Blog posts by Tim Cole


Stopping a Clapper Over WikiLeaks

The U.S. government announced plans to put in place within the next five years measures designed to make it impossible to pass on sensitive information to the likes of WikiLeaks. They hope to accomplish this by “tagging” information so it can be tracked in case someone shares it with outsiders. The idea of creating “information-rich information” is obviously the right way to go in addressing privacy and security concerns in the Digital Age. It is possible, technically at least, to attach rules to individual pieces of information, such as who is allowed to do what with it and what...


Slipsliding away from passwords

Tell me a story! Everybody hates passwords, because there so many of them and keeping track is tricky. And of course we all know that passwords are inherently insecure, so we would all be better off with something else. Nowadays, there’s another reason to hate password, namely the perfusion of smartphones and other mobile devices with itsy-bitsy, teeny-weenie keypads that make typing in long, complicated passwords a real pain. Lots of people have spent lots on time trying to come up with alternatives. Biometrics? Smartcards? Keystroke recognition? Voice recognition? You...


RSA Hack: Don’t panic, keep calm!

Following the successful hacking attack against EMC Corp’s RSA Security Division in March of this year, and especially since news of subsequent attacks against large military contractors such as Lockheed Martin, L-3 and Northrop Grumman, which seem to have been based on data stolen from RSA, companies and organizations around the world that use the popular RSA “SecurID” token system are both confused and worried. They are demanding to know whether they can still trust the system and what they are supposed to do now that every SecurID token must be considered potentially compromised. In an...


IT Security’s little “Pulchinella Secret”

The European Identity Conference EIC, which recently ended here in Munich, had many highlights, but for me personally the very best was the keynote by the Italian psychologist Dr. Emilio Mordini, CEO of the Centre for Science, Society and Citizenship CSSC in Rome, which he describes as a leading independent research centre specializing in advice on political, ethical and social issues raised by emerging technologies. His topic was “Secrecy in the Post Wikileaks Era“, in itself a fascinating subject, but where it got really entertaining and thought-provoking was when he turned to the...


Welcome Craig Burton!

Today marks a milestone in the history of KuppingerCole, since today is the day we welcome the youngest member of our team. Did I say “young”? Sorry, wrong word. Of course he isn’t really the oldest – that’s still me. But he ain’t exactly no spring chicken, either. I’m talking about Craig Burton, of course. Yes, that Craig Burton. The guy who founded The Burton Group. The same guy who almost single-handedly defined what it means to be an analyst in the Identity & Access Management workplace. The one of the leading lights in our industry, grayest of “eminence gris” in a field where...


Craig Burton Joins KuppingerCole

Craig Burton, founder of Burton Group, is joining the KuppingerCole team, as Distinguished Analyst. Burton will add new impulses to the research agenda and liaise directly with KuppingerCole's customers in North America. "Craig Burton is one of the best-known names in our industry," said Tim Cole, co-founder of KuppingerCole. "Thanks to his well-established network and his profound expertise, he will substantially increase our footprint in our core markets," Cole believes. As head of KuppingerCole's new Boston office, Cole will be working directly with Burton, who is based in Salt Lake...


Kantara goes to Germany

In May, members of Kantara Initiative, an industry group dedicated to bridging and harmonizing the identity actions to ensure secure, identity-based, online interactions, will be in Germany for two consecutive high-level meetings. On May 13, Kantara is co-hosting a Summit event together with the OpenID Foundation (OiX) as an addition to KuppingerCole's European Identity Conference in Munich. The topic will be "Trust Framework Model and IDM". Immediately after EIC, many Kantara delegates will board the train for Berlin where a 3-day "Face-to-face Meeting" is scheduled at the...


Pretzels in the Cloud

You know you're at a real nerdfest when the conference catering consists of large pretzels and candybars. This tweet by some unknown delegate just about captures my own impression of TEC 2011. Measured in terms of techies per square feet, this simply has to be the geekiest conference in the galaxy. For me as an Identity guy, it was also a kind of homecoming, a reassurance that, yes, there are lots and lots of people out there that share our vision of a world where digital identities will better protect and enable us both in our business and our private lives. There has been some...


The Sandmen Cometh

"Silicon-based lifeforms" is a term Ray Bradbury might have used to great effect. "Invasion of the Sand Beings" would have made a great sci-fi title. Just imagine the film trailer: "They're awesome! They're everywhere! They're made of silicon! They're indestructable!" So imagine my surprise hearing what seemed at first to be a level-headed CEO explaining to me that his company, Venafi, is in the business of supplying "ID badges for silicon-based lifeforms" Okay, Venafi has its headquarters in a Salt Lake City suburb named, of all things, Sandy, but this surely is a pun too far, isn't...


Having the right conversation on online banking security

Sometimes the most interesting conversations are about something you never really expected to discuss, but I digress. No, seriously: You sometimes get sidetracked on a topic that becomes so fascinating that your meeting is almost over before you get back to what you really wanted to talk about. Take for instance a conversation I had recently with Julian Lovelock of ActivIdentity . There are lots of things I as an analyst wanted to know about their recent acquisition by HID , who are at home in the “old” world of physical access management and who obviously wanted to buy into the “new”...

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