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
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 10/23/2020
7 Tips for Choosing Security Metrics That Matter
Ericka Chickowski, Contributing Writer,  10/19/2020
Russian Military Officers Unmasked, Indicted for High-Profile Cyberattack Campaigns
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  10/19/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
The COVID-19 pandemic turned the world -- and enterprise computing -- on end. Here's a look at how cybersecurity teams are retrenching their defense strategies, rebuilding their teams, and selecting new technologies to stop the oncoming rise of online attacks.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-24847
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-23
A Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) vulnerability is identified in FruityWifi through 2.4. Due to a lack of CSRF protection in page_config_adv.php, an unauthenticated attacker can lure the victim to visit his website by social engineering or another attack vector. Due to this issue, an unauthenticat...
CVE-2020-24848
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-23
FruityWifi through 2.4 has an unsafe Sudo configuration [(ALL : ALL) NOPASSWD: ALL]. This allows an attacker to perform a system-level (root) local privilege escalation, allowing an attacker to gain complete persistent access to the local system.
CVE-2020-5990
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-23
NVIDIA GeForce Experience, all versions prior to 3.20.5.70, contains a vulnerability in the ShadowPlay component which may lead to local privilege escalation, code execution, denial of service or information disclosure.
CVE-2020-25483
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-23
An arbitrary command execution vulnerability exists in the fopen() function of file writes of UCMS v1.4.8, where an attacker can gain access to the server.
CVE-2020-5977
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-23
NVIDIA GeForce Experience, all versions prior to 3.20.5.70, contains a vulnerability in NVIDIA Web Helper NodeJS Web Server in which an uncontrolled search path is used to load a node module, which may lead to code execution, denial of service, escalation of privileges, and information disclosure.