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From IoT to Blockchain, the Pace of Digital Evolution Is Accelerating

Posted by Dave Malcolm on 8/25/16 11:14 AM

Phil Windley is an Enterprise Architect in the Office of the CIO at Brigham Young University. He is also the co-founder and organizer of the Internet Identity Workshop (IIW), serves as an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at BYU, writes the popular Technometria blog, and is the author of the books “The Live Web” (Course Technology, 2011) and “Digital Identity” (O'Reilly Media, 2005).

UnboundID: What were the hot areas of discussion at the latest IIW event?

Windley: Generally, it’s a mix of topics, those that have been part of IIW for a long time, like OAuth and multi-factor authentication. We also had a lot of discussions on block chain technology, the distributed decentralized ledger system for Bitcoin. The key idea of block chain is that it allows you to create an identity system that is not controlled by any single entity. Today, if I log into a website and I have the option of using Google or Facebook credentials to do that, it’s very convenient. It saves people a lot of headaches and also allows for some security wins because Google and Facebook put a lot of effort into building identity systems. Yet the identity is still controlled by those big companies. Not everyone likes that idea. They might be worried about privacy or maybe they don’t have an account at one of those sites and they don’t want to create one. Distributed ledger technology creates a system where everyone can join. It’s not controlled by a single entity, but rather by code written by a group of people. It completely decentralizes the identity management system.

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Topics: Internet of Things (IoT), Cloud Computing, Expert Interviews

Identity Management Is Changing and Businesses Are Adapting

Posted by Caroline Castrillon on 2/26/16 12:33 PM

Nick Edwards is Senior Enterprise Architect with Identity Solutions, an IT consultancy in Melbourne, Australia. He has more than 25 years of experience in the IT industry, predominantly in the telecommunications, banking, automotive, transportation and education sectors.

UnboundID: What are your clients’ greatest challenges right now in identity management from both a technological and strategic viewpoint?

Edwards: In the past, clients were primarily working with just a few large packaged software applications in a Windows server environment. It was common to use the Windows Active Directory platform to store identity information. Now, many companies are adopting cloud applications and infrastructure. This means you’ve got multiple applications residing on premise, multiple applications in the cloud, and suddenly users are having to login to applications and services using a dozen different credentials. At the same time, companies are now storing a lot of data on consumers and partners and other outsiders. So the main challenge is to provide the right access to the right people. The key pain points are usability, productivity and not slowing people down at work. These challenges and goals haven’t changed too much over the years but the complexity of the IT environment with more infrastructure environments and applications has made all this very challenging. Finally of course there is security, which is much more difficult today with BYOD and mobility.

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Topics: Cloud Computing, Expert Interviews

Choosing a Directory Service for the Cloud

Posted by Neil Wilson on 5/22/13 4:00 AM

The cloud is a pretty hot topic right now in the tech world, and for good reason. Running applications in the cloud allows a company to devote more resources to core business and fewer to running data centers with all of their hardware and power and cooling and networking headaches. It's easier to be geographically distributed, and you can often get additional systems or storage at the drop of a hat.

But of course, there are also downsides. You may not have a lot of control over the environment (e.g., you may not have full root access, you're often required to run in a virtualized environment, and you may not have many options when it comes to the number of CPUs, amount of memory, or I/O performance). In some environments, you may still need to manage the underlying OS yourself (e.g., installing the image and keeping it up to date). And of course all of your usage is monitored so that the provider can charge you for it.

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Topics: Data Management, Legacy IAM Modernization, Cloud Computing

Is SCIM Inconceivable?

Posted by Neil Wilson on 6/12/12 9:22 AM

At UnboundID we love a good movie analogy. And what better than The Princess Bride? With that in mind, we'd like to ask: Is SCIM inconceivable? Well, SCIM no longer means what you think it means. Migrating a consortium-developed specification to any standards body is an enormous effort. Decisions that were thought long put to rest are revisited, new features are added and existing specifications are (painfully) broken. Interestingly, the most contentious topic has not been the specification content – it’s been the name. It appears some don't care for the term "simple" and they don't like fluffy white clouds. Who knew?

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Topics: Legacy IAM Modernization, Cloud Computing

SCIM Rising- New Capabilities and a Move to IETF

Posted by Neil Wilson on 3/21/12 3:55 AM

Here at UnboundID, we have just released SCIM 1.1. While a ‘.1’ release normally sounds minor, in this case there’s a hidden gem: native bi-directional synchronization support for SCIM in our Synchronization Server. To provide perspective, the primary driver for creating the SCIM standard is to enable organizations to universally provision on-premise user identity to SaaS providers.

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Topics: Legacy IAM Modernization, Cloud Computing

UnboundID Ships SCIM Enabled Products

Posted by Neil Wilson on 1/10/12 3:00 AM

A few weeks ago the Simple Cloud Identity Management (SCIM) working group approved the 1.0 specification suite. Today we at UnboundID announced the release of the first end-to-end product based on the standard. In addition to the product release, we’ve also contributed a comprehensive, open source, client SDK and server reference implementation that is available now.

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Topics: Legacy IAM Modernization, Cloud Computing

Myth Busters – Simple Cloud Identity Management Episode

Posted by Neil Wilson on 11/16/11 3:55 AM

Simple Cloud Identity Management (SCIM) as a concept began at the 2010 Cloud Identity Summit, but truly came into being at IIW #12 (May 2011). Since then the SCIM working group has cranked out no less than 4 work-in-progress specifications, logged hours upon hours of teleconferences, completed weeks of spec editing and months of coding. The result? A core schema agreed upon by all, a REST API proven to be implementable across a variety of services and backends, and a set of specifications nearing completion. From my perspective, the spec is already enormously successful given the complexity of the problem and difficulties in developing a specification across a variety of stakeholders. With that said, the specifications and working group have encountered a number of myths that I thought could use some debunking, Myth Busters-style.

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Topics: Cloud Computing

Identity Cloud: A New Term For An Old Concept

Posted by Neil Wilson on 11/3/11 4:52 AM

Given the increase in the cloud gobbledygook that we are faced with in the high tech world today, it’s with some apprehension that I add another cloud term to the pile – Identity Cloud. It’s not the first time that the terms identity and cloud have been married together. Most often they are seen together in the reverse order (Cloud Identity), but I’ll explain below how this is a bit different. Let me first say that what I am about to describe is nothing new. In fact, the same can arguably be said about the entire cloud phenomenon.

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Topics: Cloud Computing

UnboundID To Release SCIM Extensions for Core Products

Posted by Neil Wilson on 10/19/11 4:30 AM

Back in July we lifted the covers on a little project we’ve been working on called SCIM. For those that might need a refresher, SCIM stands for Simple Cloud Identity Management, and it is a specification that provides a set of operations and standard data model for moving identities to and from the cloud. In July we announced the SDK , and now it is time to take it a step further. Today at the Internet Identity Workshop (IIW) we announced our intention to bring to market SCIM extensions for all of our core products in Q4.

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Topics: Legacy IAM Modernization, Cloud Computing

Making the Most of Your Shiny New Analytics Cloud

Posted by Neil Wilson on 9/14/11 5:25 AM

You know that data is the key
Data is the key to driving a business and providing the meaningful guidance to make that business successful. Customer retention, innovation, and operational efficiency can all be improved with the appropriate data. The "big data" movement has focused mainly on mining information and reporting that data to decision makers so they can make the best possible choices for the business. You may have adopted this type of analytics methodology or may be in the process of doing so. If so, congratulations!

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Topics: Legacy IAM Modernization, Cloud Computing