The History and Future of Identity Management and IAM Solutions

Donovan Blaylock II
October 09, 2019

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Identity management is right at the epicenter of global digital transformation.

Many people hail the advent of 5G and Internet of Things (IoT) that will usher in the next era of cybersecurity. Other novelties, such as multi-cloud and server-less computing, will be soon upon us as well.

Alas, as business opportunities proliferate, so do the risks. In order to deal with them, we cannot hide behind the firewall. We must revamp outdated security strategies.

The chief goal is to embrace the new approach to identity access and management (IAM).

Likewise, it’s necessary to equip yourself with sophisticated tools. We’re talking about cutting-edge IAM solutions, services, and systems.  

They help us move away from legacy processes and tools and safeguard our resources. So, without further ado, let’s examine the past, current, and future state of IAM. 

A Brief History Lesson      

Understanding the history of IAM is integral to future-proofing your organization.

Back in the “olden days”, we perceived passwords as be-all and end-all of IT security. Login authentication, as a foundational element of any security strategy, looked quite simple.

Humans acted as gatekeepers, manually denying or granting access to users. Knowledge of login credentials was the only criteria for assessing user authenticity. After initial registration, people would gain full access with the self-declared password. 

This straightforward system reflected a broader state of tech affairs. There was no global network of interconnected devices like the one we have today. We didn’t even possess the technology to create biometrics and AI.

But, the world of technology never sleeps. After making impressive some leaps and bounds, we’ve entered the new stage of tech evolution.  

The Game Has Changed

In this day and age, tech disruption is affecting companies of all shapes and sizes.

At the same time, security threats are amassing. They exposing the fundamental flaws and weaknesses of old approaches. We have no option but to ditch them in favor of smart business models and strategies.

After all, we now have to worry about, social login, BYOD policies, and the unprecedented scale of interconnectivity (IoT). The security perimeter is much bigger and more complex.

IAM plays a pivotal role in responding to these accelerating changes. It ties into the deployment of enterprise applications and processes across industry sectors.

Essentially, IAM allows us to manage, organize, and deliver identity data better. In other words, it’s responsible for maintaining, (de) provisioning, authorizing, and authenticating identities.

Shifting Standards for Authentication

Authentication is quite a revealing indication of where IAM is going.

Nowadays, this automated procedure is handled by machines. Human error is removed from the picture. Moreover, we no longer stick to two-factor authentication as a preventive mechanism.

This used to be a staple technique, but nowadays, it’s not enough to shield us from escalating security breaches. We’re forced to employ the next generation of enterprise solutions geared toward IAM and cloud.

Modern-day authentication takes into account multiple factors to identify entities. Apart from passwords, it processes identifiers, digital certificates, federation claims, etc.

Furthermore, new security methods promote continuous authentication. The basic idea behind it is you authenticate at the access point, then authorize good actors access and continuously authenticate and validate them post-authorization. It doesn’t just validate the user at the session, but constantly monitors the user behavior and activity.

As such, continuous authentication is vital for keeping impostors and hijackers at bay.


Another harbinger of the future comes in the form of biometric authentication.

In a nutshell, this technology uses our physical characteristics to determine identity. It could completely replace passwords in the near future and close the floodgates to a variety of security risks.

The signs of transition are clearly visible with industry leaders setting the pace. Thanks to Apple, fingerprints have become a widely-used form of authentication. Other companies are joining the race and we’ll reach even new heights in 2022.

That’s when the market for biometric systems is expected to hit $40 billion then.

Meanwhile, we can observe the rise of facial recognition and other biometric models. Owing to advanced AI, these systems are adept at detecting and analyzing even the slightest anomalies.

This ability should propel them to gain immense traction in the years to come. 

Leveraging IAM Solutions

Enterprise solutions are the key to boosting a wide range of IAM areas.

They give you a chance to do away with risks that plague password use. And make no mistake— the risks are grave. It’s estimated a vast majority of cyber attacks (90%) occurs due to poor passwords.

There’s no shortage of available option out there, but you would be wise to do your homework. Look for end-to-end solutions from trusted providers.

They are capable of handling employee data, user access management, password management, and integrations. Auditing and reporting are important components that tend to be included as well. 

Additionally, you may also want to obtain a tool that facilitates reduced Single-Sign-On (SSO). This centralized access service acts as proxy access for users. In other cases, SSO issues federation tokens and session cookies.

Fulfilling these roles, the SSO system is a key part of a streamlined multi-factor authentication. You can never have too many layers of security.  

Covering all the Bases

IAM helps you establish a robust IT infrastructure, your security baseline.

It encourages you to move away from traditional approaches of the past. You are able to cover all the necessary touchpoints and channels.

So, integrate IAM with the rest of the tech stack and downstream systems.

Come up with a digital business model and boost operational agility. Gather user content in order to meet compliance requirements. Offer protection throughout the customer life cycle. 

Lastly, make sure to keep up with rapid developments in the tech sphere. Soon, IAM will move outside the domain of people, places, and things.

Robots and other smart machines will join the big stage. Yes, there’s little time to rest because the future is now.

Ahead of the Game

Businesses operate and harness technology in brave new ways.

Together with growths prospects, threats pile up around our security perimeters.

The good news is most breaches are preventable. Due diligence goes a long way toward eliminating weak links like passwords.

To make strides toward safety, come up with a transformation plan. Rely on proven IAM solutions with features such as SSO and continuous authentication. They are pillars of the new enterprise infrastructure.

Always put customers first. Rest assured a breach could take place at any moment, possibly without you realizing it. Contact us to gain expert assistance and peace of mind and protecting your most important assets your digital identity.

Foster great user experience (UX) free of friction and security concerns with Acceptto’s Continuous Authentication solution. 

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