nCipher Snags Abridean for Identity Management

Crytographic hardware and software maker nCipher will add Abridean's user identity management technology to its ensemble.

Identity management continued to be a hot area for acquisitions, as nCipher plc, a UK-based cryptographic hardware and software maker, said on Friday that it had acquired Abridean Inc. of Chicago, a maker of identity management technology for US $17.9 million.

nCipher will add Abrideans Provisor user identity management technology to its keyAuthority key management software. The union will couple high-end cryptographic protection to user and identity provisioning, said Richard Moulds, vice president of marketing at nCipher.

The announcement comes just days after enterprise software maker Oracle Corp. announced the acquisition of Thor Technologies and OctetString, two identity and access management vendors.

/zimages/4/28571.gifClick here to read about Oracles latest move into identity management.

Abrideans Provisor product makes technology for managing user identities, roles and permissions within network environments.

nCipher was interested in the companys flexible architecture, which will allow customers to expand user provisioning and the issuance of credentials to a wide range of managed devices, said Moulds.

nCipher started as a maker of HSMs (hardware security modules) that store cryptographic keys, but recently expanded its product line with the release of keyAuthority in September, which manages cryptographic keys and credentials on enterprise networks.

nCipher plans to use Provisor as a front end to keyAuthority, so that user provisioning can be supplemented by cryptographic key technology, Moulds said.

Provisioning has historically been about assigning user access and passwords. However, with traditional network perimeters dissolving, companies will soon need to be able to provision access to a wide range of resources and assign assets like certificates and encryption keys as part of the provisioning process, Moulds said.

In the long term, nCipher wants to move beyond user and account provisioning to build a broad security provisioning platform for enterprises that will join strong cryptography to a wide range of networked devices, he said.

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