Verizon Identity Service Rolls Out at RSA

Cameron Sturdevant Cameron Sturdevant is the executive editor of Enterprise Networking Planet. Prior to ENP, Cameron was technical analyst at PCWeek Labs, starting in 1997. Cameron finished up as the eWEEK Labs Technical Director in 2012. Before his extensive labs tenure Cameron paid his IT dues working in technical support and sales engineering at a software publishing firm . Cameron also spent two years with a database development firm, integrating applications with mainframe legacy programs. Cameron's areas of expertise include virtual and physical IT infrastructure, cloud computing, enterprise networking and mobility. In addition to reviews, Cameron has covered monolithic enterprise management systems throughout their lifecycles, providing the eWEEK reader with all-important history and context. Cameron takes special care in cultivating his IT manager contacts, to ensure that his analysis is grounded in real-world concern. Follow Cameron on Twitter at csturdevant, or reach him by email at
By Cameron Sturdevant  |  Posted 2011-02-16 Email Print this article Print

I sat in on talk by Dr. Peter Tippett this morning at RSA. Tippett is Vice President Industry Solutions and Security Practices at Verizon Business.

Verizon Business is getting into the business of identity management as a service, and Tippett’s remarks outlined how the company intends to accomplish this. Leaving aside my privacy concerns (Verizon owns a lot of Internet infrastructure and thus sees a lot of traffic, which when combined with what they also know about their phone customers adds up to a scary large amount of data) the offer sounds compelling.

Verizon is creating a service that, for a set cost will handle the onboarding, maintenance and offboarding of employee identity. The service uses authentication tools the enterprise already uses including a wide variety of two-factor tokens and standard security protocols. The secret sauce is in an online service the provides identity services to the enterprise.

I first saw Tippet speak at a Ziff Davis security summit several years ago in Seattle. I was impressed then because of this scientific approach, in-depth knowledge and no-nonsense use of diminishing return on investment when it comes to security spending. As anyone who has heard him speak will know, the difference in cost and strength between a seat belt made of titanium versus nylon is quite large, but the effectiveness of either is about the same when it comes to crash protection.

In his remarks today, Tippet used the extensive knowledge held by Verizon Business about what went wrong in the real, damaging security breaches over the last year and made the case that effective identity management can be effective, less costly when offered as a service compared to on premise and fronted with a good user experience.

It will be interesting to see how the service offering works in the field. |

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