Blog posts by Felix Gaehtgens


Microsoft releases its privacy-enabling U-Prove technology

Microsoft has just announced the availability of U-Prove - an innovative privacy-enabling technology that it acquired almost exactly two years ago. This is a significant announcement, because of two reasons: first of all, the technology is in our opinion a gigantic enabler for many applications that have been held back because of privacy concerns, and second because Microsoft is releasing the technology to the world under its "Open Specifications Promise", allowing anybody to use and incorporate the technology royalty-free. With the U-Prove technology, users can release authenticated...


Gerry Gebel joins Axiomatics

My friend Gerry Gebel, long time Burton Group analyst is joining Axiomatics to ramp up the company's US presence. I received an email from him that started by saying "I thought I would give you a nice surprise on a Saturday morning"... and indeed what a surprise that was! I can definitely understand Gerry's choice for Axiomatics. The company is new, up and coming, full of very smart people and way ahead of everyone else in the area of authorisation/access management. Axiomatics comes at the top places in my own personal "favourite innovative companies" list, together with Unbound ID,...


New Webinar series on Claims

It's been a few years since Kim Cameron presented the Identity Metasystem around the concept of "Claims". If you've been following Kuppinger Cole you know how positive we have been about this framework. Years later, Claims are a reality, and there are multiple platforms out there that support using them. We have been advocating the adoption of the Identity Metasystem's concepts, and whilst not endorsing any particular platform per se, we acknowledge that there are several products out there that support this today. From our customers we often hear questions regarding the feasibility,...


Q & A from the XACML/ABAC Webinar

On the Webinar that Babak and I did on ABAC and XACML three weeks back, there were quite a few questions that popped up! Unfortunately we did not have time to answer all of them during the webinar, so we promised that we would collect them and answer them afterwards. BTW today there is another webinar on a related topic: The Critical Role of XACML in SOA Governance and Perimeter Web Service Security Q: Please, specify the major difference between role mining (role consolidation based on role attributes) and the privilege giving mining approach? A: (Babak) Role mining is about...


Google makes changes to Android Market, but many are still unhappy

Under immense pressure from users and developers, Google has recently announced some changes to Android Market. But this may turn not be enough. Even though sales for mobile phones with Google's Android operating system are ramping up, developers find it hard to make money on that platform. A recent bombshell was a blog post from Larva Labs towards the end of August. Larva Labs' average income for all Android paid applications was only $62.39 per day - and that included games that are ranked #5 and #12 in the Android Market. This is a tiny figure when compared to Apple's App Store, where a...


Beyond RBAC

Please join me tomorrow for a free Webinar on the topic " Beyond Role Based Access Control - the ABAC Approach ". Many - if not most - organisations are not getting as much value as they thought from RBAC (role based access control). In fact, many RBAC projects start with high expectations, but quickly get bogged down due to many issues and problems. Eventually it turns out that the initial expectations were too ambitious. But why? Is RBAC making promises that are difficult to keep? Many in the industry (Babak and myself included) think that this is due to the fact that the real...


Quick Wins in Identity Management

In times of economic downturn, the pressure is on to save costs and increase efficiency. Everybody working in the IT sector will be familiar with projects being put on hold, spending frozen, colleagues being laid off. Unsurprisingly, most of those left working in IT departments see their workload and working hours increased, as they are being asked to deliver more with less resources. These are the typical signs of a dire economy, that may or may not be starting to turn around slowly: but those particular problems are not going away any time soon. With the current squeeze on cost and...


Novell takes off into the Cloud

Novell has very recently announced a new product entitled "Cloud Security Services" - a comprehensive set of software that allows cloud providers to connect customers to their infrastructure in a safe and efficient way. This product is the first one that is not marketed to enterprises - instead it is sold to cloud service providers, who will license it for their customers. Cloud computing is generating much interest. A recent statistic by Google has shown that hits for the phrase "cloud computing" are growing steadily. Why? In search for productivity and efficiency, enterprises...


Microsoft: minimum disclosure about minimum disclosure

A good year ago, Microsoft acquired an innovative company called U-Prove. That company, founded by visionary Stephan Brandt, had come up with a privacy-enabling technology that effectively allows users to safely transmit the minimum required information about themselves when required to - and for those receiving the information, a proof that the information is valid. For example: if a country issued a digital identification card, and a service provider would need to check whether the holder over 18 years of age, the technology would allow to do just that - instead of having to transmit a...


Finally: an open XACML API!

Whilst at the Burton Group’s Catalyst 2009 conference, I ran into Prateek Mishra from Oracle who told me somewhere between the lines of our conversation that a new XACML API that has just been posted to the OASIS XACML TC . It was a “soft launch” that was announced at the Kantara meetings on Monday at Burton Catalyst (which very unfortunately, I missed). When Prateek mentioned it to me, it stopped me dead in my tracks, because I find it really significant news – a very important step towards flexible access control policy based on XACML. Before I get in the details, let me step back a bit...

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