What is an Identity Provider?

Identity Provider (IdP) or Providers are security systems that are used to manage a central identity for users and employees, to define access scopes, policies, and organizational structures. Popular examples for IdPs could include: Okta, Ping Identity, Azure AD and more. Without IdPs, users have a local identity within every system they use, based on a username (commonly their email) and a password. For IT and security teams, this creates an operational challenge of adding/removing identities for every offboarding and onboarding event. Also, it exposes the organization to password security weaknesses, and dramatically increases the chance of dangling access to applications. IdPs allow security teams to manage employee lifecycles, define access policies, avoid password authentication and to enforce MFA.

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