How Siemens Centralized Their Login Experience With Auth0
‘Siemens ID’ provides seamless, secure access to hundreds of Siemens applications worldwide
Siemens AG (Berlin and Munich) is a global technology powerhouse that has stood for engineering excellence, innovation, quality, reliability and internationality for more than 170 years. The company is active around the globe, focusing on the areas of power generation and distribution, intelligent infrastructure for buildings and distributed energy systems, and automation and digitalization in the process and manufacturing industries.
From digital enterprise to sustainable energy to financial services, Siemens plays a pivotal role in many of the industries that make the modern world work. The global powerhouse has an expansive portfolio of energy, automation, health, and technology interests. They operate in almost every country in the world, and as of September 2019, have 385,000 employees worldwide with a generated revenue of €86.8 billion.
Sustainable internal growth is essential for an expansive company like Siemens, which has hundreds of different divisions, applications, and departments. “The importance of having a sustainable business is growing exponentially and that has to be taken into account when performing business on such a global scale,” says Hugo Francisco, Service Owner of Siemens ID for Siemens.
With so many different operations across a variety of divisions, Siemens desperately needed a way to standardize and secure their login processes. Two years ago, they turned to Auth0 to help them create a uniform login experience for their customers and partners.
Inconsistent Login Procedures Posed Organizational and Security Challenges
Prior to the overhaul, each one of Siemens’ hundreds of divisions had its own login service. This was not only confusing and inefficient, but it was also resource-intensive. “In most cases,” Francisco says, “we applied strict internal identity management policies to external identity management, which caused lots of overhead and complexity.”
A consolidated identity solution would have made operations smoother, but Siemens had to carefully construct and implement the platform for maximum security and ease of use. With so many applications across the company, an inefficient or faulty solution could be disastrous. “It was of the utmost importance to have a secured, stable and reliable authentication platform,” Francisco says, “[so that] our clients and partners can focus on their business instead of focusing on how to log into hundreds of Siemens' applications available in the market.”
Siemens ID-as-a-Service, Auth0 as a Service Provider
Siemens is a global corporation made up of individual operating companies. With the support of Auth0, they built Siemens ID, a single login service that can be quickly integrated into each operating company’s application stack. All customers and partners use Siemens ID to access hundreds of Siemens apps and services around the world.
Siemens ID provides a centralized way to store the user database and the login page while enabling individual divisions to integrate the application in their own specific way. This was done using a concept called “multi-tenancy”, where each operating company has their own tenant for their apps, and these tenants are connected to a central tenant to manage identities in one place. The application and identity tenants are connected using OpenID Connect. Francisco agrees this was a practical solution that allows each department to “customize the identity providers they want, create rules, and define the workflow they need in order to optimize the user experience.”
Auth0 provided all the necessary identity services to simplify the large-scale rollout of Siemens ID. “When Auth0 stepped in, we could improve the processes around identity management,” says Francisco, “reducing efforts while increasing the acceptance of the internal stakeholders.”
Multi-factor Authentication and Anomaly Detection Increase Security Company-Wide
Siemens has also added a number of Auth0’s security features into the Siemens ID system to support their growing use case.
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) was one of the mandatory requirements for the service from the beginning and hugely helpful in satisfying the needs of key stakeholders. Francisco says the ability to give internal clients an additional level of sign-in security with three distinct ways of adding a second factor came to be one of the main differentiators: “the MFA possibility of our service is one of the most requested/wanted features of our service delivery.”
Anomaly detection is another feature that helps the Siemens ID service fulfill its promise of enhanced security. “It is extremely important to have a reliable source such as Auth0 providing additional and proactive information on suspicious logins, brute force attempts, password breaches, etc.”
Sustainable Growth and a Bright, Collaborative Future
Thanks to their partnership with Auth0, internal security experts at Siemens can focus less on compliance and more on continuous service improvement. According to Francisco, Siemens now spends less time managing identity and more time creating add-on platforms that are boosting the importance and relevance of Siemens ID-as-a-service. “We believe the majority of the savings are being noticed and experienced on the application owner’s level, as they now do not have the responsibility of managing the identities of their users,” Francisco says.
As Siemens continues to grow and expand, the service they’ve created with Auth0 can scale with them. “Adaptability will always be the key factor to success and in the past two years, we proved that to be true,” Francisco says. “We feel that along with the Siemens’ processes and Auth0 know-how, our clients can be in safe hands.”
Curious How Your Organization Can Benefit From Auth0?
Learn how our customers are saving time and reducing costs by reading The Total Economic Impact of Auth0 by Forrester Consulting.
Auth0, a product unit within Okta, takes a modern approach to identity and enables organizations to provide secure access to any application, for any user. The Auth0 Identity Platform is highly customizable, and is as simple as development teams want, and as flexible as they need. Safeguarding billions of login transactions each month, Auth0 delivers convenience, privacy, and security so customers can focus on innovation. For more information, visit https://auth0.com.