Today, most businesses operate globally at some level. They source goods from one location, assemble a product in another, and sometimes provide services from yet another location. This global supply chain must securely collaborate to produce an end product or service whether the participants are in different states, countries or continents.
As this collaboration takes place, organizations often find themselves leveraging cloud computing – whether it is infrastructure, software or platform – for the cost savings and agility that services delivered from the cloud can offer. But it doesn't make a difference what tools and services are used to collaborate; the challenge of confidently knowing who has access to information and what they are doing with it remains the same.
Today's dynamic operating environments compound the challenge of secure collaboration. Organizations might find that the competitor they do battle with day-to-day in one area of the business could be their partner on a separate project in another area of the business. Organizations need to ensure that this “competitor-turned-partner” isn't able to access intellectual property as they collaborate. They need to be able to distinguish between the competitor persona and the partner persona. They have to make sure that only the right people have access to the right information that they need to successfully execute their jobs.
Identity and access management frameworks can help distinguish between the various competitor and partner personas, and organizations such as the Transglobal Secure Collaboration Program (TSCP) are working to construct and use them.
The TSCP is made up of 23 organizations representing government agencies and technology, aerospace and defense companies. The organization's goal is to deliver an open, standards-based framework for secure collaboration and information sharing, regardless of the tools used. TSCP's collaborative efforts provide the aerospace and defense industry with a common framework for federated identity management – giving member organizations and governments an opportunity to create secure, interoperable, highly efficient environments based on comprehensive identity management systems.
Secure collaboration is just one way security can be viewed as a business enabler and a real element for increasing the velocity of business globally. Through strong identity and access management frameworks, security can give businesses the “power of KNOW” – K-N-O-W, which is the knowledge of who has access to what and what they can do with the data they access. This gives businesses the confidence they need to collaborate securely at a global level.
Michael Denning leads the identity and access management business at CA Technologies. He is responsible for ensuring the company's products, services and partnerships help customers minimize risk, boost compliance and confidently adopt virtualization technologies and cloud services. Denning joined CA Technologies from VeriSign where he spent 11 years leading several organizations, most recently as vice president and general manager, Enterprise Security Services.