Solving The Network Identity Management Crisis

Computers, like life itself, are evolving into a higher form of organism. Driven to increasingly complex forms of networking and connecting to ever larger and more elaborate systems, they are becoming smarter, faster, more independent and more powerful. In fact, according to experts by 2035, our planet will be home to approximately 65 billion IP adresses. And we’re not just talking PC to PC, or smartphone to smartphone, it’s everything in between, including servers and API that connect people and things, consumers and enterprise.

Once networked, computers never go back – they are driven to improve intelligence, efficacy and productivity.

In Search Of Identity

With the number of networks on the rise, one of the biggest problems it introduces is how to secure each domain, while simultaneously enabling transactions between the domains.

Today, there is a lot of friction in how we secure the known and authorised transactions from the unknown and unauthorised transactions that span multiple domains.

Networks hate friction – in fact, the problem manifests as an identity crisis of sorts. For lack of a more universal notion of identity that spans the Internet, we have a fragmented sense of identity which needs to be instantiated every time we hit a new website in the form of redundant logins.

Why can’t a user’s ‘identity’ simply follow a transaction seamlessly and transparently as they move from website to website? Why is it we can’t simply authenticate once to our mobile phone and with technologies such as near-field communication and advanced authentication, navigate both our physical and virtual worlds with both security and convenience?

This identity crisis poses a number of challenges:

  • How can people enjoy new devices and services without creating a million new user accounts?
  • How can an enterprise secure itself when its borders have dissolved and its users are on personal devices, accessing company data through BT’s network that is hosted by SaaS providers?
  • How can we provide a more contextually aware service layer that respects privacy, but enables appropriate access, based upon identity?
  • How can we eliminate passwords, the weak link of network security?
  • How can we personalise our experiences with vendors without every experience being a one-off?

Why isn’t identity recognised as the keystone to so many of these challenges? As it turns out, realising the potential of many of the disruptions we are experiencing both as consumers and as enterprises are, in some manner, dependent upon a better identity system – one that defines who can do what, when and where, irrespective of device, network or application.

The Identity-Aware Network

Just think of the implications of an identity-aware network. The network recognises you, re-orients itself to your preferences, and secures you as you move seamlessly between borders. How will it change the way you do business with your customers, when you can actually know and engage them, for the right reasons, at the right time, in the right channel, with their permission, in real-time? How can you better engage your channel and your partners if you’re able to integrate critical applications and know they are secure, without you maintaining thousands of identities that aren’t yours?

Identity is the way forward, the great enabler that fuses convenience and security.

Along the way, we’ll fix the password problem and offer some sanity to a world that’s become completely virtualised, with users, apps and data living everywhere, yet connected and secured at the same time.

Ping Identity at IDM

Andrew Hindle, director, Ping Identity, will give insight into ‘Identity at Scale’ at the Identity Management Conference on the 19th June at the Russell Hotel in London.

As the numbers and types of applications, devices and users grow enterprise businesses face scalability challenges in dealing with Identity and Access Management (IAM) and federated Single Sign On (SSO) across web, mobile, enterprise and cloud environments.

The presentation analyses major issues that impact IAM and SSO scalability and explores possible approaches to address these issues.
Topics include:

– trends and drivers for next generation identity and access management
– a bird’s eye view on new standards for IAM across web and mobile
– approaches for managing federated SSO on an Internet scale

By Andre Durand (@andredurand), CEO of identity security provider Ping Identity
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