DDS Identity Federation Service – Overview

Identity Federation is a modern technology that  enables organisations to enter into a trust relationship to share common IT resources. It is relevant where organisations are partnering together or where an organisation intends to consume cloud-based resources from external suppliers. Without an Identity Federation solution organisations usually have to open secondary accounts to enable their users to access external suppliers. This option causes problems for users as they have to remember additional sets of login details for the different services they are using and requires considerable management overheads to support. This is possible for a small number of users but quickly becomes unmanageable resulting in a solution that is unwieldy and un-scalable.

The DDS IFS offers a secure, government-facing identity federation ‘broker’, which government bodies can use to pass their user identity credentials to externally provided partner services. DDS IFS is a standards-compliant solution that is transparent to users, simple to implement and security accredited to IL3 (RESTRICTED) level. It can be deployed internally on an organisation’s local domain or delivered as a SaaS service from the GSi-connected Savvis hosting platform, GWS, where it forms a key component of the Government service options.

The DDS IFS can also be used alongside the DDS Directory suite to manage and store local user account details. These enable the DDS IFS to offer secondary accounts to organisations that need them, a unique capability that is highly relevant to government agencies who may want only a few users to access external services, insufficient to warrant them becoming a full identity sharing partner.

DDS IFS – Key Benefits

  • Safer access to cloud based applications with explicit organisational level Trust Relationships.
  • No need to maintain secondary user profiles in multiple systems with the additional management resources that entails.
  • Separate organisations being able to work in partnership, trusting each other’s user credentials for authentication and authorisation.
  • Increased effectiveness; with users having seamless access to cloud applications through their desktops.
  • Increased efficiency; with user management being easier and more secure.
  • Increased economy; more efficient processes, less errors, fewer users with help desk calls over forgotten passwords.
  • Future-proofing by leveraging the existing identity infrastructure whilst applying the standards that will be used in the future.