Whitepaper

Modernizing Legacy IAM Systems

Legacy IAM systems can no longer meet the requirements of Digital Transformation. They often have a negative impact on business efficiency and customer experience. Such systems are too costly to maintain and are getting closer to reaching end-of-life. Today, organizations can be expected to manage billions of digital identities with their IAM systems. Organizations possessing legacy IAM systems must modernize their IAM systems and upgrade their capabilities. It is a transition that requires a comprehensive approach. Organizations must not only adapt to today's standards, but also become future-proof while complying with regulations. In this paper, we will consider what are the necessities for modernizing legacy IAM systems and how Curity aligns with them.

Osman Celik

oc@kuppingercole.com

Commissioned by Curity

1 Executive Summary

The fast-changing digital world requires organizations to keep pace with new technologies and adapt to meet evolving business and market requirements. These changing requirements obligate organizations to reform their business processes, organizational culture, and customer experiences. Failing to reform these, many large enterprises have had difficulties with competing against innovative start-ups in the last decade. Today, we call this reformation the Digital Transformation. Reinforced by innovative approaches, Digital Transformation is the comprehensive adoption of trending technologies to answer ever-changing business and market requirements. One of the main objectives of Digital Transformation is to improve customer experience and engagement which are achieved by creating and managing digital identities.

Digital identity is a set of information objects which represent an individual, organization, application, or device in an IT (Information Technology) system. Digital identities are managed by IAM (Identity & Access Management) systems, which are one of the core disciplines of IT enabling Digital Transformation. The scalability and flexibility of modern IAM platforms can manage billions of digital identities. By increasing productivity and reducing time, money, and resources needed, modern IAM platforms improve not only IT efficiency, but also business efficiency. However, there are many organizations which still have legacy IAM systems that are incompatible with the latest technology and are costly to maintain. Organizations which aim to achieve a successful Digital Transformation must modernize their IAM platforms.

Legacy IAM systems were designed for on-premise applications. They cannot easily bridge between on-premises and cloud platforms. Also, migrating to the cloud can be too complex for on-premises solutions. With the increasing amount of cloud adoption, modern IAM products support faster hybrid and multi-cloud deployments and allow easier on-premise-to-cloud and/or cloud-to-cloud migration.

Authentication in legacy IAM systems is often limited to using costly on-premise servers and hardware tokens. They also offer fewer authentication methods and lack capabilities that are standard in modern IAM platforms. On the other hand, modern IAM platforms can offer more secure Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), adaptive authentication (a.k.a. Risk-Based Authentication) and SSO (Single Sign-On). They deliver more secure and convenient user experiences.

Legacy IAM systems were not designed to meet today's latest technology requirements. One of those requirements is the integration with other platforms and solutions. Adding applications to be managed by a legacy IAM system is both a complex and costly procedure. It also might require re-engineering. Upgrades and maintenance come at a price in such products. Also, older systems can be more vulnerable to trending attack vectors. Conversely, modern IAM platforms often come with an extensive list of pre-integrated applications out-of-the-box. Taking advantage of hybrid or multi-cloud deployment models, these platforms deliver faster and affordable integrations.

With data security regulations being enacted in more places around the world and IAM standards getting updated frequently, legacy IAM systems often fall short in meeting these latest requirements. Modern IAM platforms help organizations adhere to the latest standards, protocols, and security frameworks, such as OAuth 2.0, OpenID Connect, and FAPI (Financial Grade API), depending on their strategic needs.

Throughout this whitepaper, we will demonstrate how modern IAM platforms can deliver a better user experience and help organizations achieve a successful Digital Transformation. Combining IAM and API (Application Programming Interface) security, the Curity Identity Server delivers configurable authentication services and API-driven user management to improve user experiences. This whitepaper will also explore how Curity's IAM offerings align with modern identity fabric architectural approach.


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