The password is dying: identity management in the modern age

That is a lot of passwords - or password sprawl as we call it. Not only is IT going to be inundated with calls from users who can't remember their password and need it resetting, but how on Earth do you stay on top of which user is using what password?

IT environments are already becoming increasingly complex and passwords are simply adding to this, without adding any value or protection to the business.

TRP: Do you believe that passwords in their current form will still exist in 10 years' time?

DG: What recent breaches have taught us is that passwords in their current form are inherently insecure. We desperately need a new approach, but equally we need to ensure that we don't make things overly complex for employees. They need - and demand - seamless access to company data in order to be productive.

With this in mind, Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) is starting to gain some real momentum. It allows you to log onto a website without a password, instead of using a system that knows who you are and generates a one-off message or token, in order to validate your identity and send this to the server. Known as 'zero sign on' it provides instant access to the service and delivers a seamless user experience.

TRP: What are the key benefits that a company can realise from better managing identity?

DG: Centrify's aim is to make consuming IT services as easy and secure as possible regardless of whether you are on the train on your smartphone or at home catching up on emails on your laptop.

Users jump from device to device without a second thought and this working culture is something that identity management has to enable. By doing this, companies can benefit from greater end user productivity, improved IT efficiency, better risk mitigation and regulatory compliance, as well as a lower total cost of ownership (TCO) of their identity infrastructure.

TRP: What are your key technology partnerships within the IT industry?

DG: Centrify has a number of key partnerships that we're proud of. We've teamed up with Samsung to improve security and increase productivity for millions of enterprise employees who use Samsung mobile devices.

The Samsung KNOX solution is co-developed with Centrify and leverages its technology and cloud services.

We've also been a long-time partner with Microsoft, offering in-depth knowledge around Active Directory and Office 365. We also provide industry partner integrations and platform support.

Additions in the past year include Zoom, Alfresco, Marketo, Huddle, Dropbox for Business, Red Hat Storage, and NetSuite; and Day One support for the Apple iOS 7 operating system for iPhones and iPads, and the Apple OS X 10.9 Mavericks operating system for Mac.

TRP: Lastly, what is your vision for the future?

DG: At the heart of Centrify's vision for the future is simplicity. We want to make it possible for end users to have access to their information any time, any place and from any device, while at the same time enabling IT to have tighter security and proper oversight and controls in place to ensure that the corporation and its data are being protected.

To deliver on this we will continue to innovate and create new technologies that differentiate us from any of our competitors across the data centre, cloud and mobile.

Desire Athow
Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.