Identity Authentication Services

Identity Authentication Services – Definition and Benefits

Identity authentication services help organisations enable SSO (single sign-on). Several cloud products come with a default IAS integration. There are two broad scenarios where these services are used for enabling SSO for external and corporate users. 

In simple terms, Identity Authentication theoretically serves two fundamental scenarios of usage as a public cloud platform:

  1. IAS acts as an IdP (identity provider) which validates a user’s credentials and provides single sign-on functions for dependent parties. 
  2. It can also behave as a proxy in some situations to integrate with existing enterprise SSO infrastructure with an IdP present.

Both these usage scenarios of Identity Authentication Services, as a proxy and as an authentication authority, are flexibly controlled by something known as Conditional Authentication. According to the rules of conditional authentication, administrators can decide where a user needs to authenticate their identity. For example, consider a public website used by external users and corporate users. Here, corporate or internal users could have a better customer experience using SSO while external users might have to locally authenticate using Identity Authentication. 

Benefits of Identity Authentication:

1. Identity Decentralisation from Applications:

When a user visits a particular application, the key thing that the developer must ensure is that the user using the application is authentic. Whether it’s a private platform or an open application, every organisation wants only authorised users to access their product. This ensures accountability in case something goes wrong. Using identity authentication services enables enterprises to decentralise a user’s identity from their app, which provides a wide range of benefits for the developer.

  • They don’t need to store user identity data in personal databases. Since the user’s password is no longer required, you don’t need to maintain a storage space with all this information.
  • The user’s identity is completely separate from the application. This means all the developer needs to worry about is the given unique identifier.
  • Password CRUD, user CRUD and all other non-feature work is eliminated since the identity authentication service manages it all.

With the mitigation of authentication and identity to external providers, a developer is now free to work on driving business value. The user is also aware of how their data is being used. Also, the application relies solely on a few identity authentication components and nothing more. 

2. Streamlining External Authentication:

Configuring Google authentication for a new application can be a taxing and daunting task for most developers. It can take up hours when done manually. Using Identity Authentication services developers can allow a user to use their extensive identity providers and set up this entire account in a few simple clicks. 

Developers generally prioritise always knowing that the person using the account is exactly the same as the person the Id belongs to. By turning the responsibility of the connection on to the user, users can choose to log in using that connection. The important thing is that users and not the developers will now choose how to verify their identity. This ensures an improved customer experience and fewer disruptions to the user journey. 

3. Ready-To-User User Interface for Authentication:

Developers find it easier to create applications without forms requiring usernames or passwords. Delegating this work to a dedicated team of professionals helps the developer and the business to focus primarily on customising the app and the experience so that the user gets consistency in the interface and experience. Using Identity Management Services or identity-as-a-service offers this to developers. This allows developers to create and integrate a sign-up and authentication process flow for their application in a few minutes. 

5. Stronger User Communities:

The greatest problems in an industry are generally solved by communities of professionals and users who develop best practices. These communities make for a strong resource in times when there are problems, including those related to authentication. Some Identity authentication services also provide open-source projects that help with most types of applications. As a developer, if you are unsure of any step during the application building process, there is a conflict or issue tracker available. All you need to do is type in your questions and post them on the community platform. The answer will come from someone else in a matter of hours. After all, simply removing identity and abstracting it from an application doesn’t make app development easy. There will always be doubts and questions and having a community of professionals to help you resolve them is always helpful.

6. Low Pricing Available for Most Projects:

While thinking about leveraging third-party services in an application, usage-based pricing makes a significant difference. Developers often don’t use all the features provided by an Identity Authentication platform. Thus, they prefer paying only for services that they will use, as and when they do it. Most Identity Authentication services provide flexible and low pricing models with a pay-as-you-use system. 

When properly implemented or deployed, Identity Authentication services significantly simplify the app development process and streamline the user experience.