Self-service can simplify identity management. Just be sure to bake security into your tools (WATCH)

DENVER — Looking to regulate digital identities on an enterprise level while limiting the strain that process places on its IT or security department, General Electric Corporation has opted for a centralized self-service identity management process for its employees, third-party partners and contractors and consumers. According to Randy Harris, director of product, identity, at GE, the business case for self-service has long had great upside in terms of efficiency, automation and cost of operations, with no significant added risk, so long as security is folded into the system as its developed.

"Any self-service transaction needs to be built with security first," said Harris in an interview with SC Media following his presentation on self-service identity at the Identiverse Conference in Denver. "You build control points into each one of the [tools] and you also scale those control points on the risk and the access that the the identity is going to have. And we have a layered defense."

Click here for more SC Media coverage from the Identiverse Conference.

As a multinational conglomerate with millions of identities in its system, GE understands that self-service IAM simplifies what could otherwise be a highly complex task.

"Sometimes vetting an employee can take up to 30 days. If you're doing self-service you can automate a lot of that vetting," said Harris. "Or if you're working with a distributor, how do you know that that's the actual distributor that's registering through the system? You can automate a lot of those checks and in the background, come back and that that much more quickly onboard them. And the savings of that can be enormous ... in opportunity cost, user happiness ... and cost out of the system."

To hear more about GE's foray into self-service identity management, including the technology's key benefits and also how the corporation determines what degree of self-service each identity tool to allow a particular category of users, watch the embedded video.

Bradley Barth

As director of multimedia content strategy at CyberRisk Alliance, Bradley Barth develops content for online conferences, webcasts, podcasts video/multimedia projects — often serving as moderator or host. For nearly six years, he wrote and reported for SC Media as deputy editor and, before that, senior reporter. He was previously a program executive with the tech-focused PR firm Voxus. Past journalistic experience includes stints as business editor at Executive Technology, a staff writer at New York Sportscene and a freelance journalist covering travel and entertainment. In his spare time, Bradley also writes screenplays.

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