[Log In] []

Exploring the science and magic of Identity and Access Management
Thursday, June 29, 2017

AJ Foyt – What a Driver!

Automotive, History
Author: Mark Dixon
Friday, May 12, 2017
3:08 pm

60 years ago, on May 12, 1957, when I was just four years old, AJ Foyt won his first professional motorsports race, in a midget car, in Kansas City, Missouri. From that inauspicious beginning, he went on to became the only driver to win the Indianapolis 500 (four times), the Daytona 500, the 24 Hours of Daytona, and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

When I was a teenager, I loved to listen to the Indianapolis 500 on my radio (it sounds crazy now!). We didn’t own a television, so I had to imagine in my mind the daring strategies of those crazy drivers! AJ Foyt was my all time favorite!

AJ Foyt dirt car 1961

 

 

Comments Off on AJ Foyt – What a Driver! . Permalink . Trackback URL
WordPress Tags:
 

If the Golden Spike were driven today …

History, Humor
Author: Mark Dixon
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
10:07 am

On this day 148 years ago, in 1869, the presidents of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads met in Promontory, Utah, to drive a ceremonial last “Golden Spike” into a rail line that connected their railroads, forming a Transcontinental Railroad line.

Is this how it would work today?

Goldenspike

Comments Off on If the Golden Spike were driven today … . Permalink . Trackback URL
WordPress Tags: ,
 

Passwords and Buggy Whips, Revisited

Identity, Information Security
Author: Mark Dixon
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
10:02 am

Whip

StrongPassword large

Eight years ago this month, I posted a short article on this blog entitled, Passwords and Buggy Whips.

Quoting Dave Kearns, the self proclaimed Grandfather of Identity Management:

Username/password as sole authentication method needs to go away, and go away now. Especially for the enterprise but, really, for everyone. As more and more of our personal data, private data, and economically valuable data moves out into “the cloud” it becomes absolutely necessary to provide stronger methods of identification. The sooner, the better.

I commented:

Perhaps this won’t get solved until I can hold my finger on a sensor that reads my DNA signature with 100% accuracy and requires that my finger still be alive and attached to my body.  We’ll see …

So here we are.  Eight years have come and gone, and we still use buggy whips (aka passwords) as the primary method of online authentication.

Interesting standards like FIDO have been proposed, but are still not widely used.

I was a beta tester for UnifyID‘s solution, which used my phone and my online behavior as multiple factors.  I really liked their solution until my employer stopped supporting the Google Chrome browser in favor of Firefox. Alas, UnifyID doesn’t support Firefox!

We continue to live in a world that urgently needs to be as rid of passwords as we are of buggy whips, but I don’t see a good solution coming any time soon.  Maybe in another eight years?

 

 

Comments Off on Passwords and Buggy Whips, Revisited . Permalink . Trackback URL
WordPress Tags:
 

Blockchain – Enabling the Fourth Phase of Identity?

Identity
Author: Mark Dixon
Friday, May 5, 2017
10:49 am

Blockchain

The most intriguing work in the Identity world today is the potential application of Blockchain/Distributed Ledger technology for user-focused Identity Management.

I am certainly not a blockchain expert, but I believe these concepts have the potential to solve several nagging problems that have been facing us for many years, including:

  1. Individual users can confidently leverage their own identities across multiples organizations, including employers, government agencies, online vendors, etc.
  2. Multiple organizations across public and private sectors could rely on digital identities just as confidently as these organizations currently relay on identification documents such as passports, drivers licenses, etc.
  3. The huge proliferation of multiple identity relationships that must be set up for individual users to access and use online resources could be drastically reduced.
  4. The overall digital infrastructure for managing identities could be significantly simplified. 
  5. The ability to secure digital identities could be significantly improved in an increasingly hostile online world.

We certainly aren’t there yet, but I am encouraged by work being done.  Some of the recent articles I have read on the subject include:

BlockChain TechnologiesThat Go Beyond Bitcoin.  Item 3 of 6 is “Digital Identity.”  

Blockchain technologies make tracking and managing digital identities both secure and efficient, resulting in seamless sign-on and reduced fraud.

