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Novell Releases Roadmap for Secure Identity Management Success

Novell offers new architectural guide to help customers understand and logically deploy the essential building blocks of secure identity management

SAN FRANCISCO (Burton Group Catalyst Conference) | July 8, 2003

The prospect of implementing a secure identity management solution can be an imposing challenge for many enterprise customers. Not only are there significant technological and political considerations, but many identity management offerings are limited-purpose, addressing only provisioning or single sign-on, instead of the greater problem. Deploying these "silos" of identity often only makes the situation worse.

Realizing this challenge, Novell has released a new secure identity management architectural guide designed to help customers understand the essential building blocks of secure identity management, and how to logically design and deploy those components to solve real business problems. The document, "A Superior Foundation for Secure Identity Management," also introduces Novell's Identity Automation Framework - the company's highly flexible technical architecture underlying the future of all of its Nsure™ solutions. Two of the building blocks in that architecture - secure auditing and federated authentication - are outlined in related announcements made today by Novell.

"A very common mistake in identity management deployments is to take a symptomatic approach to the related business problems - addressing, for example, user account provisioning without considering the implications for Web access management," said Chris Stone, Novell vice chairman, Office of the CEO. "This siloed approach often results in yet another largely disconnected identity store. Many vendors purport to offer a complete identity management solution, when in reality, they can really only effectively address one piece of a problem - and then they tap third parties to tackle the rest. Such an approach is not comprehensive identity management, but rather a symptomatic solution to a particular pain point."

The ultimate goal of secure identity management is the application of corporate policies onto enterprise systems to ensure that users have appropriate access to the right resources at the right times. But that goal can't be realized without a comprehensive, strategic approach that considers all aspects of the identity infrastructure. Novell's architectural guide highlights an evolutionary approach to identity management, following these basic steps:

  1. Integrated Identity - Identity information across an organization must first be integrated - but with respect for authoritative sources of identity. For example, it's not realistic to force HR personnel to stop using their internal applications (such as PeopleSoft* or SAP*) to maintain employee identity in favor of using a centralized identity repository and its associated interfaces. Many identity management vendors require just such a change in business practice.
  2. Identity Management - A set of proven, advanced management techniques should then be applied to the integrated identity to automate, accelerate and simplify identity creation and maintenance. These techniques include role-based administration, workflow, self-service, triggers and others.
  3. Secure Identity Management - Additional capabilities allow the infrastructure to address not only operational efficiencies, but also the confidentiality, integrity and security of business resources. These include federated authentication, account restrictions, and secure logging and auditing.
  4. Secure Identity Management Solutions - Finally, with a solid foundation in place organizations can quickly and efficiently address business problems such as password management, Web access, provisioning, single sign-on and others.

"Like any successful business, we can't afford to tackle short-term problems at the expense of long-range vision and strategy," said Dustin Sanders, director of Networking Services for Packaging Corporation of America, one of the largest manufacturers of corrugated packaging products in the United States. "By offering the industry's most comprehensive secure identity management solutions and an unparalleled understanding of the associated business issues, Novell is helping companies like Packaging Corporation of America balance those interests and drive the most value out of every IT investment."

Novell's architectural guide "A Superior Foundation for Secure Identity Management" can be downloaded today by going to For more information about Novell® Nsure secure identity management solutions, go to

About Novell

Novell, Inc. (Nasdaq: NOVL) delivers Software for the Open Enterprise™. With more than 50,000 customers in 43 countries, Novell helps customers manage, simplify, secure and integrate their technology environments by leveraging best-of-breed, open standards-based software. With over 20 years of experience, more than 5,000 employees, 5,000 partners and support centers around the world, Novell helps customers gain control over their IT operating environment while reducing cost. More information about Novell can be found at

Novell is a registered trademark; exteNd, Nsure and Nterprise are trademarks; and Ngage is a service mark of Novell, Inc. in the United States and other countries. *All third-party trademarks are the property of their respective owners

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