Central Identity & SSO: The Key to Streamlined Access Management in Schools and Businesses

In today's digital age, where individuals access a wide range of applications, services and resources, managing user identity has become a complex and critical task for schools and businesses. As a result, many organisations have implemented a "central identity" system, which allows for the integration of all identity and access management tools into a single pane of glass for efficient management and security.

Central identity enables single sign-on (SSO) functionality, which provides users with a seamless login experience by allowing them to use a single set of credentials to access all the services and applications they need. This not only saves time for users but also enhances security as users do not need to remember multiple login details. In addition, SSO can provide better authentication and authorisation, giving administrators greater control over who can access certain resources and ensuring that only authorised individuals are granted access.

One of the key benefits of central identity is the ability to provide centralised and secure two-factor authentication (2FA). This adds an extra layer of security to user accounts and reduces the risk of unauthorised access. Central identity systems can also integrate with traditional methods of conditional access such as trusted IP and country blocking, ensuring that users can only access resources from approved locations or devices.

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Central identity systems can be especially useful for schools, as they can help to better manage access to web content and applications for students and staff. With a central identity system in place, administrators can create role-based access policies that allow or block access to specific websites or applications based on a user's identity and group membership. This can help to ensure that students are not accessing inappropriate content, while also allowing staff to access the resources they need to perform their job functions.

Additionally, central identity systems can provide schools with better control over the devices that are used to access their resources. By integrating with mobile device management (MDM) or device compliance platforms, administrators can ensure that devices used by students and staff are secure and compliant before granting access to sensitive resources. This can help to reduce the risk of data breaches or cyber-attacks and ensure that students are using devices that are appropriate for their educational needs.

Overall, central identity systems can provide schools with better control over identity and access management, allowing them to better block inappropriate web content for students and staff based on their role or group, as well as generate reports about web and application usage for users. This can help to create a safer and more secure digital learning environment for students, while also providing staff with the resources they need to perform their job functions.

Furthermore, central identity can be integrated into a secure access service edge (SASE) environment, providing a true secure edge for organisations. SASE is a cloud-based approach to network security that combines the capabilities of multiple security solutions into a single platform, including firewalls, secure web gateways, and zero trust network access. By integrating central identity into a SASE environment, organisations can further strengthen their security posture and provide secure access to resources from anywhere, on any device.

In addition to integrating with SASE, central identity can also integrate with mobile device management (MDM) or device compliance platforms to ensure that devices are compliant before granting access to zero trust properties. This ensures that only trusted and secure devices are allowed to access sensitive resources, further reducing the risk of data breaches or unauthorised access.

In conclusion, implementing a central identity system can provide significant benefits for schools and businesses, including streamlined identity and access management, better authentication and authorisation, and improved security through centralised 2FA and conditional access. By integrating central identity into a SASE environment or MDM platform, organisations can further enhance their security posture and ensure that only trusted individuals with compliant devices can access sensitive resources.

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