• United States



sarah d_scalet
Senior Editor

Thinking of Doing Federated Identity Management?

Oct 09, 20062 mins
Access ControlCSO and CISOIdentity Management Solutions

Pick your partner and your project

Pick Your Partner…

Fifth Third Bank, an early adopter of federated identity management, is helping or has helped several of its business partners set up federated identity management. How does it decide which partners are a good fit? Here are some of the criteria that Jeff Anderson, lead technology architect, says the bank has used.

What’s the business value of making the application available through single sign-on?

Is the other business a stable provider?

What type of relationship is it—business to business, business to consumer, or business to employee? B2E relationships are less complicated because you have more control over the information, and there are fewer regulatory requirements.

How often is the application used and by how many people? If the application is used by only a few people a year, it’s not likely to provide a good business case for federation.

How comfortable is the other company with single sign-on? “If they’ve never heard of SAML,” Anderson says, “we know it’s going to be hard.”

…and Pick Your Project

The University of Texas is set up like a siloed corporation, with administration headquarters and 16 institutions that operate as independent business units. An ambitious federated identity management project will link administrative functions statewide, and the first portion that UT deployed was granting visiting administrators access to the Wi-Fi network at headquarters. Why Wi-Fi? Here are the criteria that CIO Clair Goldsmith says the group used to pick that project.

Access is not mission-critical. If there were problems with deployment, disruption would be minimal.

Each institution is involved. Once the system was working, Goldsmith would know the pieces were in place for other things.

Not many people at any one institution were involved. Any problems wouldn’t involve large numbers of people.

The project had a high profile. Chancellors and other visiting administrators could take word of positive improvements back to their home campuses.