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Issue of February 2007
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‘‘IM curbs identity theft, audit and fraud.’’

Sunil Mehra, Director – Sales, Fusion Middleware, Oracle India talks to Dominic K about identity management in general and Oracle’s offerings in this space in particular touching upon the role it plays vis-a-vis enterprise security.


Sunil Mehra

Identity management has a lot of buzz around it. What does it bring to the table?

Information security is an overall state of data protection that gives users unfettered access to information while protecting the security and integrity of the organisation’s information assets. Identity management forms a critical component of a business as it allows enterprises to manage end-to-end lifecycle of user identities across all enterprise resources, both within and beyond the firewall.

A component of Oracle fusion middleware, The solution provides access and identity management, identity federation, role based user provisioning and de-provisioning (core technology for automating identity life-cycle), LDAP directory services, user directory virtualisation and Web services management. The IDM solutions form part of Oracle’s common security framework for applications as well as data, securing not just Oracle database, applications, and middleware, but also leading enterprise applications and platforms

Identity management is not just a technology issue, it has become a business issue. It cuts IT help desk and systems administration costs and promotes a tighter, correlated relationship between employees and the business resources they support in order to work more efficiently. IDM eliminates identity silos, brings customer data together and provides comprehensive real-time information from which to make informed business decisions, all of which contribute towards a high level of customer service and convenience.

In addition, IDM solutions play a critical role in areas such as meeting regulatory compliance norms, managing identities of employees, customers, partner and suppliers. It curbs identity theft, audit and fraud in an online world and also managing information access control and compliance management.

Why is it important for enterprises from a strategic standpoint?

It is important from the point of view of organisational confidence and strategic from the point of view of compliances and competitiveness. Organisations must be confident of their security and integrity of business resources, systems, and services. In essence, organisations need to open the doors to the world while ensuring that the whole world doesn’t walk through them. It is important to securely manage appropriate access to business resources for employees, customers, partners and suppliers.

A robust information security framework helps an organisation reduce threats, which might come from internal as well as external malicious sources, improve compliance and win and maintain customer confidence and loyalty.

With compliance issues gaining steam in the Indian industry, it has become essential for companies to comply with regulatory authorities to ensure smooth functioning in an enterprise. Oracle’s secure solutions offer features, policies, and procedures to address internal and external compliance requirements.

Security is an evergreen issue and as the number of threats increase, the demand for stringent security parameters will gain further more importance. Hence it is important to build security from the start. Security is built in from the outset, making for consistent, secure deployments that mitigate risk

How is Oracle addressing these needs?

Security is a critical component of every Oracle solution and has been since the company delivered its first secure database in 1977. Since then, Oracle has continually delivered industry-leading security capabilities and made security a cornerstone of its software.

Enterprises are now relying on security products to meet their information protection and security needs—for both Oracle and non-Oracle systems. We ensure security inside the data centre and beyond, spanning database, middleware, and business applications.

What are the various factors that drive the market for IM solutions?

Security is an evergreen issue, which enterprises are always grappling with. According to industry analysts, the IDM market is expected to increase by more than four times to reach approximately $2.5Bn. The public, finance and IT and ITES sectors are expected to lead the adoption of IDM worldwide.

The primary drivers for investment in identity management are compliance, information security, managing identities and access control management. As companies expand through mergers and acquisitions or enhanced business and profitability, there appears to be a direct impact on the numbers of employees, customers, partners, suppliers as well as other vendors into the company’s process and systems.

This increased workforce and business associates leads to the creation of more roles, identities, transactions that would arise from an extended network. In such instances, it becomes important to integrate security across the IT infrastructure.

What are the key drivers for IM? How can it streamline the operational costs and efficiency in enterprise data management?

Oracle IDM solution weaves security into applications as opposed to bolting it on, promising unprecedented efficiencies and ROI. Security is integrated into applications from the start and not force-fitted on afterwards, ensuring improved security, easier development, and lower administrative costs. Application-centric IDM enables management of identities within applications as part of their business process, while preserving the benefits of a centralized identity management system.

Oracle IDM solutions automate lifecycle management for potentially millions of users; delivers Single Sign-On improving user productivity and reducing password-reset costs.

Can you comment on the security trends that will emerge in 2007?

Security has become a critical IT consideration for corporations of all sizes. Oracle has continually delivered industry-leading security capabilities and made security a cornerstone of its software since it delivered its first secure database three decades ago.

As the security market continues to grow IDM is all set to become more than just a technology and gain importance as a business issue. With a direct link with reducing operational cost and maintaining a tighter correlated relationship between employees and business resources, IDM has a significant impact on the growth of the business.

Oracle’s IDM is not just for large enterprises, but can add real value, strength and competitive advantage to both mid-tier and small-medium enterprises, impacting directly on the bottom line.

 
     
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