How SAML And Blockchain Can Work Together To Enable SSO

SAML SSO Singapore

Security Assertion Mark-up Language (SAML) is an open standard protocol which allows security credentials to be shared by multiple devices participating in the same network. It is a framework that facilitates the exchange of authorisation and authentication of data between secure domains.

In SAML, authentication is provided by an identity provider. An identity provider is an entity that determines if a user is really who they claim to be. They might also regulate what degree of access the user is equipped and authorised with. Identity providers interact with service providers, which receive and accept information through SAML services.

The most common use of SAML is in Single Sign-On (SSO). SAML removes the need for passwords, through the use of digital signatures and standard cryptography. A secure token is exchanged from an identity provider to a service provider. The common problem faced by countless IT security companies is how users have to remember many different sets of login credentials. Organisations that have adopted identity and access management products which make use of SAML protocols can free themselves from the burden of managing and monitoring large amounts of username and password combinations.  Users need only to log in once and they can thus access the resources they are allowed to.

However, SAML authentication is reliant on a centralised system. Through such sharing of user data between various service and identity providers, the risk for data to be consumed by a malicious party opened up. Many SSO solutions relied on centralised databases that were supported by external vendors and companies. There was the possibility for cyber attackers to slip into the network through the third-party solution provider, giving rise to a breach in security and potential identity theft.

As a result, the evolution of digital identity started looking towards the concept of self-sovereign identity. That is where blockchain security comes into the picture. By approaching identity management with a model of decentralisation, each user in the network can control who has access to their own data. The user holds total control of their own data, as opposed to one central authority managing tons of individual user data.

How blockchain solution vendors can be tapped on to empower the existing protocols of SAML is to create a decentralised distributed ledger that prevents data from being altered or deleted. First used in the cryptocurrency world, such as Bitcoin, blockchain technology can now be harnessed to secure applications in numerous industries. The immutable nature of a blockchain network can be used to make SSO the next big thing in security.

Unsolicited circulation of data can be put to a stop, with the total transparency afforded by blockchain. It is impossible for anyone to tamper with the data stored on the blockchain, preventing hackers from forging authentication data to access the network.

Organisations and vendors in Singapore are beginning to consider how blockchain can be incorporated on top of existing SAML-based services and leveraged for its functionality. By fully harnessing blockchain technology, seamless authentication and authorisation can be pushed to greater developments.

Will Blockchain Change The Landscape Of Digital Identities?

Singapore Cyber Security Companies, Identity Access Management Products

When it was first established, Bitcoin was seen as a niche cryptocurrency. It was only discussed within the most computing and technical-oriented circles. Within the past decade, the world has witnessed bitcoin grow and transform into a marketplace that has gotten the mainstream media and press buzzing everyday about it. The rise of bitcoin inevitably resulted in a certain technology being brought to light.

By that we mean, blockchain. By eliminating the need of any middleman, blockchain solution has led to the empowerment of a direct exchange of information between A and B. What blockchain offers is a distributable ledger that is immutable in nature, with complete transparency of time-stamped records.

It is such credibility and efficiency that has drawn multiple corporations and businesses to tap on blockchain for their operations. From the cryptocurrency world, blockchain is gradually seeping into other industries and sectors, from insurance to supply chain manufacturing to finance.

The world of identity and access management (IAM) has been shaken up with the popularity of blockchain technology. Since then, there has been a plethora of attempts to harness blockchain into cyber security solutions. With blockchain-based IAM platforms and services surfacing, IT teams are starting to find that they can put an end to fraudulent activity and identity theft. Users have full autonomy over what information they wish to share and being able to verify the data which is subsequently stored and encrypted inside the ledger.

Each block along the shared blockchain network contains information that cannot be altered or deleted. With links of cryptography, one block is connected to another and exists in a decentralised database. For a criminal or hacker to cause genuine damage, they would have to delete or modify every single copy that is owned by every user participating in the shared blockchain network.

In addition, the time-stamped records will show all users who accessed and retrieved the data from a block. Every block has its own complete history which can be viewed by anyone participating in the blockchain, meaning that all transactions are made available.

Blockchains can come with a set of permissions. This means that participating parties can determine who can write new blocks into the blockchain as well as set who can record transactions. Through this mix-and-match approach, security companies can experiment with the levels of security. Some users may not be allowed to be a node. Some users may have stricter permissions and verification processes.

However, data protection regulations such as the GPDR states that personal data should not be stored on public networks. In order to work around these regulatory issues, only the users’ unique cryptographic identifiers can be referenced and stored on the blockchain.

Following this thread of thought, many companies are leveraging on a hybrid blockchain to be incorporated in the context of enterprises. Governmental bodies and commercial enterprises find great value in the implementation of a hybrid blockchain.

