When nCipher announced last fall that it was acquiring provisioning pioneer Abridean, some of us privately speculated about how long it would be until an update of Abridean's Provisor software would be available. That wait is over. My speculation was that it would be June before something shipped. I was wrong.Provisor 5.3 became available yesterday. According to nCipher, "The enhanced version of Provisor includes added security modeling capabilities further reducing the time and costs to deploy and additional functionality to ease the cost of regulatory compliance."I had the opportunity to talk to nCipher Marketing Vice President Richard Moulds back in January, in an attempt to understand better what this British security company would do with a Canadian provisioning agency. He reminded me that security and identity were becoming hopelessly intertwined with little chance that any company trying to do just one or the other would have any chance of lasting in today's marketplace. I don't know that I totally agree, but certainly products that combine good provisioning (and de-provisioning) with enhanced security do have a leg up on their competitors.Some of the more significant new features in the major modules of Provisor 5.3 include:* Audit and Compliance Manager - Tracks adherence to separation of duty rules, helping avoid violations and creating an easy-to-understand audit trail when exceptions must be made.* Password Manager - Centralized, secure password management for disparate and homegrown systems that includes password expiration and complexity policy support.* User Manager - Rich application security modeling capabilities that include additional automation and enhanced integration with critical business applications and platforms such as Oracle Financials and iSeries.While it isn't a major new release, it should be enough to show the direction nCipher wants to take as well as how loyal to the established Provisor-base it will be. Head over to nCipher's identity management site and judge for yourself.