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Hitachi acquires M-Tech Systems for identity management

M-Tech will become Hitachi ID Systems under the deal. The M-Tech acquisition is part of a broader trend of companies aggressively acquiring IAM technology.

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The gradual absorption of the pure-play identity and access management (IAM) vendors into broad-based IT companies continued this week, as Hitachi announced its acquisition of M-Tech Systems.

Financial details of the acquisition were not released.

Calgary-based M-Tech, which now becomes Hitachi ID Systems, offers several products as part of what is now called Hitachi ID Management Suite. Leading elements are P-Synch, its password management tool, introduced commercially in 1995, and ID-Synch, which provides user provisioning. Among the suites other elements are phone-based password reset, privileged password management and access certification.

In a statement, Masato Saito, executive general manager, of the Information and Telecommunications Systems Group (ITSG) at Hitachi, said M-Tech's identity management technology would be integrated into Hitachi's information security suite.

"Hitachi has developed and commercialized advanced IT security technologies such as finger vein biometric authentication, which is already used for ATM authentication in about 80% of Japanese financial institutions that have adopted biometric authentication technologies for this purpose," Saito said.

User provisioning and access control are critical elements for regulatory compliance and increasingly part of any effective enterprise data protection program. Companies from IBM to Sun Microsystems to Oracle to EMC have aggressively acquired IAM technology, recognizing that tight controls are essential to every aspect of data management, from Web-based access to storage.

The M-Tech deal is part of an ongoing trend as, one by one, companies like Waveset, Thor, Oblix, Netegrity, Access 360 and Encentuate (by IBM last month) have been absorbed.

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