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May 2005

Trust Us

POLICY & PROCESS It doesn't come easy when you federate identity management. Living in a Federated World Federation isn't an all-or-nothing decision. It's quite common for businesses to offer limited services through a federated channel while offering full service through a directly authenticated connection. It's a classic separation-of-duties scheme. We need only look at organizations and their relationships with companies that sponsor retirement plans. A retirement plan's sponsor establishes a federation with the organization that allows employees to authenticate once to their company's network to gain access to their retirement accounts at the financial organization without the nuisance of signing in each time. Typically, the financial institution only allows the participants access to account information associated with their plans--even if they have other relationships with the institution. By limiting users' authorization based on how they are authenticated, the financial institution limits the risk that a compromise in ...

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