Federated Identity Management: What It Is and How It Works

Federated Identity Management

As businesses increasingly rely on cloud-based services, the need for secure and efficient identity management becomes more pressing. Federated identity management is a solution that enables users to access multiple applications and services using a single set of credentials. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what federated identity management is, how it works, and its benefits.

What is Federated Identity Management?

Identity Management

Federated identity management (FIM) is a system that allows an organization to share access to digital resources across multiple domains or organizations. It allows users to access a range of services from different providers using a single set of login credentials. The aim is to provide users with seamless access to the resources they need, while minimizing the need for multiple logins and passwords.

FIM is built on a set of standards that define how identity information is shared between different organizations. These standards include Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML), OAuth, and OpenID Connect. They provide a framework for exchanging information about a user’s identity, such as their username and password, between different systems.

How Does Federated Identity Management Work?


At a high level, federated identity management works by allowing a user to authenticate with their home organization and then access resources from other organizations without having to log in separately. This is achieved through a process called federation.

In a federation, there are two key entities: the identity provider (IdP) and the service provider (SP). The identity provider is responsible for authenticating the user and providing information about their identity to the service provider. The service provider, on the other hand, is responsible for providing access to the resources that the user wants to use.

When a user wants to access a resource from a service provider, they are redirected to the identity provider for authentication. The user enters their login credentials, which are verified by the identity provider. If the credentials are valid, the identity provider generates an assertion, which contains information about the user’s identity. This assertion is then sent to the service provider, which uses it to grant the user access to the requested resource.

What Are the Benefits of Federated Identity Management?


There are several benefits to using federated identity management, including:

  • Improved user experience: FIM allows users to access multiple resources using a single set of credentials, which reduces the need for multiple logins and passwords.
  • Increased security: FIM reduces the risk of identity theft and other security breaches by using a centralized system for authentication and access control.
  • Reduced administrative overhead: FIM reduces the need for IT staff to manage user accounts and passwords across multiple systems.
  • Improved scalability: FIM allows organizations to scale their IT infrastructure more easily by enabling them to add new systems and services without having to create new user accounts and passwords.


Federated identity management is a powerful solution for managing identity and access across multiple organizations and domains. By allowing users to access resources using a single set of credentials, FIM improves the user experience while reducing the risk of security breaches. If you’re looking for a way to streamline your IT operations and improve security, federated identity management is definitely worth considering.

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