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Identity and Access Management in the Cloud

by Darryl Mitchell February 9, 2017

The cloud provides businesses with a great deal of flexibility- making data accessible from anywhere, at any time, and on any device. Because of this flexibility, enterprise workloads are shifting to the cloud at a rapid rate. However, the cloud poses challenges for businesses who are used to managing user identity using on-premise systems like Windows Active Directory.

The rise of cloud computing means companies must extend their user management capabilities beyond Active Directory and on-premise devices. In the new cloud environment, nearly every SaaS application retains its own user accounts and entitlement systems. This makes it very difficult for administrators to manage all user identities across all business applications and devices.

identity and access management cloud

Cloud-based Identity and Access Management (IAM) systems bridge the gap between on-premise authentication using Active Directory and the various business-critical applications used by employees every day. A centralized cloud-based IAM prevents security risks like unauthorized access to data, both internally and externally. Plus, Cloud IAMs extend user management beyond on-premise devices. This gives businesses the option of allowing team members to work from anywhere and on any device.

What is Identity and Access Management

Identity and access management are two components of user management that work together to improve the security of both on-premise and cloud applications.

Identity Management

Identity management is all about authenticating a user’s identity in the system via a secure login process. This is often done with passwords or PINs a user must enter to access business applications and data.

Access Management

The other piece of IAM is access management which is all about assigning user roles and setting permissions that control the data or applications that are accessible by each user. User roles also determine the type of access each user has based on their permissions: ability to view, ability to create, ability to modify, etc.

Traditional On-Premise Identity Management

Identity management systems have been around for a long time. Traditionally, companies used an authentication service like Windows Active Directory with an on-premise server to manage the identity of users and allow access to local applications and files.

Identity and Access Management in the Cloud

Ten years ago, Active Directory provided virtually all of the identity and access management functions a business would ever need. However, with the growing number of remote workers, widespread use of cloud applications and use of mobile devices; companies need an identity management system that addresses the new challenges facing businesses today.

Because each cloud application has its own administrative console with user access roles and permissions settings, administrators can quickly lose control of their teams’ access levels and permissions, creating a security problem. For most businesses, it simply isn’t sustainable for administrators to manage user credentials and access within each application.

Cloud IAM Solutions

Cloud-Based IAM solutions centralize administrative control across all cloud and on-premise applications, providing enhanced security, a better user-experience and the option of single sign-on across all applications.

Active Directory

Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) provides a great IAM solution if you already use Microsoft products or Windows Active Directory for your local network. Azure AD allows you to extend your on-premise directory to the cloud by syncing the directories. This solution creates a streamlined user experience that uses one set of credential for all applications and resources. Azure AD also offers great administration control and an SSO solution for thousands of cloud SaaS applications.


If you are using G Suite, Google’s cloud productivity platform, you can integrate your cloud services with several identity platforms that provide well-rounded IAM solutions. Bitium, a cloud-based IAM solutions, offers many benefits including single sign-on access, central user management control and automated provisioning and deprovisioning abilities. The service also allows users to use G Suite credentials to access other apps.


Another cloud-based IAM solution, BetterCloud, works with G Suite to ensure correct permissions for all applications and files. The platform allows your IT team to use admin roles and improve security and administrative control of Google cloud services.

No matter what cloud services you are using, NeoCloud works with you to find the solution that fits your unique needs. As Gold Microsoft Partner and Google Cloud Partner, we have the expertise you need to smoothly implement customized cloud-based IAM solutions.

Managed Identity Solutions with NeocCloud

No matter what cloud services you are using, NeoCloud works with you to find the solution that fits your unique needs. As a Gold Microsoft Partner and Google Cloud Partner, we have the expertise you need to smoothly implement customized cloud-based IAM solutions. Contact NeoCloud today for a free consultation.

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