Some weeks ago Evidian, one of the European vendors in the Identity Management market, has announced that they are in the lead of an European research program for multi-domain policy management. The program called MULTIPOL is part of ITEA 2 (Information Technology for European Advancement), a set of EU-sponsored initiatives in the IT space.

The focus of MULTIPOL is mainly around multi-domain authorization, e.g. controlling access according to different security policies from different domains. The reason why: There is no internal network with a strong perimeter any more. Networks are becoming increasingly open. While authentication has been solved by approaches like Federation, the handling of policies for access control and thus authorization is still an issue.

We will observe this initiative, with Evidian as lead and ten other major European IT companies as participants. Policy Management beyond the border of one system is still amongst the things which have to be solved.

Some years ago I've written an article on policy management, stating that companies aren't solving the problem but just are moving it to the next level. That was when more and more vendors told me the stories about their policy management capabilities they had built into their products. Usually they've built one policy management per product. So, instead of 100 products without policies there were 100 with policies. Different, incompatible ones.

The approach of Evidian is one interesting approach besides others like the idea of claims-based authentication and authorization Microsoft/Kim Cameron have published. Given that Evidian has a long experience especially around managing access, there might be some valuable outcome from this project - despite the fact that it is a EU-sponsored project.