Authentication remains on-premise, but users need to be empowered

News by Dan Raywood

Identity should be within the hands of the user and not the company.

Identity should be within the hands of the user and not the company.

Speaking at the launch of CA Technologies'  ‘Digital identities and the open business' report, the company's director of security solutions Paul Ferron said that identity and access management (IAM) is now deployed as on and off premise models, as well as a hybrid models.

He said: “We are seeing a hybrid model to help external people and to extend to partners as if it changes, you can take back the credentials so that they do not have access anymore. Using core libraries, it is easier to use cloud-based provisioning to hook into Office365 and try to make it as easy as possible.”

However it would be beneficial to users for them to be able to use their tokens and use them for other applications, with those using open standards. Ferron said: “What we see with customers is that they are not keen on managing many identities, but use some sort of identifier or other means of security.”

Bob Tarzey, analyst at Quocirca who compiled the report, said that this is the case of ‘bring your own identity', where users want to be empowered. He said: “When you start a job, you bring your own passport to identify yourself and that belongs to you – so why can you not do this with your own electronic ID?

“The thing is, you assume everyone uses the same technology and it may be that banks may become providers of identity for individuals. In these circumstances, there needs to be one source of authentication.”

Ferron said that there is the opportunity to have many identities online, but depending on what you are trying to access, you want to be sure that you use the right one. Tarzey also said that it is in the interest of social networks to become a source of identity as there is a level of understanding of who you are.

Ferron said: “Banks and token providers are keen on becoming identity providers as when you walk into a retailer with your bank's ID, why do you need to go into another pay stream as I have identified myself?

“I see a shift in password management systems, where you control which identity you use and what you are allowed to have.”

CA Technologies' survey of 337 senior business and IT professionals found that when it came to the deployment of IAM, 46 per cent was on-premise, 13 per cent was on-demand and 16 per cent used a hybrid deployment. Tarzey said that IAM has ‘security at the core' with 48 per cent of UK businesses recognising the benefits of it.

“There is so much more to IAM than just improved security: it offers businesses an open-ended business opportunity and a potentially very large return on investment, he said.

“Digital identities enable organisations to understand who their users are, effectively control their interactions with the outside world, and maximise staff and organisational potential.”

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