Novell, Verizon Team Up To Secure Cloud Apps

As cloud security continues to be a concern, and in some cases a hindrance to cloud computing adoption, Novell and Verizon Business have partnered to deliver identity and access management in the cloud to ensure cloud-based data and applications are locked down.

The pair has launched the on-demand Identity-as-a-Service offering, dubbed Secure Access Services, that is a managed on-demand identity and access management service. As security remains a chief concern among many companies and IT pros eyeing cloud computing deployments, Novell and Verizon are looking to remove the concern while offering the lower costs and ease of management inherent in cloud solutions.

’It’s very clear that the cloud is real,’ said Mark Rogers, Novell’s director of business development, security, management and operating platforms. ’And there’s not a lot out there delivered as a true Identity-as-a-Service.’

Rogers said the same identity management and access management issues inherent in legacy systems also reside in the cloud as companies struggle to control who has access to what applications and what data.

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Secure Access Services unlock the ability to validate user identities through authentication; control access based on identity through authorization; validate who has access to what via reporting capabilities; create a secure, consistent experience via a Web single sign-on; and extend access management through identity federation.

Secure Access Services does not require additional hardware or software, or IT resources. Meanwhile, it features a built-in audit capability that helps users ensure compliance through reporting.

The joint Novell-Verizon offering ties together Verizon’s security, infrastructure and management with Novell’s identity and security software to offer cloud identity and access management. The partnership also makes Verizon Novell’s identity and access management managed service provider.

Rogers said identity management in the cloud as a service eliminates the expensive IT infrastructure and licensing that create a high total cost of ownership for such solutions. Additionally, he said, identity and access management as a service lends itself to speedier deployments than its legacy, on-premise counterparts.

According to Novell’s Rogers, the identity-as-a-service offering is the first of what will be many cloud-based solutions Novell and Verizon will deliver to enterprise customers. Rogers said the offerings will be aimed at companies with 500 or more users with multiple departments, business units and partners that need automated access controls.

’You’re already doing other security services, this is the next logical step,’ said Mark Shapiro, senior analyst, identity access management, Verizon Business.

Shapiro said the service will be available in June and offered as a per-user per-month subscription with a setup fee, the exact prices of which depend on which level of service.

The upcoming launch of cloud-based identity and access management comes just after Verizon updated its Computing-as-a-Service (CaaS) on-demand cloud computing platform. Verizon Business has been hammering the cloud hard, firing on all cylinders with its recently-launched ’everything-as-a-service’ mantra. The national carrier wants to offer all of its services in the cloud.

’We want to be able to deliver business applications in the same way we’ve been able to deliver dial tone for the past few decades,’ Verizon Business’ cloud computing product manager Patrick Verhoeven has said.