Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

4/18/2013
09:45 AM
Gunnar Peterson
Gunnar Peterson
Commentary
50%
50%

What IAM Can Learn From Bill Gates

In identity and access management, it pays to be long-term aggressive and short-term conservative

There is a saying that you should never write a project plan that is longer than six months. Why? Because by then there will be a reorg, and you won't finish the project. Unfortunately, this is a truism in many companies, and so it has forced people to think about what they can deliver in the short term. (The Agile people hedged their bets even more -- they use two weeks!)

This kind of short-term thinking has its limitations, especially when it comes to identity and access management (IAM). To paraphrase Bill Gates: Most people overestimate what they can do in the short run and underestimate what they can do in the long run.

IAM is a domain where it's critical to have a top-down strategic view and a bottom-up tactical view. The top-down strategy is important because no one IAM product can do it all. The problem set, brought on by managing a decentralized system, mixtures of technologies, acquisitions, and outsourcing, is too vast. This has led to a sea of IAM products -- SSO, role management, role mining, entitlements, provisioning, federation, strong auth, and on and on. All of these products solve a piece of the overall IAM puzzle; however, trying to execute on too many of them in the short term is a recipe to fail.

Instead, it's better to think top-down and execute bottom-up. Think through a top-down strategic road map for your IAM architecture. Drill down on the scope and priorities for the next three years or so. Any longer is a stretch -- I do not think it's possible to predict too much in this business beyond three years.

Meanwhile, be careful not to overpromise what can be done in the short run. Select projects that help you both evolve your IAM implementation near term and fits into your longer-term road map.

It's OK to be aggressive in planning what can be done in longer-term period. Companies have pulled off some impressive IAM achievements through automation, improving security, and integration. But ensure the tactical iterations to deliver this are based on conservative assumptions.

Generally speaking, companies do the tactical pieces by outsourcing to a consulting shop. This is fine as far as it goes, but it's important to not completely outsource the strategic road map planning. Someone needs to hold the longer term view and see it through across multiple iterations -- that's where the larger scale benefits will be realized. Gunnar Peterson (@oneraindrop) works on AppSec - Cloud, Mobile and Identity. He maintains a blog at http://1raindrop.typepad.com. View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
AI Is Everywhere, but Don't Ignore the Basics
Howie Xu, Vice President of AI and Machine Learning at Zscaler,  9/10/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
7 Threats & Disruptive Forces Changing the Face of Cybersecurity
This Dark Reading Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at the biggest emerging threats and disruptive forces that are changing the face of cybersecurity today.
Flash Poll
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
Your enterprise's cyber risk may depend upon the relationship between the IT team and the security team. Heres some insight on what's working and what isn't in the data center.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-16349
PUBLISHED: 2019-09-16
Bento4 1.5.1-628 has a NULL pointer dereference in AP4_ByteStream::ReadUI32 in Core/Ap4ByteStream.cpp when called from the AP4_TrunAtom class.
CVE-2019-16350
PUBLISHED: 2019-09-16
ffjpeg before 2019-08-18 has a NULL pointer dereference in idct2d8x8() at dct.c.
CVE-2019-16351
PUBLISHED: 2019-09-16
ffjpeg before 2019-08-18 has a NULL pointer dereference in huffman_decode_step() at huffman.c.
CVE-2019-16352
PUBLISHED: 2019-09-16
ffjpeg before 2019-08-21 has a heap-based buffer overflow in jfif_load() at jfif.c.
CVE-2016-10967
PUBLISHED: 2019-09-16
The real3d-flipbook-lite plugin 1.0 for WordPress has XSS via the wp-content/plugins/real3d-flipbook/includes/flipbooks.php bookId parameter.