Authentication >> The Power of Who
Source: Matt Villano - Posted by Joe Shakespeare   
Network Security As colleges and universities continue to sharpen identity management applications, next-generation technologies are closer than ever before.

In the ever-changing environment of academic technology, it’s one thing to secure your enterprise network, but entirely another to provision it to control access based on a user’s identity. With this in mind, imagine a network that grants access to certain systems based upon who a particular user is; a network that requires users to sign in only once, and remembers who they are for the remainder of their session. Think of a network that doesn’t require passwords at all; a network that ties all access to a USB key or the biometric codes of a human fingerprint. Then, envision a network combining all of these characteristics; so sophisticated it operates seamlessly with networks at other schools, and allows users access to similar systems elsewhere in the academic world.

Is the Future Here Yet?
Truth is, a network that manages all of these functions may not be so far off. Welcome to the world of identity management (IdM), where just about anything is possible. Once relegated to the far reaches of network management, IdM has exploded to the forefront of the academic IT consciousness. In fact, as security has become a bigger issue for campuses of every size, so too has identity. For two years in a row now, the Educause Current Issues Survey (irmppc.calpoly.edu/2003/Educause-TopIT-Issues2004.pdf) has listed security and IdM among the top five strategic issues facing higher education. Gartner (www.gartner.com) analysts estimate that growth in this technology sector will reach just over $500 million by 2007, at an annual growth rate of 15 percent.

Read this full article at Matt Villano

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