The Path to Self-Sovereign Identity, blog post by Christopher Allen: 

I want to share a vision for how we can enhance the ability of digital identity to enable trust while preserving individual privacy. This vision is what I call “Self-Sovereign Identity”.

Christopher outlines four broad stages since the advent of the Internet:

  1. Centralized identity
  2. Federated identity
  3. User-centric identity
  4. Self-sovereign identity.

He then proposes “Ten Principles of Self-Sovereign Identity” that appear to provide a foundation upon which to construct standards and systems to build a real “Fourth Phase” identity system:

  1. Existence. Users must have an independent existence. 
  2. Control. Users must control their identities.
  3. Access. Users must have access to their own data.
  4. Transparency. Systems and algorithms must be transparent. 
  5. Persistence. Identities must be long-lived.
  6. Portability. Information and services about identity must be transportable.
  7. Interoperability. Identities should be as widely usable as possible.
  8. Consent. Users must agree to the use of their identity.
  9. Minimalization. Disclosure of claims must be minimized. 
  10. Protection. The rights of users must be protected.

The following two articles appear to draw heavily from the concepts presented by Christopher Allen.

The Journey to a Self-Sovereign Digital Identity Built on a Blockchain.  According to IBM’s Jai Singh Arun

Permissioned blockchain technology provides core capabilities that enable a trusted digital identity network to build and operate.

I agree that blockchain technology is essential to achieving the goals outlined by Christoper Allen.

A Self-Sovereign Identity Architecture. (PDF file) A topic paper from the ID2020 Design Workshop:

to identify what a self-sovereign architecture would look like for the Web as well as a number of technical requirements of such an architecture. This topic paper outlines that proposed architecture and its primary components and actors.

It is good to see that smart people are working together to explore how to transform these foundation principles into reality.

IEEE launches standards program focused on blockchain and identity

Technical organization and standards leader, IEEE, is launching a new program to create standards around consumer and patient data protection, specifically as it relates to blockchain and identity. Called, Digital Inclusion through Trust and Agency, the initiative will bring together technology innovators, policy experts and academic researchers to address the topic.

Standards will be necessary to make blockchain – based identity systems pervasive in the world.

Blockchain-based Identity meets the Sovrin Foundation. According to Phil Windley, Chair of the non-profit Sovrin Foundation:

Sovrin is building a scalable, privacy-protected, auditable (based on time-stamped data written to the distributed ledger) ecosytem empowering individuals to manage their identities, support granular selective disclosure and provide organizations with trusted connections to individuals. 

I am impressed with the work the Sovrin Foundation is doing.  The fact that an independent, non-profit organization has been established to be the independent overseer of a blockchain-based identity service seems to provide a solution to the inevitable conflicts of interest that exist if organizations like banks, credit bureaus, credit card issuers or the government provide identity services.

I am working to better understand the concepts and challenges in this exciting area.  It is going to be a fun ride.

 

 

 

 

Comments Off on Blockchain – Enabling the Fourth Phase of Identity? . Permalink . Trackback URL
WordPress Tags: ,
 

Oracle Identity Cloud Service

Cloud Services, Identity, Information Security
Author: Mark Dixon
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
10:28 am

This morning, I watched the launch webcast for the Oracle Identity Cloud Service  a cloud native security and identity management platform designed to be an integral part of the enterprise security fabric.

This short video, shown on the webcast, provides a brief introduction:

 

Comments Off on Oracle Identity Cloud Service . Permalink . Trackback URL
WordPress Tags: ,
 

Telephone Industry Transformation – Switchboard to Dial!

Communications, History
Author: Mark Dixon
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
12:28 pm

Switchboard

This morning, I spent a while watching some old videos about transformation in the telephone industry.  Way back before my time, the growing telephone network depended on thousands of young women working as telephone operators (boys didn’t work out so well).

The need for telephone operators was so great that AT&T produced a movie “Operator!” to describe the wonderful opportunity for a career as a telephone switchboard operator!

 

However, as demand for telephone service boomed, someone estimated that it would soon take all the young women in the nation to work as telephone operators!  The solution – self-dialed telephones. it soon turned out that everyone who used a telephone became his or her own telephone operator!

