Trusting ID management technology

Wednesday, 25 June 2003, 11:08 AM EST

While working for a competitor, a former bank employee dials in to her old voice-mail account and filches internal banking announcements. An intern at a major manufacturer builds his own sales account simply by calling a secretary who gives him unfettered access to the company's sales-lead database. How secure is the data your company gathers and stores? If your company is like most, your data is probably more readily available than you think.

When companies forge partnerships with suppliers, clients, and customers, they expose their systems to security breaches not only by their own employees but their partners' employees as well. How can a chief technologist gain control over access to a company's secure resources? The answer seems to lie in a robust identity management system, which gathers and manages employees' personal data, ensures the approval of those whose data is being used, and offers ironclad security. On the surface, identity management offers many protections, but lurking beneath are the many thorny issues still surrounding privacy and trust.

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