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 8/10/2020
Researcher Finds New Office Macro Attacks for MacOS
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  8/7/2020
Exploiting Google Cloud Platform With Ease
Dark Reading Staff 8/6/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal, a Dark Reading Perspective
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
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
This special report takes a look at how enterprises are using threat intelligence, as well as emerging best practices for integrating threat intel into security operations and incident response. Download it today!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-8720
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-13
Buffer overflow in a subsystem for some Intel(R) Server Boards, Server Systems and Compute Modules before version 1.59 may allow a privileged user to potentially enable denial of service via local access.
CVE-2020-12300
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-13
Uninitialized pointer in BIOS firmware for Intel(R) Server Board Families S2600CW, S2600KP, S2600TP, and S2600WT may allow a privileged user to potentially enable escalation of privilege via local access.
CVE-2020-12301
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-13
Improper initialization in BIOS firmware for Intel(R) Server Board Families S2600ST, S2600BP and S2600WF may allow a privileged user to potentially enable escalation of privilege via local access.
CVE-2020-7307
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-13
Unprotected Storage of Credentials vulnerability in McAfee Data Loss Prevention (DLP) for Mac prior to 11.5.2 allows local users to gain access to the RiskDB username and password via unprotected log files containing plain text credentials.
CVE-2020-8679
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-13
Out-of-bounds write in Kernel Mode Driver for some Intel(R) Graphics Drivers before version 26.20.100.7755 may allow an authenticated user to potentially enable denial of service via local access.