Network Identity in a Cloud-native World

By: PG Menon, Director of Marketing at Infoblox

Cloud-native technologies transform businesses at a global scale

Companies like Amazon and Netflix leveraged cloud technologies to go from being mail order companies to some of the world’s largest consumer on-demand businesses. Cloud-native technologies empowered them to make this transition by providing increased agility and productivity, improved scalability and reliability, and lower costs.

In a borderless enterprise identity is the new perimeter

DNS, DHCP and IP address management collectively automates network connectivity and provides visibility into network connected devices. They enable a foundational layer of visibility and security for your network. Network identity has long been used as a means for authentication and authorization because it ensures you are who you say you are, and, only allows you to do what you are permitted to do no matter where you are located and or your access method.

Identity now includes human users, devices and applications

In transitioning to cloud, the different types of cloud-native applications developed and deployed by organizations such as microservices, web applications or bots are inherently different than human identities and require additional oversight. For example, in operation, Kubernetes requires access to registries on the internet to download various containerized micro-services. There may be hundreds or even thousands of identities accessing resources across an enterprise network on a regular basis, each with its own unique set of circumstances.

Volume and variety of corporate identities are plaguing enterprise IT

Per IDC, it is not uncommon for applications to use their own LDAP directories. Managing those directories and controlling risk is a problem. Enterprise IT simply doesn’t have the level of visibility required to truly understand which identities are performing what actions on their critical resources across multiple and vastly different cloud operating models. Moreover, the identity teams don’t have the time or expertise to keep up with the proliferation of privileges, roles, resources and services across multiple cloud platforms.

ML and AI has transformed identity management

Identity lies in the core of security. Traditional identity mechanisms don’t apply to modern and often hybrid workloads. Runtime authorization decisions are now made within, applications. One integrated platform instead of several discrete Identity and Access Management solutions consumed in a SaaS-delivered manner is the answer. In addition, an ML/AI-driven approach that automates the identity management processes can improve operational efficiencies. AI and ML technologies continuously monitor access relationships and patterns for every cloud resource and aligns with zero trust network access (ZTNA) model for the enterprise.

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