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April 7, 2005

Computer Associates: dealing with critical protection

As technology markets mature, one frequent trend is the push for product consolidation as players look to extend their influence on a particular sector. In the I&AM arena such activities have been particularly frantic of late, but one significant buy-in that seems to have got away without too much comment is Computer Associates' [CA] recent purchase of de-provisioning software from InfoSec.

By CBR Staff Writer

De-provisioning software is an undervalued Identity & Access Management (I&AM) technology.

CA will be delivering its new product under the name of eTrust Cleanup, and its functional role will be to protect IT environments by automatically identifying and removing redundant and rogue user identities and their access rights.

On a day-to-day basis the average enterprise organization will change and add to the access rights of a small percentage of its systems users. Security administrators deal with each request, but the de-provisioning side will often be less efficiently policed. Even where there are policies in place dictating that once a worker leaves the company’s employment access privileges are removed, it is often that case that things are missed. Either the termination notice never gets passed to the system and its administrators, or over time a person’s identity may have changed to such an extent that all their access privileges may not be picked up.

Within the I&AM sector, efficient de-provisioning is important for a number of reasons, not least of which is the fact that not every employee leaves an organization on good terms, and therefore systems need to be protected to ensure that information cannot be stolen, damaged or put into the public domain, to the detriment of the business.

Far too many security breaches emanate from inside an organization, and as a result Identity Management has become a key issue. Provisioning services assign new access rights to applications, systems, and networks and, because provisioning is seen as a business enabler, it is usually efficiently managed. Changes to job functions, the relocation of employees, or indeed the termination of employment are all significant Identity Management activities, but the business profile of the de-provisioning elements has a lower profile and is far too often ignored.

CA’s latest I&AM product acquisition, the purchase of eTrust Cleanup, shows an attention to detail, and a willingness to deal with critical protection issues, that many of its competitors would do well to heed.

Source: OpinionWire by Butler Group (www.butlergroup.com)

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