Posts tagged "saas"

Salesforce Introduces Universal Cloud Login With Ping Identity

The cloud just gets easier to use every day. This time it’s Salesforce.com (site) and Ping Identity (PI) who have integrated Internet Single Sign-On products so that a single login to Salesforce will give users access to all other applications that they use in the cloud.

The result is that with Ping Identity's (site) Universal Login, Salesforce becomes the hosted identity provider, reducing license, infrastructure and ongoing maintenance costs of traditional identity stores.

Secure Ping Identity

We haven’t heard from Ping Identify in a while, so just a quick look at what they are doing with Salesforce. The principal thing they do is to address internet identity security requirements for Salesforce deployments.

salesforce_ping_2010.jpg

At the moment, PI says it is the only vendor to provide complete support for the Sales Cloud, the Service Cloud and the Force.com cloud platform for building and running business apps.

Using either PingFederate‘s on premise software, or PingConnect — its on-demand software — users can easily access all of their Salesforce tools without the need to remember passwords and repeat logins. Ping also automates the Salesforce user account management process including account creation, modification and user account disablement.

Amongst the other applications that users will be able to access using this sign-on: Google Enterprise, WebEx, Concur and SuccessFactors. Ping Identity also supports business and consumer service providers, such as banks, online trading services and HR outsourcers.

But is deploying this just admitting that users can’t be bothered logging in to all the sites they need, or is there more to it? While it is quite frustrating having to log in a billion times everyday — security issues or no — there are a number of other reasons why deploying it might be worthwhile:

  • Provides immediate access to the Sales Cloud, the Service Cloud and the Force.com cloud platform for building and running business apps.
  • Multiple entry points including web browsers and mobile devices and it comes with a Salesforce Outlook plug-in. Works whether working through corporate network, or remotely.
  • Automatically disables accounts once a user has been deactivated.
  • Universal SaaS access that ties together different SaaS environments by managing user access and authentication in the cloud.
  • On-demand platform means deployment in days.
  • Provides a convenient, secure, central location for managing user access to Salesforce.

Moving To The Cloud?

In respect of SaaS and Cloud computing it is worth recalling that while many companies are still wary of storing information in the cloud,  the SMB IT and Hosted IT Index 2010 from Microsoft, shows that more SMBs surveyed in 2010 reported an increase in revenue than in 2008 with IT seen as critical to their business success.

However, while there is long-term potential for storage-as-a-service, another recent Forrester report,  sees issues with guaranteed service levels and security as things that still need to be addressed before companies move in that direction.

Maybe Ping Identity’s UL is one step down the road to dealing with the security issues at least.

NetDocuments Adds Extra Document Security With RSA SecurID

There are probably a lot of clients of the SaaS document management company NetDocuments (site) that will be glad that the company has decided to team-up with security giant RSA by entering the RSA Secured Partner Programme.

The long-running program established by RSA is a technology alliance that brings together over 300 companies with over 1000 complimentary solutions.

So what’s the big deal with NetDocuments, you ask? Well this partnership will add an extra layer of security to the already substantial security checks in place to protect documents that are being held by NetDocuments.

SaaS Security

NetDocuments was set up in 1998 to enable clients to manage and collaborate on documents, emails and records, in a SaaS environment.

The company says that its clients now include some of the US’s biggest law and financial institutions, as well as hundreds of smaller firms, and all of them expect their documents to be kept secure.

NetDocuments has done just that with a list of security measures that would keep even the most determined out. Those features include document-based access control lists, ethical walls, smart auto ACL defaulting, Microsoft Active Directory single sign-on, certificate-based authentication and a patented binding of access privileges into each document.

And now, if that wasn’t enough, they’ve signed up with RSA so that mutual clients will have the added security of the RSA SecurID system.

RSA Secure

And very secure it is. The problem, RSA says, is that security built on static, reusable passwords has proven easy for hackers to beat — and anyone who even half-listens to the TV will know that.

So what RSA has done is implement a two-factor authentication system based on a password or PIN number on the first level and on the second level a security token similar to an ATM card that must be used if access is to be granted.

In addition to this SecurID, your password changes every 60 seconds. So you’d really have to be quick if you wanted to hack it.

What the new arrangement between the two companies means is that clients who already have RSA SecurID will be able to transfer those security benefits across to NetDocuments.

Why RSA Now?

As to why NetDocuments has made this move may have a lot to do with the growing list of blue-chip clients has managed to pick up in recent years.

In August, for example, it announced that it was developing integration with Google Wave, which will make the collaborative reach of the service much greater than it currently is.

As early as 2002 it made SaaS available for law firms, and you can only imagine the suits and counter-suits if someone managed to hack their way into their documents.

And in August 2006 NetDocuments also announced that it had become fully integrated with Salesforce.com.

The bottom line here is that if by chance NetDocuments got hacked, there would be a lot of very angry, important and litigious companies baying for blood. Better safe than sorry.