by Paul F. Roberts
There's a common nightmare haunting CISOs (computer information security
officers) that features a glance at the morning paper, and 72-point
banner headlines with the name of their employer and the words 'LOST'
and 'CUSTOMER DATA.'
There's no question about it: protecting customer and employee data is
one of the thorniest problems facing enterprises today. Last week,
Oracle took a swing at solving that problem, announcing the Identity
Governance Framework, an initiative to develop specifications for
sharing identity data across heterogeneous applications. The project has
the support of identity and access management (IAM) vendors Ping
Identity, Sun Microsystems, and Securent, as well as CA and Novell,
according to Amit Jasuja, vice president of product development for
Oracle's security and identity management products.
Problems such as lost data on laptops and identity theft point to the
need for overarching standards that govern all the sensitive data
squirreled away in data repositories across an enterprise, such as
human resources, customer relationship management and custom-built
internal applications, he said.
IGF addresses that problem by establishing a governance model that
allows organizations to create 'contracts' between applications and
repositories of identity data. The model would cover how data flows
within an enterprise and outside the enterprise to supply chain or
business partners, he said.
Because the framework came together quickly, the real value of IGG
will be determined in the coming weeks and months, as Oracle and its
partners work to develop the specifications and transfer them to a
standards group such as OASIS or the Liberty Alliance to manage, Bowen
"It's a good first step. It will get us closer to the goal line," said
Don Bowen, director of identity integration at Sun. "Will it get us into
the end zone? I don't know."
Copyright 2006 Yahoo! Inc.
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