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Federated Identity Management


Identity management and SSO initiatives are not only beloved by end users afflicted with password fatigue, they're just the ticket to help tighten security and aid in compliance by maintaining identity throughout a transaction flow. Recent advances in federation--the agreements, standards and technologies that render identity and entitlements portable--should make extending authentication across multiple domains less of a hard trek. But before you sign on, realize that essential security standards are maturing at an uneven rate, particularly in the Web Services arena.

In addition, consider how realistic it is to extend SSO (single sign-on) across all your organization's application types, given that browser-based apps continue to grow in popularity and the Web services-based SOA has become the strategic application-delivery model of choice. Adopting any new strategy when requisite standards are incomplete, current standards aren't universally accepted, and legacy applications still must be accommodated makes for a devilishly complex infrastructure.

Many organizations apparently are willing to risk it.

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