- The new solution is a permissions management solution designed to enable organizations to gain greater visibility into permissions for user and workload identities.
- Microsoft also plans to launch a new decentralized identity offering, Verified ID, which is expected to be available in early August.
Microsoft announced the launch of a new product family of identity and access management solutions termed Microsoft Entra. The new suite of products includes tools like Azure AD and two new product categories – Cloud Infrastructure Entitlement Management (CIEM) and Decentralized Identity.
The new product family has been designed to help users protect access to any application or resource by allowing security teams to discover and manage permissions in multi-cloud environments. This will make their job easier as they can secure digital identities from end-to-end.
Microsoft Entra’s product family in brief
The new CIEM solution, Entra Permissions Management, is a permissions management solution designed to enable organizations to gain greater visibility into permissions for user and workload identities. Entra Permissions Management will hit general availability in July this year.
Entra Permissions Management arms the security teams with a solution that can help them monitor unused and excessive permissions, enforce the principle of least privilege, and maintain a top-down view of identities across all cloud services, including Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, and Google Cloud platform.
Besides the launch of Entra Permissions Management, Microsoft also plans to launch a new decentralized identity offering, Verified ID, which is expected to be available in early August. It will allow users and businesses to choose what information they want to share, when, and who they share it with and provide them with the ability to revoke access when necessary.
Furthermore, the Verified ID service will also power the security teams to verify the credentials of users and organizations. To cite an example, customers will be able to store their education and certification credentials and share them with other users on request to verify their identity.
Protecting digital identities as part of the attack surface
The two new solutions have been launched at an appropriate time when digital identities have become an important part of most organizations’ attack surfaces, with cybercriminals using identity-based attacks, such as credential theft and social engineering, to access enterprise environments and steal sensitive information.
Believe it or not, according to research, in 2021, identity-driven techniques accounted for three out of the five top attacks targeting organizations.
As Vasu Jakkal, CVP of Microsoft, Security, Compliance, Identity and Privacy, explains, while the digital universe starts with your digital identity, it’s an “attack vector that is getting easily exploited.”
Identity “is the battle of security attacks right now, and there are 921 attacks per second,” Jakkal said.
“This has almost doubled. There were 579 attacks per second just a few months back, so the escalation of attacks continues to increase, putting people at extreme risk when it comes to their security.”
Jakkal believes that this challenge is supplemented because there’s a “dangerous mismatch” between what defenders can protect with existing solutions and the greater frequency of these attacks.
Emerging identity and access management solutions
With the launch of Entra Microsoft has sought to tap the global identity and access management market, which is witnessing growth. Researchers estimated that its market value at USD12.26 billion in 2020 and anticipate it to reach a value of USD34.52 billion by 2028. The growth will be fueled by the fact that more and more organizations attempt to grapple with identity-based attacks and compliance concerns.
Though Microsoft isn’t the sole big tech vendor looking to redefine identity management to protect digital identities better, only recently, Google announced plans to implement support for passwordless logins in Android and the Chrome web browser to allow users to seamlessly and securely sign-in across different devices and websites irrespective of the platform.
Similarly, last year, Apple announced the development of passkeys stored in the iCloud Keychain, enabling users to sign in to websites and applications without using passwords.
With players coming up with a newer approach to identity management and security, Microsoft wants to stand out from other vendors by building an end-to-end solution to identity protection across employees, partners and customers.