Identity crisis ahead (sidebar)

The scorecard

The Liberty Alliance Project—This organization is an alliance of more than 170 companies, non-profit and government organizations that was created to develop and promote deployment of open, federated network identification standards that support all current and emerging network devices in the digital economy. Membership is open to all commercial and non-commercial organizations. The alliance contributes some of its work to OASIS for inclusion in its standards, and issues Business Guidelines to help companies get started.

OASIS—The Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards is a worldwide not-for-profit consortium that drives the development, convergence and adoption of e-business standards. OASIS adopted the SAML Specifications Set 1.0 in November 2002.

SAML—The Security Assertions Markup Language (SAML) Specifications Set 1.0 is a vendor-neutral, XML-based framework for exchanging security-related information, called “assertions,” between business partners over the Internet. SAML defines how identity and access information is exchanged, and is designed to work with HTTP, Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, file transfer protocol and several XML frameworks, including the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) and e-business XML.

SSO—Single sign-on allows a person to log on once, either in a corporate network or the Internet, and access multiple applications. On the Internet, Microsoft’s Passport is a common SSO environment.

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