But apparently, using a dial telephone was difficult enough that ever-so-scintillating training movies were produced …

Just think — most of today’s young people don’t know how to operation a dial telephone! A lost art indeed!

Comments Off on Telephone Industry Transformation – Switchboard to Dial! . Permalink . Trackback URL
 

First Round-the-World Telegram – 105 Years Ago!

Communications, History, Technology
Author: Mark Dixon
Saturday, August 20, 2016
9:42 am

Oh, how far technology has come in the last century!  As related by History.com, on August 20, 1911 (105 years ago today) a dispatcher in the New York Times office sent the first telegram around the world via commercial service. 

The Times decided to send its 1911 telegram in order to determine how fast a commercial message could be sent around the world by telegraph cable. The message, reading simply “This message sent around the world,” left the dispatch room on the 17th floor of the Times building in New York at 7 p.m. on August 20. After it traveled more than 28,000 miles, being relayed by 16 different operators, through San Francisco, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Saigon, Singapore, Bombay, Malta, Lisbon and the Azores–among other locations–the reply was received by the same operator 16.5 minutes later. It was the fastest time achieved by a commercial cablegram since the opening of the Pacific cable in 1900 by the Commercial Cable Company.

Telegram

In these days of ubiquitous, near instantaneous global communications at our fingertips, it is a bit hard to fathom that a round-the-world message took over 16 minutes to reach its destination.  But in a time not too far removed from the Pony Express, 16 minutes was a real breakthrough.

As my Dad likes to say, “We stand on the broad shoulders of those who have gone before!”

Comments Off on First Round-the-World Telegram – 105 Years Ago! . Permalink . Trackback URL
WordPress Tags: ,
 

US Postal Service is 241 years old today!

History, Technology
Author: Mark Dixon
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
9:30 pm

Franklinphone

As reported today by History.com,

On this day in 1775, the U.S. postal system is established by the Second Continental Congress, with Benjamin Franklin as its first postmaster general. 

Isn’t it ironic that we could easily imagine Benjamin Franklin as an enthusiastic early adopter of technology that is steadily rendering the traditional postal service obsolete?

Comments Off on US Postal Service is 241 years old today! . Permalink . Trackback URL
 

David Bradford: Tips for Networking Success

Leadership
Author: Mark Dixon
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
6:14 pm

Bradford

This afternoon, after reading David Bradford’s insightful post, “8 Things Every Business Person Should Learn From Pokemon Go,” I downloaded David’s “101 Tips for Personal, Powerful and Permanent Business Connections” from a link on that blog page.

This is a great guide that goes beyond a traditional primer on networking and makes specific recommendations for building meaningful, long-lasting business relationships.

Four tips that jumped out at me: 

23) Remember that there is a Law of Reciprocity in the Universe. Give as much or more than you receive; otherwise, your network will dry up.

39) Always ask the Question – “What can I do for you?”

99) The Single greatest factor that gets and retains attention is a deep personal relationship.

100) Nothing will define you more than the people who impact your life at pivotal junctures. So surround yourself with great people both in the physical world as well as in the virtual world.

I am deeply grateful for the wonderful people who have impacted my life at pivotal junctures. David, you positively influenced my life today.  I look forward to implementing your tips into my life.

Comments Off on David Bradford: Tips for Networking Success . Permalink . Trackback URL
WordPress Tags: ,
 

SpaceX Falcon 9 Liftoff – So Cool!

Space Travel
Author: Mark Dixon
Friday, July 22, 2016
4:27 pm

At 12:45 a.m. EDT on July 18, 2016, the SpaceX Falcon 9 launched and landed over Port Canaveral. The rocket was carrying the Dragon CRS-9 craft to the International Space Station. Photo Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com

SpaceX

Shots like this are still thrilling to me!

Comments Off on SpaceX Falcon 9 Liftoff – So Cool! . Permalink . Trackback URL
WordPress Tags:
 
Copyright © 2005-2016, Mark G. Dixon. All Rights Reserved.
Powered by WordPress.