Welcome!

Open Source Authors: Ignacio M. Llorente, Carmen Gonzalez, Michael Meiner, Liz McMillan, Amy Lindberg

Related Topics: Security, XML, SOA & WOA, Open Source, AJAX & REA, Web 2.0

Security: Blog Feed Post

The Stages of Identity

How people relate to their Identity data on a number of different levels

Recently I've been thinking about what happens to an identity through its life cycle and how the identity data is treated during this process.  I think you will also see that the Enterprise itself has differing methods of dealing with it as well. I am considering this to be the beginning of a framework and nomenclature that one can use for expressing how people relate to their Identity data on a number of different levels. I think we can pretty much consider this to be a "work in progress," and I would greatly appreciate feedback.

So why do we need this, anyway? I have observed that organizations, consulting groups, and other industry experts relate to Identity based information. It seems that we all have our own set of assumptions about what is supposed to happen to this information based on our roles and responsibilities and that such a framework will help to organize our thinking a little better.

First off we have what I refer to as the Pre-Identity. During this time the data that will become the identity is in its most undefined form. Data in this stage might sit in a number of different silos or systems before moving on but is mostly used by Employment and HCM systems. Typically this data has some form in that it can identify and maybe even describe an individual in terms of the Enterprise, but it does not say anything about what it can actually do.  At this stage there are no entitlements that are associated with the user. The primary relationships held by this data are mostly legal ones as this data is used to connect with government and other systems to prove data on a legal / governmental level, such as the IRS, Department of Motor Vehicles, etc.

Once we have connected the data and accepted it into the Enterprise, the Identity information moves out of Pre-Identity systems into what I refer to as Dynamic Identity. This is the phase of Identity Management that most of us work with full time.  We will analyze this data, transform, populate (and de-populate) it in our Enterprise systems. This is also the time that we will grant, modify and revoke entitlements and apply that extra "dimension" that did not exist in the Pre-Identity stage. As the relationship between people, their Enterprise Identity and their organization(s) change, so will the Dynamic Identity. Systems and Processes will constantly be changing based on the need for access based on geography, roles, titles, responsibilities and other enterprise requirements.

Happening mostly at the same time as Dynamic Identity is that of InterrogativeIdentity. This stage of Identity encompasses some of the latest trends in the field of Identity Management. As there is an increasing need to clarify, document and ultimately define what an Identity has access to and ensure that the Identity is compliant with internal enterprise rules (governance) and governmental rules (compliance) it is essential that there is a defined set of processes that enable this to occur. There are now several sets of guidance on these practices established by governments and standards bodies and a growing set of application vendors to help navigate their processes.

As another dimension of Interrogative Identity, there is the constant need by the Enterprise to understand its own data. Access to data through Enterprise Systems and linking the elements of Pre-, Dynamic and even Interrogative Identities is increasingly being managed by Business Intelligence (BI) systems.  Our understanding of how the Identity and Enterprise are connected is being enhanced as BI is extended into Identity models. This trend will only continue to grow; however its management through will need to be maintained and monitored by Dynamic and Interrogative systems to ensure that Identity and Access data is properly protected.

Finally, we must define what happens when an Identity is no longer associated with the Enterprise. The Post Identity phase is one that is often overlooked, and is the cause of many exploits and Identity Management related crises. Ensuring that there are ways to properly separate the user from the Enterprise systems while maintaining their existence for ongoing Interrogative Identity practices is required properly complete Dynamic Identity operations.

Throughout this article I have made references to "the Identity" without going into much detail.  This is done this on purpose so that there are no preconceptions as to what can be managed by this model. Any type of Enterprise object could be managed in this framework, whether it is people, groups, roles, privileges or other objects such as systems, phones and other hardware, and the relationships therein.

I have also been somewhat vague about what constitutes the Enterprise.  For far too long, the field of Identity Management has been confined to the Corporate Enterprise. However with ongoing initiatives to "Cloud" and "Service" based systems, there is a greater need to manage and monitor these relationships as one would in a Corporation or Government system. Our increasing reliance on systems such as Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Yahoo!, etc. to store our data and provide next generation service such as Federated access makes this all the more essential.

This does not mean that non-cloud methods and repositories do not benefit from this type of organization. These relationships are just as important when considering ERP, LDAP and other "classic" Enterprise systems as I have referenced earlier in this article.  The organization of this data is still among the leading determinants in the choice of both ERP and Identity Management systems. It is my hope that in defining and expanding this framework in terms of Pre-, Dynamic, Interrogative and Post Identity stages (PDIP) that we can find a way to address all types of Identities in all possible systems.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Matthew Pollicove

Matt Pollicove is an Identity Management architect, engineer, trainer, project manager, author and blogger with experience in user account provisioning, data synchronization, virtual directory and password management solutions. As a MaXware Technical Consultant and later as a System Engineer, he worked extensively with MaXware (now SAP) software products in large customer environments. In the past Matt has worked with several leading national and international consulting firms and is currently a Sr. Principal Consultant for Commercium Technologies. He is currently the Practice Lead for SAP NetWeaver Identity Management and SailPoint IIQ.

@ThingsExpo Stories
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) i...
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics is e...
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it's a mix of architectural styles ...
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies, will examine why IT must finally fulfill its role in support of its SBUs or face a new round of...
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water, are pursuing SmartGrid initiatives that represent one of the more mature examples of SAE. We have s...
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, described an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device experiences grounded in people's real needs and desires.
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash, will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone and voice services ...
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example t...
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. According to a recent IDG Research Services Survey this rate of traffic will only grow. What's driving t...
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps, abiding by privacy concerns and making the concept a reality. These challenges can't be addressed w...
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, described how to revolutioniz...
Bit6 today issued a challenge to the technology community implementing Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC). To leap beyond WebRTC’s significant limitations and fully leverage its underlying value to accelerate innovation, application developers need to consider the entire communications ecosystem.
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from hardware to software, or as we like to say, it’s an Internet of many different things. The difference ...
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.
"There is a natural synchronization between the business models, the IoT is there to support ,” explained Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect of Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 15th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...