Risk
6/29/2008
05:19 PM
George V. Hulme
George V. Hulme
Commentary
50%
50%

Catalyst Conference 2008: The State Of Federated Identity Management

At last week's Catalyst conference in San Diego, I had a chance to sit down with identity management executives from IBM and CA to discuss the state of federated identity management. It appears while the federation of identities hasn't taken off as expected, there is still life in the technology.

At last week's Catalyst conference in San Diego, I had a chance to sit down with identity management executives from IBM and CA to discuss the state of federated identity management. It appears while the federation of identities hasn't taken off as expected, there is still life in the technology.In case you're not aware, in identity management lingo, "federation" is the sharing of identity information (application access rights, etc.) across departmental, administrative, and even organizational domains. Essentially, under federated identity management an organization makes it possible for the employees of suppliers, contractors, business partners, or any external business to manage the identities of their employees for access.

This makes perfect sense from a business perspective, and a handful of years ago I'd fully expected federated identity management deployments to be commonplace among large corporations. But it hasn't turned out that way. My colleague Charles Babcock dove into the challenges of GM and Boeing when it came to managing global identity management.

The assumption everyone took earlier this decade, when it came to federated identity management, was that the projects would be primarily driven by Web-based single sign-on initiatives. Turns out, that wasn't so, either.

At the Burton Group's Catalyst Conference last week, I first sat down to talk with CA's Bilhar Mann, who played an instrumental role in CA's acquisition of Netegrity in 2004. Netegrity was of the first Web SSO independent vendors, along with Oblix, which was acquired by Oracle, and its technology is the underpinning of CA SiteMinder Web Access Manager.

While there has been some external Web SSO federation projects, Mann explained, many customers want federation within their corporate domain, for things such as their SOA implementations and applications that reside on the intranet. As it turns out, Web SSO and federation aren't as tightly coupled as the industry once thought they would be.

With that goal in mind, CA has kick-started a beta program for an app it calls CA Federation Manager, which Mann said will help customers get into federated identity management with, or without, a Web access management system such as CA SiteMinder. According to Mann, CA Federation Manager will be standards-based and by enabling an organization to act as the identity provider -- the side of the federated partnership that provides user authentication and asserts the validity of the identity, or as a service provider -- the side of the partnership that provides the target applications or services.

I also met with Joe Anthony, program director identity and compliance management, and Venkat Raghavan, director, information storage and security market at IBM Tivoli Software.

Tivoli Federated Identity Manager (FIM) software just became available on June 20. FIM supports many new capabilities that should help bolster federated identity initiatives, whether focused in-house or across corporate domains. FIM supports security for SOAs and extends interoperability to open source and other identity management standards and frameworks. Perhaps most important, at least when it comes to helping spur demand for cross-domain federation, is the fact that FIM will work with non-IBM Web access management software. That means, it shouldn't require much in the way of additional work for a company using Tivoli Access Manager to federate identity management with a company running CA SiteMinder or Oracle's Web Access Manager.

Are these vendor moves enough to help spur federated Web SSO among companies? Only time will tell. I thought we'd already be there by now. But IDC is predicting some significant movement in the two years ahead. According to that research firm, global revenue for federated identity and access management software should more than double from last year's $340 million to $702 million by 2010.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading Tech Digest, Dec. 19, 2014
Software-defined networking can be a net plus for security. The key: Work with the network team to implement gradually, test as you go, and take the opportunity to overhaul your security strategy.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-2188
Published: 2015-02-26
The Authentication Proxy feature in Cisco IOS does not properly handle invalid AAA return codes from RADIUS and TACACS+ servers, which allows remote attackers to bypass authentication in opportunistic circumstances via a connection attempt that triggers an invalid code, as demonstrated by a connecti...

CVE-2015-0594
Published: 2015-02-26
Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in the help pages in Cisco Common Services, as used in Cisco Prime LAN Management Solution (LMS) and Cisco Security Manager, allow remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via unspecified parameters, aka Bug IDs CSCuq54654 and CSCun1...

CVE-2015-0632
Published: 2015-02-26
Race condition in the Neighbor Discovery (ND) protocol implementation in Cisco IOS and IOS XE allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service via a flood of Router Solicitation messages on the local network, aka Bug ID CSCuo67770.

CVE-2015-0651
Published: 2015-02-26
Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in the web GUI in Cisco Application Networking Manager (ANM), and Device Manager (DM) on Cisco 4710 Application Control Engine (ACE) appliances, allows remote attackers to hijack the authentication of arbitrary users, aka Bug ID CSCuo99753.

CVE-2015-0882
Published: 2015-02-26
Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in zencart-ja (aka Zen Cart Japanese edition) 1.3 jp through 1.3.0.2 jp8 and 1.5 ja through 1.5.1 ja allow remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via a crafted parameter, related to admin/includes/init_includes/init_sanitize.php an...

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
How can security professionals better engage with their peers, both in person and online? In this Dark Reading Radio show, we will talk to leaders at some of the security industry’s professional organizations about how security pros can get more involved – with their colleagues in the same industry, with their peers in other industries, and with the IT security community as a whole.