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IBM's Identity Management

Staff Writer
Published: 2004-10-06

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New Integrated Solutions Help Automate Manual Processes to Reduce Costs and Complexities of Managing Identities for People, Places and Devices.

IBM launches new identity management solutions designed to help businesses and government agencies approach identity management as a core business requirement - helping them protect their data, computer systems, users and facilities from unauthorized access.

Secure identity technology has emerged as a crucial mechanism for verifying an individual's identity in order to help prevent unauthorized access to any corporate resources. IBM's new services and software extend identity management beyond the typical approach of a tool that interacts only with traditional information technology, including Web applications and operating systems. By integrating identity management across an entire enterprise, including users, machines, applications and business processes, as well as "physical" identities that include biometrics, smart cards, and badge readers, IBM can help companies not only enhance security in their enterprises and assets, but also reduce costs of ad hoc, disparate solutions by consolidating the provisioning and management of identities and physical infrastructure.

Integrating identity security and access management into a business environment can be complex, time-consuming and costly. As companies add or subtract workers, devices, workplace locations and service providers, multiple 'touch' points and passwords are needed for different layers of access. Managing this process has become time consuming and cumbersome for businesses. IBM's broad approach and solutions are designed to help simplify the complex and costly process of managing identities across an organization.

To help companies integrate identity management solutions across their enterprise, IBM offers:

-- Integrated identity management solutions - IBM's new Integrated Identity and Access Management Services use IBM software, IBM business consulting experts and business partner solutions to enable organizations to automate and administer complex, labor intensive identity management business processes. Enhancing security through consulting methodologies, referenced architectures, processes, and tools help businesses and government agencies verify the identity of the correct business system, person, or device so that they can join, transact or terminate a desired business process. The Integrated Identity and Access Management Service includes user provisioning, identity administration, role-based access control, and delegated administration to authenticate users to multiple service providers.

-- Identity management for physical devices -- To help enterprises and government agencies protect their computer systems, buildings and employees, IBM has integrated IBM's Tivoli Identity Manager with products from ActivCard, Bioscrypt, ImageWare and VeriSign. The new solutions deliver single-step provisioning and de-provisioning for smart card issuance, single-step biometric enrollment, automated PKI credential provisioning, support for one-time passwords and strong authentication capability for a wide range of logical and physical access applications. IBM plans to make this solution generally available later this quarter.

-- Embedded identity management across IBM portfolio - IBM is leveraging its vast portfolio to expand the scope of identity management beyond software, which will help customers enhance their security and reduce the costs of managing identities. For example, IBM's new ThinkPad T42 features a biometric fingerprint reader that can provide strong authentication information to IBM Tivoli Access Manager which acts as an enterprise authorization system, granting or denying access to sensitive applications and data, such as government or health records. Also announced today, IBM's WebSphere version 6 now embeds IBM Tivoli Access Manager components for centralized J2EE identity management, enabling simplified granular access control in WebSphere applications. WebSphere customers can also license Tivoli Access Manager to quickly extend enterprise access management across heterogeneous middleware and application platforms.

"Security is a crucial element of being an on demand business," said Kent Blossom, director of security and safety, IBM Global Services. "Today's workplace involves managing multiple user identities and addressing issues that span HR, computer technology, and physical facilities. With its broad software, hardware and services portfolio, IBM helps enterprises broaden their approach to manage the complexity of implementing a security enhanced, on demand work environment and enforce system security policies across facilities, networks and applications."

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