As blockchain security continues to evolve, the world of digital identity can possibly be revolutionised. In IAM, blockchain has much potential.

Factors To Consider When Choosing Blockchain Technology

With the advent and increasing usage of distributed ledger technology, blockchain has become a major advancement in IT security and identity and access management. An extensive network of various ledger systems currently existing in the business world, however, they are easily susceptible to fraud and data theft. Distributed ledger technology such as blockchain technology brings to light a possible solution in which all participants have access to the most current version of the ledger where the complete record of transactions is transparent and cannot be modified or corrupted.

Blockchain is a decentralised storage system which is trust-less. This means that users do not have to trust a centralised database and handing over control to a third-party storage provider. As a result, the risk of a security compromise due to an external party is eliminated. In addition, human exchange of information is decentralised and democratised. All information created and added to a blockchain is grouped together and organised into blocks that are bound to one another through the use of cryptography. Ever since cryptocurrency services such as Ethereum and Bitcoin made use of blockchain as a platform that ensures all transactions are secure, numerous industries and businesses have started to leverage on blockchain as a solution to record-keeping that is reliable, transparent and instant.

From medical and education to real estate and insurance, many industries are leveraging on blockchain to address the existing security challenges that pervade in this digital world we live in. As blockchain security continues to be adopted in various fields around the world, more has yet to be discovered about what this technology is truly capable of.

It is therefore imperative that organisations figure out which blockchain technology is the appropriate fit for them. There is a growing array of blockchain platforms available for companies to develop on and utilise to address their business needs. When choosing a blockchain partner to work with, here are several considerations one should keep in mind:

Project Selection– Before selecting a blockchain platform, it is crucial to select your use case. This might seem like a redundant question but it is essential in ensuring that your blockchain solution solves issues that cannot be solved with current technology.

Scalability– As the number of transactions and participants increase, a blockchain network should be able to adapt and keep up with such growth in data management. Businesses that are transaction intensive are likely to run into scaling challenges.

Public vs Private– A public blockchain networks means that anyone can participate in the network. See Bitcoin for example. A private blockchain network requires permission in order to join the network.

Community Support – As blockchain technology is still in its infancy, it is important to have a level of support to surround you when need. Is the community of the blockchain platform able to provide ample feedback and support?

Developer Availability– Given that most of the programming languages are new, search for a blockchain platform that allows your developers to work in a language they already know.

What To Do In A Digital World Where You Can Trust No One

Blockchain Security Singapore, Identity Access Management Products

Trust no one. That has been the adage when it comes to digital security issues. In this day and age, we are all hyperconnected. From employer to employee, company to customer, the sharing and exchanging of information has created much chaos. That has in turn led to many risks and threats towards cyber security, as people with malicious intent find and exploit loopholes for their own selfish gain.

Whether it is Facebook, Twitter, Gmail or Instagram, almost every interaction and transaction online requires some form of digital identity. When it comes to remembering all the passwords and usernames used to log into the various online applications and services, how safe is that information protected? How much is revealed when users need to prove that they are who they say they are? In a world where you can trust no one but yourself, how do we ensure that we divulge only the right amount of information to external parties? How do we ensure that everything else remains encrypted and out of reach of hackers and thieves?

Blockchain technology offers a possible solution. What blockchain is, is a continuous list of records that are cryptographically linked together. These blocks all correspond to a distributed ledger which holds the records of every transaction. Stored and locked in every block is a timestamp and transaction data which cannot be modified. Whenever a user accesses a block, their history is logged and recorded.

People often discuss about blockchain security in the context of cryptocurrency. And for good reason. Its capabilities and applications can extend beyond the world of cryptocurrency to anything that involves online chunks of data and personal information. Besides the immutable nature offered by blockchain, its distributed ledger technology confers great promise and potential for identity and access management (IAM).

When data is stored in a distributed ledger, the databases of digital identities are thus decentralised. By doing so, external parties and vendors with the approved access credentials are able to retrieve the data and use it for authentication. The idea is that identities are protected from fraud or theft, given that users can choose who to hand their personal data over and exactly how much. Users are empowered with full control and transparency. As a result, it is way more secured compared to centralised, proprietary databases.

Most of current IAM solutions rely on third party software and external parties, which means that employees and employers alike have to trust someone else to store all their personal data. What that implies is a lack of influence and control over how such data is used, due to it not being accessible. Users are unable to see who has access to their private data and are placed in a position where they are subjected to data controllers who are, by and large, unaccountable.

Said third parties are also vulnerable to being hit by hackers and identity fraud. once they have been compromised, data that belongs to employees and employees, clients and business partners can easily fall into the wrong hands.