Identity Security Looks to Command ‘Presence’


For each security software company that gets snapped up, another one seems
to take its place.


Presence Technology emerged from stealth mode this week with new
software to help companies maintain accurate user and content identity data
between distributed systems.


The Salt Lake City startup’s PresenceID software automatically provisions
password management, single sign-on security and compliance
reporting across software systems regardless of their code makeup or
protocols.


PresenceID ensures that identity synchronization and virtualization tasks
are distributed between the identity source systems that originate, delete
and edit identities, and the PresenceID Hub Manager and PresenceID Spoke
Managers that synchronize, virtualize, manage and integrate user and content
identity data.


Presence Technology President and CEO David Doane said PresenceID breaks down
the barriers that keep resources, such as files, applications and services,
from working with each other within modern legacy security systems from IBM
, HP , Sun Microsystems  and others.


“I’ve got these applications and servers all over the enterprise and I’ve
got the ability for an administrator to come in and set up my entitlements
within the sphere of that domain for that application, but I don’t have
anything that automates that across the entire network,” Doane told
internetnews.com in an interview.


“Those identity management products are system-centric — originally
designed to work for specific systems and they’re hierarchical. That works
very well for authentication, but that doesn’t work in the Internet world
today where we have these massively distributed systems.”


Companies have been clamoring for this kind of flexible approach, which
closely aligns security federation with service-oriented architecture (SOA)
 at a time when distributed computing networks are becoming
the norm for the way businesses do business with their partners, suppliers
and customers.


Admins can operate PresenceID software from a Web browser.


The software will work with pretty much any host computer, client server
network and application, as well as — and most importantly — loosely
coupled Web services  in a network.


“We’re turning identity into a service platform,” Doane added.


PresenceID only requires a SQL-compliant database, Java application and
standard Web servers to run.


PresenceID will be available from Presence and select integrators in January at $98 per user, per year as a subscription model. Companies
pay only for number of users and duration. Presence’s will launch by Jan. 1, if not sooner, Doane said.


PresenceID software is the latest product in a growing security software
market for managing identities.


IT administrators implement such software to help them organize and manage
the relationships between users, content and other IT resources, creating a
kind of clearinghouse for identifying entities in an enterprise.


The key with PresenceID is that it provides such value in an automated
fashion, obviating the need for IT admins to manually provision access
privileges.


Experts believe the market is ripe for buying and selling opportunities. Startup Securent, with its Entitlement Management System software, is also
addressing the challenge of provisioning and securing identities as they are created
across an enterprise network.


However, security vendors are falling as fast as they rise; yesterday
Websense agreed to
purchase data-loss prevention startup PortAuthority for $90 million.


In the last few years, HP  bought
TruLogica, Oracle  bought
Oblix (which in turn bought Gupta’s Confluent), Thor and
OctetString
, among other big fish-little fish plays.


Bigger dominoes fell in 2006, with EMC  acquiring
RSA Security and IBM  notching
Internet Security Systems.

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