SAML: The Secret to Centralized Identity Management
Source: Hank Simon - Posted by Joe Shakespeare   
Privacy Complicated by too many systems, too many applications, and too many passwords, identity management is a major headache for most organizations. Can an intelligent, Web-services approach employing new standards ride to the rescue?

The last time some of our internal users and external partners counted, they had more than 15 passwords they had to keep track of. Of course, they could keep all those 15 passwords in their heads. Yeah, right! Every time they needed new access to a new resource, application, or data set, they had to find the responsible administrators. And the administrators were always available, never on vacation, and always had a backup admin. Yeah, right! And when users left the company or were terminated, or when partners became competitors, the administrators were always informed so that they could disable access. Yeah, right! And in this dream world, we know that the CIOs were happy and always received compliments from the user community on the ease of getting to the data. Yeah, double right!

The term that covers many of these issues is called identity management, and the CIO asked my team to look into the situation to see if we could improve it.

Identity management refers to provisioning, password management, and access control. Typically, access rights are stored in different locations, with separate access-control lists for individual applications and resources. Identity management must control data, people, and resources that are distributed across different locations. Historically, a multitude of separate systems handle identity management functions. For example, one program handles provisioning, another manages passwords, LDAP stores authentication information, and each application (or administrator) maintains individual user access-control lists. Keeping these separate functions maintained, synchronized, and up to date is a resource-intensive, costly proposition.

Read this full article at Hank Simon

Is it necessaryWritten by meera on 2009-04-02 07:34:11
I agree to your views...but is it necessary for all application. I think if the application is designed in the right manner such kind of problems can be avoided easily. Its more related to the management control systems rather than information system. 
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