Future of Identity and Access Management: The OpenID Connect Protocol



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As the Internet becomes the standard, and often the only, mechanism for interactions between individuals, private companies, governments and other organizations, digital identity management is exceedingly a critical component of this online communication and commerce. Identity and Access Management (IAM) is the management and control of information about users in a digital format. This information may include mechanisms to verify the identity of the users (authentication) and ensuring approved access to resources (authorization). In addition, IAM maintains descriptive details about users and provides portability of this information between disparate systems.

This thesis explores the OpenID Connect (OIDC) standard introduced by the OpenID Foundation. Built on an earlier standard known as OAuth 2, the OIDC standard, also referred to as a protocol, specifies a near-complete procedure to provide authentication and authorization of users across the Internet. The first part of the thesis introduces the protocol while later parts explore the problems it purports to solve. Finally, a study of current implementations, the adoption of the OIDC standard by industry and possible ways to improve upon the standard are explored.



OpenID, Connect, Identity, Federation, Authentication, Authorization, OAuth2, OIDC, IAM, Access, Management