Centrify Corporation, the leader in Unified Identity Services across data center, cloud and mobile, today introduced a new Windows Azure cloud-based offering that extends Microsoft Active Directory and lets organizations centrally secure and control access to their increasing deployments of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) apps and other cloud services across a variety of operating systems and platforms. The new solution also gives end users an option to provide much needed Single Sign-on (SSO) to address the password sprawl associated with these new technologies.
The rapid adoption of SaaS applications combined with Bring-Your-Own Device (BYOD) programs means that IT organizations increasingly don’t own the endpoint devices or back-end application resources. Centralized management of users’ digital identity that spans on-premise and cloud resources provides the visibility and control required for organizations to achieve compliance, reduce costs and mitigate risks, while also enabling productivity and secure access for user centric, mobile workforces.
Today’s announcement of comprehensive SaaS and Cloud Services support — coupled with Centrify’s support for more than 400 operating systems and dozens of on-premise apps, and rich support for mobile devices — lets Centrify customers take advantage of their existing Microsoft Active Directory investments across the industry’s broadest range of systems, mobile devices and apps deployed both on-premise and in the cloud. Centrify’s new Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS) offering — Centrify DirectControl for SaaS — will be unveiled and demonstrated for the first time at the Gartner Identity & Access Management Summit in Las Vegas, in Booth No. PL3 this week.
“As organizational boundaries continue to erode under the pressure of federation and outsourcing, and as enterprise control over IT continues to weaken through increased adoption of mobile devices and cloud services, identity is more important than ever, and more problematic,” said Ian Glazer, Research VP at Gartner. “Identity teams must strengthen federation capabilities to properly connect software as a service (SaaS) to the enterprise…Identity teams should also consider an identity bridge to connect to identity as a service (IDaaS) offerings.”1
“The Windows Azure cloud platform builds on and utilizes Microsoft’s core technologies, including security and identity with Active Directory,” said Karri Alexion-Tiernan, Director, Windows Azure Product Marketing, Microsoft. “As a Windows Azure customer and partner, Centrify extends Windows Azure functionality with an on-demand identity service across the data center, cloud, and mobile that lets IT take advantage of their existing skills and Active Directory infrastructure.”
One Single Login for Users. One Unified Identity Infrastructure for IT
Centrify DirectControl for SaaS allows users to securely utilize their existing Active Directory credentials to get Single Sign-on to their SaaS apps from a web browser running on any system, laptop or mobile device, irrespective of whether the endpoint is on the corporate network or not. And because mobile devices are fast becoming the dominant endpoint of choice, Centrify also offers “Zero Sign-On” (ZSO) from mobile devices running iOS or Android, and supports both browser and native rich mobile apps through the secure certificate delivered to their mobile devices enrolled with the Centrify Cloud Service. In addition, Centrify DirectControl for SaaS also offers the robust MyCentrify portal where users receive one-click access to all their SaaS apps and can utilize self-service features that let them locate, lock or wipe their mobile devices, and also reset their Active Directory passwords or manage their Active Directory attributes.
“We are seeing a trend in our organization of people using more cloud services and apps that are outside of our own IT department, and we are very interested in helping our users keep control of these services. Providing Single Sign on and password management for the many different apps and services our people are using is a great way to do that,” said Dave Miller, IT manager at Front Porch, Inc. “With Centrify, we see how we can have the ability for a one-stop place to manage our accounts and passwords, and our mobile devices that access our apps, while also making our users more productive. We are quite impressed with the Centrify solution.”
Centrify’s easy-to-deploy cloud-based service and seamless integration into Active Directory means IT does not need to sacrifice control of corporate identities and can leverage existing technology, skillsets and processes already established. Unlike other products, no intrusive firewall changes, changes to Active Directory itself or appliances in the DMZ are required — corporate identity information remains centralized in Active Directory under control of the IT staff and is never replicated or duplicated in the cloud. With centralized visibility and control of all SaaS apps, IT can reduce helpdesk calls by up to 95 percent for SaaS account lockouts and password resets. Single Sign-on also improves security since passwords and password practices not meeting corporate policies are eliminated, and critical tasks such as de-provisioning user access across multiple apps, devices and resources are easily achieved by simply disabling a user’s Active Directory account.
Broad Application Support & Highly Scalable Cloud-based Solution
Centrify DirectControl for SaaS includes support for hundreds of applications supporting the Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) or other Single Sign-on standards such as OAuth and OpenID, and also supports applications that support only forms-based authentication. Examples of applications supported include Box, Google Apps, Marketo, Microsoft Office365, Postini, Salesforce, WebEx, Zendesk and Zoho.
“Today, marketing individuals are increasingly relying on mission critical SaaS applications such as Marketo to execute their strategic marketing initiatives and gain a competitive edge, but to be successful marketers they need these services to ‘just work’,” said Robin Bordoli, VP of Partner Ecosystems at Marketo. “Centrify, a Marketo LaunchPoint ecosystem partner, solves the Single Sign-on challenges for our customers by eliminating the need to deal with multiple application passwords and ensuring a consistent secure access experience to Marketo’s platform.”
Key components of Centrify DirectControl for SaaS include:
MyCentrify portal is an Active Directory-integrated and cloud-delivered user portal that includes:
MyApps — one-click interface for SaaS Single Sign-on
MyDevices — self-service passcode reset, device lock, and remote and device location mapping
MyProfile — self-service for selected AD user attributes, account unlock and password reset
MyActivity — detailed activity that helps users self-report suspicious activities on their account
Centrify Cloud Service is a multi-tenanted service that provides secure communication from on-premise Active Directory to SaaS applications accessed from the MyCentrify user portal. It leverages an existing on-premise Active Directory infrastructure versus providing a directory in the cloud. Built on Microsoft Azure, the service facilitates Single Sign-on and controls access to SaaS applications through a security token service, which authenticates users to the portal with Kerberos, SAML, or an Active Directory username/password. The same highly scalable cloud service is used by Centrify for Mobile — a mobile device management and mobile authentication services solution.