Thursday Nov 17, 2005

Behavior-based Identity Management

I was in Australia recently and I bought a necklace. The next morning I was asleep in my hotel room and my cell phone rang (it was early Australia time). My husband was calling because Visa had called him with a “very suspicious transaction” and he wanted to let me know and see if I knew anything about it. At first, I thought that was just really funny – I hadn’t even had time to break the news to him before Visa got to him (fortunately, he’s a great guy and supports my forays into the unnecessary). Then I started thinking about how this type of activity could be applied to identity management. We need to set our sights on moving from a era in which we have views of identity that are historical and/or current-state focused, i.e., “who-has-access-to-what” and “who-did-access-what”, to an era where we make more sophisticated decisions in real time about who-IS-doing what and if that appropriate or “normal.”

We have a lot to learn in cross-enterprise identity management from the behavioral modeling technologies with which the credit card companies are so advanced. This is where we’re headed – to real-time behavioral decision making on identity-based transactions. So if something is happening on the network that is out of pattern for an identity’s usual or expected behaviors – we can automate the process for session close, notification, instant message, etc. based on the value of the transaction in order to make better decisions and keep things safe. Going back to an earlier posting – this will let us accelerate without fear (and for those among us who love to shop, purchase without question).

Thursday Nov 10, 2005

Fasten your seatbelts...

I just published an article featured in the Identity Insights newsletter on another one of my favorite car-related analogies where I compare seatbelt laws to compliance demands. I think you'll enjoy (and perhaps even relate) to it.

Thursday Nov 03, 2005

Accelerate Without Fear

Lately I've been traveling around the globe talking about how businesses can accelerate without fear. Moving past the fear, both in business and in our personal lives, is what lets us move on to explore new opportunities and grow. It’s a topic I care about as it’s the only way we will thrive – as enterprises and as individuals. Today, I'm going to stay focused on businesses and how they can get beyond the fear that is driving us today to grow to new heights, but from time to time, I’ll write about this topic from a personal point of view as well.

I heard a song this morning with the line: "The weight of our fears are the shackles that keep us enslaved." That’s a heavy line, but appropriate given the topic. So, what are the fears that are keeping businesses enslaved today and how do we move past them? Well, it's security, it's privacy, and it's compliance (not necessarily in this order). My sense is that in the battle between fear and opportunity - fear is winning. These business concerns have been top of mind for most everyone the last few years and have taken precedence over growth.

So let me ask you this (I love to ask this question) – why do cars have brakes? It’s not to stop, it’s so they can go fast. A race car has more powerful brakes than a Buick. All of us want our companies running in the race car category. I look at identity management as the brakes. As our networks are evolving into more complex and more interesting arrays of people doing business together in new ways (which they are), knowing WHO you are letting in is critical. WHO = identity. We have reached an era where everyone is an insider on our networks and the goal with insiders is to let them in, right? Right. But only so far. When I have a party at my house, there are certain doors that remain closed except to my closest friends from whom nothing is off limits. Other people are friends but I don’t want them in my closet. Our networks are that way - with some insiders getting into our most critical information (like employees who work in finance) and some insiders are welcome in only certain parts of the network (like an outsourcer seeing only the part of the network appropriate for their role).

That’s how we operate today and it’s only going to grow. If we are to pursue the growth opportunities, then we need the security that identity provides.

The question is, are we ready? Do we have the controls in place that act as the brakes on the car? Of course, here's where I have to unabashedly plug the very technology I live to develop, market and deploy. I argue that we can get enterprises prepared and that identity management can help. Just as companies are using identity management to address their fears and reduce their risk, they can also use it to relinquish those fears and embrace new opportunities for growth.

An identity infrastructure gives you the control of and visibility into who you are doing business with on your network by letting the right people in and keeping the wrong people out and auditing everything. It also helps to accelerate growth by establishing trusted relationships with partners, customers and employees - relationships that provide better service, more offerings, faster.

Success in this era in which we live demands both open access and secure control, at the same time it requires protection against unnecessary risk. Knowledge and control of identity strikes this balance perfectly.

If you are no longer afraid, you're free to do so much more. To help you get there, my mission with this blog is to inspire and challenge you to shift your views to new ways of thinking and seeing the world around you so you (and your company) can freely participate and thrive.

Hello Blogosphere!

Welcome and thanks for visiting! Yes, the day is finally here...I’ve got my very own blog. I have begun to realize just how powerful blogs can be at sharing ideas and that they are an excellent method of facilitating discussions with customers, industry followers and employees around the world (hey I'm nothing if not slow...). So, I decided I simply could not sit this out, I have too much to say about the power of the identity network. It’s time for me to jump in with both feet, so here I am.

To start, I’d like to share a bit on why I’m getting into the blogosphere and what you can expect from me in this blog. First, I want to facilitate discussions on identity management that are more focused on today's customer issues. Second, I want to help educate the world about the technology and its power to change the way we do business (for the better). Don't get me wrong, I am as mercenary as the next vendor and care about having a successful business for Sun. I just recognize that this is a two-way street between the vendors and the people we serve - so let's talk.

And, I know that all work and no play makes for a very dull blog, so I’ll definitely take time to comment and offer insights on things outside of the identity bubble. I’ll be sharing some ideas I have on how we can run businesses better (and, yes, I might even have suggestions for Jonathan Schwartz and John Loiacono about how we can run software business more effectively here at Sun), how we can be inspirational leaders and build high-performing teams.

Please join me as I embark on my journey into the blogosphere! My hope is that this blog can help us all to get real, get focused, get to work and start realizing some tangible successes with true results. Stay tuned.

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