Mobile identities are more than just a necessary part of the login process. They facilitate trusted communication and interaction with people and things. Mobile identity management (MIM) provides the identity management and security features that are generally the province of enterprise systems geared toward laptops and PCs.
Here are some of the top trends in the mobile identity management market:
1. Mobile vendors drive the market
Mobil operators are driving overall identity management trends as they seek to extend the capabilities of their latest devices and capture a larger slice of the device market from PC and laptop makers. But there is plenty of room for everyone.
Many users have a PC, laptop, tablet, smartphone and multiple other devices. All need to have secure access and all need to manage identity. The good news is that security platforms now exist that can manage security across multiple device types simultaneously.
2. Enterprise security vendors jump in
The mobile and smartphone vendors don’t have it all their own way. Enterprise security and enterprise identity management vendors have recognized that mobility is the hottest trend in the identity space.
Vendors like JumpCloud, for example, offer a cloud directory that consolidates identity and access management (IAM), single sign-on (SSO), mobile device management (MDM), patch management, mobile identity management, and multi-factor authentication (MFA).
“Due to cloud and mobile solutions, users want access from anywhere to all of their resources,” said Tom Bridge, principal product manager of Apple Technologies at JumpCloud.
“Having a spread-out workforce can be a challenge on many fronts, but the dividends are too valuable to leave on the table. Expect frictionless access from anywhere to continue to top the charts.”
3. Mobile and enterprise convergence
The gulf between enterprise and mobile security has been wide for some time. Particularly between smartphones and PCs/laptops.
It took a long while for phone makers and associated vendors to even consider that they needed to implement antivirus and anti-malware tools, for example. But things have changed rapidly over the past couple of years.
What appears to be happening is that the line between enterprise and mobile security is blurring. In fact, the security tools are evolving to the point where there will soon be very little difference between them. And more packages now combine both functions in one centralized and automated tool. Yes, there are some enterprise identity features that have yet to reach the mobile sector, but that won’t be for long.
“Orchestration solutions will become more widely adopted, such as adding AI and ML to improve the user experience and risk assessment during the authentication and authorization cycles, which will be widely adopted in the near future,” said Bridge with JumpCloud.
“Zero trust from both the user and machine perspective are trendy right now. Positive authentication of both users and machines — biometrics on the user side and certificates on the machine side — are a big part of where zero trust is doing the work of identity.”
4. Mobile threat defense
Gartner noted that mobile threat defense (MTD) is an offshoot of the broad trend to add enterprise identity capabilities to mobile device management.
MTD is all about protecting organizations from threats against iOS, Android, and other mobile devices. This technology addresses device prevention, detection, and remediation, but it also extends protection to include network connections and applications from malware. Some tools incorporate machine learning and behavioral analysis.
This has become an increasingly necessary security shield. It identifies potentially vulnerable devices, tracks down malicious apps, and keeps an eye on the network as a way to enhance mobile security hygiene. Additionally, it centralizes the visibility of data and helps to correlate it with other endpoint or enterprise systems and devices. In the current era of rampant phishing, these tools guard against threats, adding an extra layer of protection to mobile identities.
“MTD can work as a threat-focused integration with an existing unified endpoint management deployment or as a stand-alone tool,” said Gartner analyst Dionisio Zumerle.
“MTD can provide security assurance for regulated industries, enterprises that need to use a varied and fragmented set of mobile operating system versions, and organizations that choose not to manage the mobile devices to which they provide enterprise access.”
Gartner views emerging use cases for MTD as a vital element of the implementation of a zero-trust network access (ZTNA) architecture and a way to greatly enhance mobile identity management. It also acts as a way to increase the reach of extended detection and response (XDR) systems. In other words, it extends XDR, and, in all likelihood, MTD and XDR will eventually become one.
Looking up the line, it seems likely that all of these areas of mobile security and identity will eventually blend into one all encompassing package. And that converged mobile tools will converge with those of the enterprise to enable IT to manage them all from one console.