Centrify Launches Cloud-Based Privileged Identity Service

The platform extends capabilities for identity consolidation, privilege management and privileged session auditing found in Centrify's Server Suite.

centrify and identity management

Centify unveiled a cloud-based identity management solution designed to address the gap in security, visibility and control over privileged accounts.

Privileged accounts provide elevated access to an organization’s most critical data, applications, systems and network devices. As more enterprises embrace the cloud, privileged accounts increasingly lie outside the corporate perimeter and are frequently shared by both internal IT and often remote third parties, such as contractors and vendors.

"Centrify built CPS [Centrify Privilege Service] for privileged users—the IT folks who manage servers and systems within the data center. We wanted to build a service for what we call the modern enterprise, an organization with mobile IT users, where servers are either in the data center or in the cloud and where outsourced IT is a key approach to IT management," Bill Mann, senior vice president of products and chief product officer for Centrify, told eWEEK. "Especially for remote IT managers, CPS provides access to corporate servers without them having to fire up a VPN, making the process easier and more secure."

CPS enables remote privileged users to manage networks with their mobile devices without compromising the security of the enterprise, Mann said.

The platform extends the capabilities for identity consolidation, privilege management and privileged session auditing found in the company’s Server Suite by providing shared account password management for servers, network devices and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS).

IT managers can grant secure, cloud-based access for remote, mobile and outsourced IT staff to servers and network devices, without giving virtual private network (VPN) access to the full data center.

"Mobile is responsible for the disappearance of the traditional corporate perimeter, Mann said. "The old-world thinking of the firewall protecting everything—the castle-and-moat model—is legacy now. Mobile is pushing businesses to view their infrastructure as highly fragmented, and with BYOD, controlling devices has become much more challenging. Centrify believes businesses should focus on the connection between users, the apps they access and the devices that access those apps."

Mobile is also a big positive for businesses because it allows them to provide multi-factor authentication (MFA), something that was prohibitively expensive in the past, Mann said.

Available in 15 languages from 10 data centers across the world and with rich support for mobile devices, pricing is $50 per privileged user per month, with volume and education pricing available.

"If we dig in and analyze many of the recent breaches in the news, identity is the common thread. If identity had been better managed, these breaches would have been less disastrous," Mann said. "We need to make it too expensive for the hackers to start these attacks. The better we manage identity for end users, MFA, provisioning, privileged users and so on, the better we can mitigate risk."

He also predicted that in the future, identity would evolve from a misunderstood area of security to a critical pillar of the enterprise.

"Identity will touch everything that is connected in the business and, therefore, merits inclusion in overall business strategy," he said.