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Exploring the science and magic of Identity and Access Management
Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Innovation at Amazon Web Services

Cloud Computing, Identity
Author: Mark Dixon
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
5:34 pm

In the past few days, I became aware of innovations at Amazon Web Services that show how AWS continues to lead the industry in cloud computing.

The first product offering is the addition of Identity Federation to AWS Identity and Access Management Services, which gives customers:

the ability for you to use your existing corporate identities to grant secure and direct access to AWS resources without creating a new AWS identity for those users. This capability enables you to programmatically request security credentials, with configurable expiration and permissions, that grant your corporate identities access to AWS APIs and resources controlled by your business.

The second offering, “AWS GovCloud,” offers:

a new AWS Region designed to allow U.S. government agencies and contractors to move more sensitive workloads into the cloud by addressing their specific regulatory and compliance requirements.

I find it intriguing that the same company that pioneered the industries of online book retailing and ebooks, is so innovative in cloud services and Identity Management.  Plus, I was able to order an new cordless drill from the comfort of my hotel room in San Mateo last night!  Thanks to Amazon and UPS, I think the drill will arrive Arizona before I do this week.

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Why Federated Identity is easier said than done

Identity
Author: Mark Dixon
Thursday, March 3, 2011
7:52 pm

imageStephen Wilson of The Lockstep Group in Sydney, Australia, is scheduled to present an interesting paper, Why Federated Identity is easier said than done, at the AusCERT2011 conference in May.  Based on the abstract, the complete paper should be really interesting.

Stephen states that despite,

“near universal acceptance of the idea of Federated Identity … higher risk services like banking, e-health and e-government have steadfastly resisted federation, maintaining their own identifiers and sovereign registration processes.”

He further asserts that lingering resistance to full adoption results from the fact that,

“Federated Identity is in fact a radical and deeply problematic departure from the way we do business.  … Thus the derided identity “silos” are a natural and inevitable consequence of how business rules are matched to particular contexts.”

Stephen’s final comment:

“If we focused on conserving context and replicating existing real world identities in non-replayable forms, most routine transactions could take place safely online, without the incalculable cost of re-engineering proven business arrangements.”

If Identity Federation really doesn’t match the way we do business, it will be interesting to see how Stephen expands on and clarifies that final statement in the full paper.

 
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