Phil Becker's State of Digital Identity


Some thoughts on identity from Phil Becker. Identity transforms security from "keep out unauthorized" to "allow access by authorized." Digital identity is the organizing construct for a distributed, service oriented computing that allows it to dynamically adjust to the needs of each user while simultaneously following the policies of various authorities who control and manage the data and applications being used, ad enabling visibility into what occurs.

Identity today:

  • Identity deployments now succeed far more often than they fail
  • Identity virtualization and federation are prover technologies with growing deployment base
  • Authentication has evolved significantly in response to use experience requirements.
  • Regaining lost visibility for compliance is a continuing driver as is compliance automation.
  • Self service delegation has become a big driver.

The coming third wave: truly networked management by identity. The drivers:

  • The nature of networking drives promiscuous inconnectivity and use empowerment (self-service)
  • Scale revealing the need to modularize solutions and have interoperability standards
  • The nee to interconnect (and network identity systems becomes undeniable.

Identity's natural state is decentralized, since it has its origins in many disparate places. The concept that we can centralize identity data on a large scale has been tried and found wanting. The task is to manage and leverage identity while respecting it's decentralized nature.

The future:

  • Greatly increased networking between identity management domains
  • The emergence of compelling identity based user experience driven applications