Wednesday, January 11, 2012

SCIM, PEX and what the parrot saw

I was talking with my older son the other day about renovations. He’s worked a lot on house renovations over the years and has a lot of experience dealing with the usual suspects: plumbing, flooring and drywall.

During the conversation I asked him about using PEX tubing for plumbing renovations. PEX is a fairly new innovation in the plumbing world and it seems like an interesting replacement for copper piping and all the cutting, bending and soldering fun that comes along with copper. Chris’ response was interesting: “I wouldn’t use it in a job until it’s been tried true and tested for 20 years.” A lively debate on old-school versus “cool” quickly ensued. Further discussions with plumbers found a camp of “Never used it” to “Prefer it”.

How does this relate to SCIM (Simple Cloud Identity Management)? Well, we now have this brand new piping called SCIM. But so far there are very few plumbers or contractors that are using it. The fact that we’ve got this cool new standard is, unfortunately, not going to mean that all the plumbers and contractors are just going to swap over from their tried-and-true (copper) standard to PEX (SCIM).

Don’t get me wrong. The guys at, Google and others have done an awesome job inventing this new tubing – and it was done in record time. Everyone involved in the invention of SCIM deserves credit. But, we need some plumbers and contractors to start using it in anger. The fact of the matter is until we get more plumbers and contractors using SCIM we are looking at a long uptake cycle unfortunately.

I still bear the scars from the “build it and they will come days” of X.400, X.500, OSI, token ring, Meridian LanStar, the Defense Message System (DMS) and my personal favorite: the back-of-a-cocktail-napkin (literally) LIPS standard. I’m hoping SCIM will not follow the same path but neither I nor the group involved in inventing SCIM can snatch success from the jaws of failure without that help.

Will Quest Software support SCIM? Absolutely – as soon as customers start demanding it and ISVs start building it into their products.

P.S. Please see Sean Deuby's excellent overview article in WindowsITPro on SCIM.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sudo video

Last month I blogged about our release our Sudo plugins for sudo 1.8.1. There’s a short two minute video that Jason Fehrenbach recorded that highlights some of the key features of these plugins. Take a look at the video to get a quick overview of the reports that you can run that show the access and privileges a Unix user has per host, examples of the event log, accepted and rejected commands by user or host. There’s also an example of the keystroke playback of a successfully executed sudo command session. Good stuff!

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Monday, January 09, 2012

Access Request Portal in Quest One Identity Manager

Late last year I highlighted a Quest One Identity Manager (Q1IM) video about “Self-Service Provisioning”. There’s also a video that highlights the Q1IM Access Request Portal that’s about three and half minutes long.

Barry Gerdsen highlights the Access Request Portal, the WYSIWYG editor for customizing the portal and gives an example of the various tables, charts and graphs that you can easily include in the portal. The portal can help you sift through your identity data to turn it into actionable information and knowledge.

If you have a few minutes take a look!

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Thursday, January 05, 2012

Top 10 Common Passwords

I was going to title this “Popular Passwords of 2011” but unfortunately I can’t find the original FBI article referred to in the January 4, 2012 article in the Los Angeles Times: “Some passwords are easy for hackers to crack”

According to the article the top ten most common passwords used are:

1. password
2. 123456
3. 12345678
4. qwerty
5. abc123
6. monkey
7. 1234567
8. letmein
9. trustno1
10. dragon

It would be interesting to do an audit of a company to see how many of their users have passwords in the top 10. I really wouldn’t have guessed “monkey” or “dragon” were a favorite but what do I know? I hope no one has a privileged user account out there protected with any of the top 10!

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Quest in the ‘Challengers’ Quadrant for User Administration

Quest Software has been positioned in the “Challengers” quadrant in Gartner Inc.’s 2011 Magic Quadrant for User Administration. We were recognized for “Completeness of Vision” and “Ability to Execute”.

We were rated much better than last year and, I believe, that’s partially in recognition of both the acquisitions we have made and the hard work of all the folks in sales, marketing and product management.

Yes, we still have a long way to go but we aren’t resting on our laurels. As you know, we acquired BiTKOO a few weeks ago and their technology and products are going to take us even further towards offering not only best-of-breed products but a simpler, easier to implement IAM suite – an IAM suite that incorporates leading-edge technologies like XACML-based authorization management integrated across our whole portfolio.

We’re all looking forward to 2012 and the challenges it will bring us! Happy New Year to everyone!