Federated Identity

Date: September 22, 2010
Pages: 20
Price:
US$ 1,895.00
Publisher: Ovum
Report type: Brief Review
Delivery: E-mail Delivery (PDF)
ID: F11E3903519EN
Leaflet:

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Federated Identity
Introduction

For systems users who struggle to maintain a growing number of online identities, the availability of effective federated identity management cannot come soon enough. The headlines suggest that federation services support business efficiency, can deliver inter-company collaboration, and provide cost and efficiency savings by supplying the tools required to build connectivity between organizations.

Features and benefits
  • FIM technology can be used to create local, as well as global, interoperability between online businesses and trading partners.
  • SSO allows users to move between business systems of their own organization and beyond corporate boundaries to access third-party systems.
Highlights

The advantages that federation provides add process, operability, and control to the interactions between organizations and their users. Setup and usage needs to be based on business requirements, regulatory controls, and technology-driven agreements that allow companies to interoperate based on shared identity management.

Your key questions answered
  • There are a number of good examples of successful FIM deployments, especially in the financial services, healthcare, and government sectors.
  • What still needs to be addressed, if federation take-up rates are to improve, are cost justification issues and project complexity objections.
  • The success of any federation project relies on two things: a bond of trust between the parties involved, and technology controls to maintain trust.
SUMMARY

Catalyst
Ovum view
Key messages

ORGANIZATIONS CAN BENEFIT FROM USING A FEDERATED APPROACH TO IDENTITY MANAGEMENT

Federation offers advantages and convenience to enterprises and users
Sharing information resources is not a new concept
For federated identity management to be effective partners must share a sense of mutual trust
Security should not hold back the sharing of inter-company information flows

DRAWING UP CLEAR RULES OF ENGAGEMENT IS IMPORTANT

Trust is a vital component of successful federated relationships
FIM supports loosely coupled through to legally binding relationships
Federation brings B2B relationships up to date
  Governing entity approach – the collaborative model
  Founder approach – the consortium model
  Single founder approach – centralized model
Organizations also profit when consumers are able to reap the benefits of a federated SSO culture
Consumers are further disadvantaged
OpenID is addressing some of the early adopter issues for public and private identity usage

MAKING BETTER USE OF STANDARDS IS THE WAY FORWARD

Standards organizations are developing architectures and tools to encourage federated identity
OASIS and Liberty provided the lead in developing standards for federated Identity
  SAML is the driving force
  Liberty adds solidarity and consistency
  Liberty promoted ID-FF, ID-WSF, ID-WSF DST, and ID-SIS
The role of the Liberty Alliance has transitioned to Kantara and OASIS and other interest groups are co-operating

TAKE-UP HAS BEEN SLOWER THAN EXPECTED - HIGHER LEVELS OF B2B USAGE ARE REQUIRED

Federation is still in its infancy – take-up has been slow due to cost and complexity issues
Cost, complexity, and new working practices need to be addressed
Competing vendors and end-user organizations have taken a long time to agree on unifying standards and architecture
More work is needed to secure the future direction for IAM and FIM projects
Greater acceptance in B2B environments is the key requirement

RECOMMENDATIONS

Recommendations for enterprises
Recommendations for vendors

APPENDIX

Further reading
Methodology
Author
Ovum Consulting
Disclaimer
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