Friday, March 14, 2008

Integrating, extending and securing

By leveraging standards (industry or otherwise) we have been able to benefit in a number of ways:
  • Faster time to market

  • Better and easier cross-product integration

  • Less development work on our end

Some of the standards we have leveraged with our products are well known including Kerberos and LDAP - especially with respect to Windows and Active Directory. So despite all the carping about Microsoft and standards I believe that Quest Software is a shining example of how we have leveraged these standards - for many years - to build products that fully interoperate with Microsoft and are significant revenue generators for Quest.

So where did this help specifically? One area was our integration of smart cards and PKI with our Unix, Linux and Java products. We leverage Microsoft's Kerberos and LDAP in our client software so adding in support for smart cards while a challenge was made much easier by the fact that the underlying protocol to support this integration was Kerberos. This is the same mechanism we are using to add strong authentication support to Mac OS X.

Another "industry" standard we now support is RSA SecurID tokens. Quest Software acquired PassGo Technologies and one of their products - Defender5 - allowed us to jump into the other side of two-factor authentication: one-time passwords (OTP). In that light, we now support RSA tokens with our Unix and Linux products.

Another industry standard is OATH - Initiative for Open Authentication. The Initiative for Open Authentication (OATH) is a collaborative effort of IT industry leaders aimed at providing a reference architecture for universal strong authentication across all users and all devices over all networks. By supporting OATH we are able to support a broad range of OTP products within our Defender product. We are also members of OATH.

I am all behind standards. I am all behind better support for standards - including pushing Microsoft to do more. And, I'm really thankful for what Microsoft has done so far.

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