Compliance Management, Critical Infrastructure Security, Privacy, Security Strategy, Plan, Budget

Credential management: Passlogix

Here is another vendor that we see a lot of in our labs. Passlogix knows who it is and concentrates on doing what it does as well as it can be done. And what they do is credential management. That sounds pretty straight­forward on the surface, but it turns out that credential management is a sometimes ill-defined market. By staying very close to customers, this innovator stays on top of customer needs. Its product offerings reflect that commitment.

Passlogix sees the credential management space as consisting of three specific areas: identity management and provisioning, strong authentication, and single sign-on. It also sees the lines blurring among them.

This company has no rose-colored glasses when it comes to challenges, though. My interviewee told me that he thought one of their – and the market space's – biggest challenges was having the time and resources to innovate. There are, he said, a lot of opportunities, but customer needs are so great that there is no time. That recognition, in my view, is pretty innovative in itself.

What is so time-consuming, then, that this innovator has trouble finding time to innovate? First, there are huge challenges to deploying credential management in most organizations because many do not have well-defined and ingrained business processes.
Credential management depends on this, and Passlogix spends a lot of time getting the customer ready to use its products effi  ciently. That, of course, represents solid customer commitment.

The second challenge is con­necting with backend systems. Not all such systems have an easy (or, sometimes, any) way to accept a managed credential system of access control. It is, of course, the old single sign-on problem and, before that, one of the things that slowed Kerberos. How does one add these external capabilities to an application that has no provi­sion for adding them?

What other challenges is this company contending with? Moving from single sign-on to converged management and making a strong correlation between the user and its identity. Add that to strong authentication and the notion of users sharing identities when necessary, and this innovator has its work cut out.

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