Welcome!

Cloud Security Authors: Elizabeth White, Maria C. Horton, Liz McMillan, Ravi Rajamiyer, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: Cloud Security, Industrial IoT, Microservices Expo, Open Source Cloud, Machine Learning , Agile Computing

Cloud Security: Blog Feed Post

The Stages of Identity

How people relate to their Identity data on a number of different levels

Recently I've been thinking about what happens to an identity through its life cycle and how the identity data is treated during this process.  I think you will also see that the Enterprise itself has differing methods of dealing with it as well. I am considering this to be the beginning of a framework and nomenclature that one can use for expressing how people relate to their Identity data on a number of different levels. I think we can pretty much consider this to be a "work in progress," and I would greatly appreciate feedback.

So why do we need this, anyway? I have observed that organizations, consulting groups, and other industry experts relate to Identity based information. It seems that we all have our own set of assumptions about what is supposed to happen to this information based on our roles and responsibilities and that such a framework will help to organize our thinking a little better.

First off we have what I refer to as the Pre-Identity. During this time the data that will become the identity is in its most undefined form. Data in this stage might sit in a number of different silos or systems before moving on but is mostly used by Employment and HCM systems. Typically this data has some form in that it can identify and maybe even describe an individual in terms of the Enterprise, but it does not say anything about what it can actually do.  At this stage there are no entitlements that are associated with the user. The primary relationships held by this data are mostly legal ones as this data is used to connect with government and other systems to prove data on a legal / governmental level, such as the IRS, Department of Motor Vehicles, etc.

Once we have connected the data and accepted it into the Enterprise, the Identity information moves out of Pre-Identity systems into what I refer to as Dynamic Identity. This is the phase of Identity Management that most of us work with full time.  We will analyze this data, transform, populate (and de-populate) it in our Enterprise systems. This is also the time that we will grant, modify and revoke entitlements and apply that extra "dimension" that did not exist in the Pre-Identity stage. As the relationship between people, their Enterprise Identity and their organization(s) change, so will the Dynamic Identity. Systems and Processes will constantly be changing based on the need for access based on geography, roles, titles, responsibilities and other enterprise requirements.

Happening mostly at the same time as Dynamic Identity is that of InterrogativeIdentity. This stage of Identity encompasses some of the latest trends in the field of Identity Management. As there is an increasing need to clarify, document and ultimately define what an Identity has access to and ensure that the Identity is compliant with internal enterprise rules (governance) and governmental rules (compliance) it is essential that there is a defined set of processes that enable this to occur. There are now several sets of guidance on these practices established by governments and standards bodies and a growing set of application vendors to help navigate their processes.

As another dimension of Interrogative Identity, there is the constant need by the Enterprise to understand its own data. Access to data through Enterprise Systems and linking the elements of Pre-, Dynamic and even Interrogative Identities is increasingly being managed by Business Intelligence (BI) systems.  Our understanding of how the Identity and Enterprise are connected is being enhanced as BI is extended into Identity models. This trend will only continue to grow; however its management through will need to be maintained and monitored by Dynamic and Interrogative systems to ensure that Identity and Access data is properly protected.

Finally, we must define what happens when an Identity is no longer associated with the Enterprise. The Post Identity phase is one that is often overlooked, and is the cause of many exploits and Identity Management related crises. Ensuring that there are ways to properly separate the user from the Enterprise systems while maintaining their existence for ongoing Interrogative Identity practices is required properly complete Dynamic Identity operations.

Throughout this article I have made references to "the Identity" without going into much detail.  This is done this on purpose so that there are no preconceptions as to what can be managed by this model. Any type of Enterprise object could be managed in this framework, whether it is people, groups, roles, privileges or other objects such as systems, phones and other hardware, and the relationships therein.

I have also been somewhat vague about what constitutes the Enterprise.  For far too long, the field of Identity Management has been confined to the Corporate Enterprise. However with ongoing initiatives to "Cloud" and "Service" based systems, there is a greater need to manage and monitor these relationships as one would in a Corporation or Government system. Our increasing reliance on systems such as Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Yahoo!, etc. to store our data and provide next generation service such as Federated access makes this all the more essential.

This does not mean that non-cloud methods and repositories do not benefit from this type of organization. These relationships are just as important when considering ERP, LDAP and other "classic" Enterprise systems as I have referenced earlier in this article.  The organization of this data is still among the leading determinants in the choice of both ERP and Identity Management systems. It is my hope that in defining and expanding this framework in terms of Pre-, Dynamic, Interrogative and Post Identity stages (PDIP) that we can find a way to address all types of Identities in all possible systems.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Matthew Pollicove

Matt Pollicove is an Identity Management architect, engineer, trainer, project manager, author and blogger with experience in user account provisioning, data synchronization, virtual directory and password management solutions. As a MaXware Technical Consultant and later as a System Engineer, he worked extensively with MaXware (now SAP) software products in large customer environments. In the past Matt has worked with several leading national and international consulting firms and is currently a Sr. Principal Consultant for Commercium Technologies. He is currently the Practice Lead for SAP NetWeaver Identity Management and SailPoint IIQ.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
New competitors, disruptive technologies, and growing expectations are pushing every business to both adopt and deliver new digital services. This ‘Digital Transformation’ demands rapid delivery and continuous iteration of new competitive services via multiple channels, which in turn demands new service delivery techniques – including DevOps. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, panelists examined how DevOps helps to meet the de...
According to Forrester Research, every business will become either a digital predator or digital prey by 2020. To avoid demise, organizations must rapidly create new sources of value in their end-to-end customer experiences. True digital predators also must break down information and process silos and extend digital transformation initiatives to empower employees with the digital resources needed to win, serve, and retain customers.
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, will provide an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life ...
While the focus and objectives of IoT initiatives are many and diverse, they all share a few common attributes, and one of those is the network. Commonly, that network includes the Internet, over which there isn't any real control for performance and availability. Or is there? The current state of the art for Big Data analytics, as applied to network telemetry, offers new opportunities for improving and assuring operational integrity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jim Frey, Vice President of S...
Rodrigo Coutinho is part of OutSystems' founders' team and currently the Head of Product Design. He provides a cross-functional role where he supports Product Management in defining the positioning and direction of the Agile Platform, while at the same time promoting model-based development and new techniques to deliver applications in the cloud.
@CloudEXPO and @ExpoDX, two of the most influential technology events in the world, have hosted hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors since our launch 10 years ago. @CloudEXPO and @ExpoDX New York and Silicon Valley provide a full year of face-to-face marketing opportunities for your company. Each sponsorship and exhibit package comes with pre and post-show marketing programs. By sponsoring and exhibiting in New York and Silicon Valley, you reach a full complement of decision makers and buyers in ...
There are many examples of disruption in consumer space – Uber disrupting the cab industry, Airbnb disrupting the hospitality industry and so on; but have you wondered who is disrupting support and operations? AISERA helps make businesses and customers successful by offering consumer-like user experience for support and operations. We have built the world’s first AI-driven IT / HR / Cloud / Customer Support and Operations solution.
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
LogRocket helps product teams develop better experiences for users by recording videos of user sessions with logs and network data. It identifies UX problems and reveals the root cause of every bug. LogRocket presents impactful errors on a website, and how to reproduce it. With LogRocket, users can replay problems.
Rafay enables developers to automate the distribution, operations, cross-region scaling and lifecycle management of containerized microservices across public and private clouds, and service provider networks. Rafay's platform is built around foundational elements that together deliver an optimal abstraction layer across disparate infrastructure, making it easy for developers to scale and operate applications across any number of locations or regions. Consumed as a service, Rafay's platform elimi...