurity defenses. Compliance with regulations and standards further underscores the necessity of robust identity security controls to avoid sanctions.

Cloud First strategy

As organizations move towards a 'cloud-first' strategy, transitioning from on-premises applications to cloud-based alternatives, the complexity of a hybrid IT environment arises. Implementing new identity security features requires support for both cloud and on-premises applications and infrastructures. It is crucial for these features to seamlessly coexist in a hybrid IT environment to avoid duplication of efforts and leverage existing investments. The challenge lies in integrating new features with the existing ones to streamline identity security.

Extended technology

Microsoft's identity management has an impressive history, from the Metadirectory Server (MMS) in the 1990s to today's Microsoft Identity Manager (MIM). While it excels at managing employee processes and Active Directory, it has even more to offer. With enhanced features, it can efficiently handle various user types, provide role-based access, identity governance, and self-service capabilities. MIM will elevate your identity management system to the next level.

Common indicators of organizations in need of an upgrade include:


Missing an identity repository and central UI for all identity administration tasks for all user types,


Azure AD is just a continuous mirroring of on prem Active Directory through utilization of Microsoft Azure Active Directory Connect,


User administration of on prem Active Directory is performed with legacy tools


Inadequate governance processes are infamous in audits

The solution

Addressing identity management and governance challenges in a hybrid IT environment without entirely replacing the existing technology stack has historically been a tough proposition. Fortunately, Smart Identity on Azure™ now bridges this gap. Developed by ID North and designed to embrace hybrid IT environments, Smart Identity on Azure™ safeguards and maximizes organizations' investments in Microsoft's on-premises identity management technology while supporting their transition to cloud-based identity security.

A single central identity database

The platform establishes a unified cloud-based identity database for all user types. Administration and governance are centrally managed, allowing for the application of different administrative rules for Azure AD and on-premises Active Directory. This uniformity streamlines audits and enhances efficiency compared to older tools.

Built on top of Microsoft cloud technologies

Smart Identity on Azure™ harnesses the power of Microsoft's robust cloud technologies and seamlessly integrates with your existing systems, including Microsoft Identity Manager (MIM). It enhances identity data synchronization and efficiency while preserving valuable processes.

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Key Functionalities

Central User Interface

Smart Identity on Azure™ offers a centralized user interface for automated provisioning and deprovisioning, license management, and simplified access control for AD, Azure AD, and Microsoft 365. It can also serve as an autonomous identity solution when required.

Role based

Smart Identity on Azure™ leverages role-based access control to manage user access to multiple applications. Roles grant automatic access to users, and when removed, access is revoked. Roles can also be automatically assigned and removed during departmental changes, known as Birthright roles.

Automized processes

Smart Identity on Azure™ automates access and license management from HR systems, seamlessly integrates into existing processes for streamlined management in AD, Azure AD, and Microsoft 365. It serves as the primary identity manager in the absence of HR systems.

Self servicing and delegation

Smart Identity on Azure™ offers self-service capabilities for user administration and governance. It reduces helpdesk tickets, accelerates task execution, and digitizes processes with clear audit logs, eliminating unnecessary emails.

Digital Access Review process

Smart Identity on Azure™ conducts digital access reviews, where user access is reviewed and reevaluated by managers or application owners, or anyone designated. Approvals or rejections trigger access changes, creating an audit trail for compliance.

Analytics and Reporting

Smart Identity on Azure™ features a centralized identity database that includes identity attributes, roles, access, audit logs, and more. All this data is readily available for analysis and reporting.

Easy workflows

Smart Identity on Azure™ utilizes Microsoft Power Automate to automate tasks and processes with minimal programming skills. Predefined templates and drag-and-drop features enable even those with limited programming knowledge to create various workflows.

Below are some typical scenarios where Smart Identity on Azure™ has been used to address identity management challenges:


Employee Management

Smart Identity on Azure™ automates the join, move, leave, and rejoin (JMLR) processes, ensuring proper user access at the right time to maintain security and compliance.


Management of External Users

Organizations without a dedicated system for the main records of external users have chosen Smart Identity on Azure™ as their central system. Here, external users are registered via the user-friendly interface and used for delegation of administrative and governance tasks.


Identity visibility

Organizations in need of improved visibility into user accounts and assigned roles have opted for Smart Identity on Azure™ on top of Microsoft Identity Manager (MIM). This enhances visibility and enables the digitization of governance processes and self-service.


Role-Based Access Control

Organizations with unclear access processes have customized Smart Identity on Azure™ to establish clear business roles for simplified self-service, approvals, and automatic access assignment.


Access review

Organizations with manual access review processes and Excel spreadsheets have chosen Smart Identity on Azure™ to automate access data collection in the identity registry and enable a more straightforward approval/rejection process by reviewers such as managers.

Smart Identity on Azure™ automates access management, enhances security, and simplifies compliance. It centralizes identity data, streamlines processes, and preserves existing systems without the need for replacement.
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Smart Identity on Azure™ is implemented in your Azure environment. We have a reliable method and tools for a fast and structured solution implementation. Our method includes:


Requirements Gathering


Designing a Solution Architecture


Tenant Configuration


Customizing Configuration of Data Flows, Forms, Workflows, Access Rights, Reports, etc.


Performing End-to-End Testing


Initial Data Loading into the Identity Registry


Training and Communication


Launching!

When Smart Identity on Azure™ is in production, ID North provides continuous services to customers Services range from a basic ticket based product Support to a fully Managed operation of the platform All services are provided under SLA time frames which are monitored in the ticketing system.
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Want to know more?

Smart Identity on Azure™ is your solution for cloud-based identity management and security. Built on Microsoft Azure's reliable cloud services, we offer modern identity security and streamline user identity management. Optimize your previous investments and gain better control over your user identities, especially if you are already using Microsoft Identity Manager (MIM).

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