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
Mobile Banking Malware Up 50% in First Half of 2019
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  1/17/2020
Exploits Released for As-Yet Unpatched Critical Citrix Flaw
Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer,  1/13/2020
Microsoft to Officially End Support for Windows 7, Server 2008
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  1/13/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
Current Issue
The Year in Security: 2019
This Tech Digest provides a wrap up and overview of the year's top cybersecurity news stories. It was a year of new twists on old threats, with fears of another WannaCry-type worm and of a possible botnet army of Wi-Fi routers. But 2019 also underscored the risk of firmware and trusted security tools harboring dangerous holes that cybercriminals and nation-state hackers could readily abuse. Read more.
Flash Poll
[Just Released] How Enterprises are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
[Just Released] How Enterprises are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
Organizations have invested in a sweeping array of security technologies to address challenges associated with the growing number of cybersecurity attacks. However, the complexity involved in managing these technologies is emerging as a major problem. Read this report to find out what your peers biggest security challenges are and the technologies they are using to address them.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-7227
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-18
Westermo MRD-315 1.7.3 and 1.7.4 devices have an information disclosure vulnerability that allows an authenticated remote attacker to retrieve the source code of different functions of the web application via requests that lack certain mandatory parameters. This affects ifaces-diag.asp, system.asp, ...
CVE-2019-15625
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-18
A memory usage vulnerability exists in Trend Micro Password Manager 3.8 that could allow an attacker with access and permissions to the victim's memory processes to extract sensitive information.
CVE-2019-19696
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-18
A RootCA vulnerability found in Trend Micro Password Manager for Windows and macOS exists where the localhost.key of RootCA.crt might be improperly accessed by an unauthorized party and could be used to create malicious self-signed SSL certificates, allowing an attacker to misdirect a user to phishi...
CVE-2019-19697
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-18
An arbitrary code execution vulnerability exists in the Trend Micro Security 2019 (v15) consumer family of products which could allow an attacker to gain elevated privileges and tamper with protected services by disabling or otherwise preventing them to start. An attacker must already have administr...
CVE-2019-20357
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-18
A Persistent Arbitrary Code Execution vulnerability exists in the Trend Micro Security 2020 (v160 and 2019 (v15) consumer familiy of products which could potentially allow an attacker the ability to create a malicious program to escalate privileges and attain persistence on a vulnerable system.