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October 02, 2013

USPTO Awards Identropy Patent for Core Parts of its Identity-as-a-Service Platform

By Peter Bernstein, Senior Editor

As pointed out by many of IT security professionals, “Identity is the new perimeter!” Realities today are that the barbarians are just not at the gate anymore (i.e., at firewalls), but they literally are everywhere – making authentication of users, their devices and apps based on first validated identity crucial for any type of risk management. In fact, as a result of the BYOD explosion and the ability to pervasively access mission-critical content and applications via the cloud, Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS) has become an increasingly popular way for IT departments to better secure the enterprise.

There is some interesting news on the IDaaS as one of the leading providers, Identropy, revealed that it has been awarded patent number 8,510,794 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

The patent, granted for "methods and apparatus for a unified identity management interface across internal and shared computing applications,” relates specifically to three aspects of SCUID Lifecycle:

  • User Interface
  • Recommendation Engine
  • Proxy Architecture

“This patent reflects the massive development effort that went into creating an intuitive, effective user experience and we are proud to translate that effort into Intellectual Property,” said Ash Motiwala, Identropy’s CTO. “This is the first patent granted of several written that connect the technical underpinnings of our solution to SCUID functionality that radically improves how organizations consume Identity Management. We are extremely proud of the patent authors, and look forward to expanding our Intellectual Property portfolio over the coming months.”

The patent, granted by the USPTO on August 13, 2013, was authored by Identropy’s executive team, which included: Chief Architect Nishant Kaushik, Executive Vice President Francisco Villavicencio, CTO Ashraf Motiwala, and Vice President and Information Security Officer Christopher Hydak.

It protects processes relating to:

SCUID Lifecycle’s User Interface (UI): Uses a different approach to on-premise solutions enabling simple, and easy to navigate, access for requesting, approving, and assigning privileges and access.

SCUID Lifecycle’s Recommendation Engine: Learns the patterns by which users are administered, resources are requested, and common Identity Management tasks are executed. It applies those patterns, and presents users with suggestions about what privileges to assign to what users and why. 

SCUID’s Proxy Architecture: Refers to SCUID Lifecycle’s ability to simultaneously provision and govern access to both on-premises and cloud-based applications. This functionality is core to any IDaaS system as most organizations leverage a mix of SaaS (News - Alert) and on-premises applications for business critical functions.

What is SCUID Lifecycle?

For those new to Identropy and SCUID (Secure Cloud-based Unified Identity), this is an IDaaS platform that delivers a complete suite of Identity Management capabilities including: self-service access request, password management, provisioning, identity governance and compliance.

It addresses the three most common concerns for customers of identity management products:

  1. Poor usability
  2. Long time-to-value
  3. High TCO

Identropy notes the key attributes of the SCUID platform as being:

  • Secure: SCUID is standards-based and built using cutting edge security tools and industry best-practices.
  • Cloud-Based: Delivers enterprise-grade IDM capabilities that are fast to implement and are much less expensive than on-premises solutions.
  • Unified Identity: A solution that covers on-premises and SaaS applications through a unified management and security framework.

While the first two items above are basically table stakes for cloud solutions of any type these days, the ability to provide IT with visibility and control over a unified identity is emerging as a vital need as IT departments struggle to manage all of the complexities that have arisen with the explosion of vectors of vulnerability created by BYOD and the cloud. You can control/manage and measure what you don’t see, and given that it really all does start with Identity management when it comes to overall risk management, having that unified view and control is critical no matter the platform being used to provide identity management. 

Identropy to its credit now has patent protection for its intellectual property (IP). Where they go from here given the growing complexity of IT security in general and the increased sophistication of bad actors in terms of growing an ecosystem based on their IP will bear watching.  

Edited by Alisen Downey
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