Ping Identity is one of a number of vendors (alongside Okta, OneLogin and others) all trying to build the identity fabric for the modern era, an era that because of its plethora of different applications, organizational constructs and connected devices, means that existing approaches towards identity simply don’t suffice. At the Cloud Identity Summit today (disclosure, Ping covered my travel to keynote at the summit), the company unveiled a raft of new features aimed to deliver what it calls the “Post Password” era. While a term like that is unquestionably based in marketing spin, if one considers the plethora of different solutions and endpoint devices that individuals use today, it’s hard not to see that traditional approaches that lean towards having individual passwords for each application simply don’t work. Ping and other vendors in the Single Sign On (SSO) and identity management space are delivering solutions to this problem.
The announcements fall into a few different buckets. Starting at the top:
- PingID is a multi-factor authentication offering. Based on technology that Ping got when it acquired Accells Technologies earlier this year, PingID is a smartphone application that allows end users to swipe their smartphone for either primary or second factor authentication. PingID can also tune access policies based on geolocation, user responses to computer-generated challenges and unique swipe patterns.
- Federated Access Management. The latest releases in there areas allows customers to extend identity security policies across cloud and mobile environments without specific coding. This allows for customer’s hybrid applications and means that identity considerations don’t need to impact upon the organization’s choices as to where applications are hosted or delivered
- PingOne Summer – the latest version of Ping’s application portfolio includes a new, enhances application catalog as well as new support for French and German interfaces. It also allows administrators to customize personal policy protections based by region
All these innovations are interesting, and extend the breadth of Ping’s solution, but the big questions around identity management remain – will organizations want to use a third party identity provider or will identity increasingly be seen as a core part of their chosen technology platform? Salesforce in particular has strongly signaled an intention to have a bigger presence as an identity provider – something that makes sense if you’re an organization making extensive use of Salesforce’s different applications. Other legacy vendors (Oracle and Microsoft for example) have extended their existing identity tools to cover the cloud use case.
It’s hard not to see some consolidation occurring in the space – some legacy vendors will be forced to acquire vendors that provide solutions to this new set of problems, at the same time the newer vendors that only provide SSO services and don’t dive more deeply into broader identity management will likely fall by the wayside. The identity management space is another area with lots of activity, lots of funding and, frankly, lots of marketing talk – it will be interesting to see where that all goes.