vrijdag 13 mei 2016

That was the EIC16 that was


Each year, the German security consultancy firm KuppingerCole in Munich is organizing a multi-day conference on the theme of identity and access management.
The KC conference was well organized. Nice location for both sessions and the inevitable vendor marketplace. Lovely brochures, event app, fine catering and a lot of famous people. We'll get back to that later. KC is a large company, has many expert analysts and these are actively present. They moderate panels, are chairing different tracks and give presentations.

The conference lasts three days, long days ... the first keynote generally starts at half past eight and the day closing somewhere between 19 and 20. But that's not all, there are also pre- and post-conference workshops. I decided to join a preconf day this year, namely the workshop on the theme blockchain. I cannot give a full overview of the conference, but I will point to a few highlights.

The hype of this moment is Blockchain. The pre-conference workshop lasted a whole day and treated the backgrounds and ideas around Blockchain and also bitcoin. Also on the third day there was extensive attention given to blockchain in one of the four parallel tracks. Briefly: Blockchain is a promising technology (immutable storage of transactions, transparent, fast and cheap), but so far it’s little used (not really an anonymous platform, ‘bitcoin image’ is not very positive). But biggest problem is the issue of trust. Can you trust the blockchain, do you trust the longevity and continuity? But the advice is: go play with it, within a year or three there are business cases and apps to make use of blockchain technology.

Second hype: CIAM, customer Identity & Access Management. And yet, actually not quite a hype, we have already know,  implement and use it. More importantly is the underlying mechanism, namely federation.

More or less the same applies to IoT and Big Data. These developments also look at federated solutions to preserve both the business benefits and guarantees regarding privacy.

Federation was not only reflected in many presentations. There was a separate track in which the OpenID Foundation presented the many developments. Of course there was OpenID Connect (yes, we really should implement this as often and as broad as possible) and OIX (OpenId Exchange, it so looks like the implementation of what I wished for in my old blogs - http://id-use.blogspot.com/2008/06/trust-model-for-identity-providers.html ), but also a number of working groups on the themes of health (the OpenID Heart working group led by Eve Maler of Forgerock) and the Financial Services API WG.

But not everything topic at EIC16 was about IAM technology, unquestionable the most impressive presentation was by Mia Harbitz of the World Bank. She described identity management in a world where a birth certificate is already a challenge. Children with a birth certificate get a vaccination three times as often as children without a birth certificate. She had more shocking numbers of people without a formal identity, without access to life saving services because of it.

Providing an identity to refugees is also a hot topic (especially in Germany, with 800,000 refugees in the past year). This was discussed in a separate track with an interesting panel discussion. It soon turned out that we give refugees an identity because we want to avoid them actually abusing the services paid by us. Not because we want to offer our refugees just enough identity to survive. Sad really ...

An interesting development was an initiative by Ian Glazer (Salesforce). He and Kantara (for example known for User Managed Access – we should make this a default way of customer access control) took the initiative to investigate whether the Identity professionals can unite. The "Keepers of Identity" are increasingly more import, cooperation is essential. More info: https://kantarainitiative.org/digital_identity_professional/

And for those of us who are in despair… there are still use cases for on premise use of Active Directory. Kim Cameron (Microsoft) sees a shift to Azure AD, but an on premise AD will still remain for the coming years.

These were intense days. I finally met with many digital friends. And I advise you to look up the hashtag #eic16 on twitter. Lots of nice tweets, many photos and video’s and links to interesting articles.

And do yourself a pleasure and visit the blog of my good friend Alessandro Festa...


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