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Tirade aside, Novell’s identity management paper is a good read

May 29, 20033 mins
Enterprise Applications

8 "Exploring Secure Identity Management in Global Enterprises"

There’s a new document available from Novell that you should read, but more importantly it’s one that your executive management or the executive management of your clients (or potential clients) should read. It’s a study done by Stanford University in cooperation with Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and sponsored by Novell. It’s entitled “Exploring Secure Identity Management in Global Enterprises” and it’s available for free. But first, a bit of a tirade.

I believed Novell when it told me that by creating my very own “Novell Login” account at and then spending some time personalizing the portal would make my entire Novell experience so much better. As the first two paragraphs of the “why do this” page say:

“Novell Login is designed to allow you to use a single set of authentication credentials to access all of the secure Novell applications or databases to which you have entitlement rights.

“Instead of entering your user ID, password, and PIN each time you want to use the Channel Order Tool, access DeveloperNet, obtain Premium Support, or get information about your Novell Certification, this single-point authentication, or LOGIN, gives you instant access to everything.”

By “everything,” of course, Novell really doesn’t mean everything the way you and I do. For example, this excellent Stanford study. Even though I’m logged in to, which supposedly is using eDirectory and iChain to provide a “single-sign-on environment… that simplifies, secures, and accelerates the customer experience at Novell,” I have to fill out a form (name, address, phone, etc.) in order to be able to download the paper! Now I don’t believe in having to register to download a white paper, but I object so much more when the site already has all of that information!

Normally, if a site asks me to give up information simply to view a white paper, I decline. But this one is important enough that a little aggravation can be overlooked.

The study was funded by Novell in order to identify “the key business drivers for secure identity management, as well as obstacles to its adoption.” The study consisted of a statistical analysis of survey results from nearly 200 Global 2000 companies as well as and more than 30 individual interviews with IT executives and IT managers in North America, Europe and Asia. Companies shared their current technologies, processes and attitudes regarding the management of user identities and access rights.

What was uncovered, primarily, was a lack of provisioning and deprovisioning solutions, the need for better single sign-on applications and a decided lack of understanding of what identity management in the enterprise really means.

NetWare offers the best, most complete platform for identity management in the enterprise. The included utilities and services in the upcoming release of NetWare 6.5 put it head and shoulders above other potential network operating systems both in terms of actual security offered as well as total cost of security.

Grit your teeth, fill out the form and get the paper. Use it to sell your management and your clients’ management on the benefits of a secure identity management platform. Then sell ’em NetWare. Everybody wins.