RSA backs Liberty Alliance with 'Nexus' strategy

RSA: The security company is pulling its identity and access management products into a single framework

RSA Security is planning to integrate its suite of products into an identity management system that will be compliant with the Liberty Alliance -- the main rival to Microsoft's Passport. Announcing the strategy, called Nexus, at the RSA Security conference in San Francisco, the company said the current products will be brought piece by piece into the system.

"It's an incremental change," said John Worral, product marketing manager at RSA Security. "We have interoperability. The next level is integration." The products will be more cohesive and very tightly integrated, so they can be managed in one place. The upgrade will place Liberty Alliance-compliant technology in the core of the product.

Products fitting into Nexus will include ClearTrust access management, RSA mobile one-time access codes, SecureID two-factor authentication and Keon digital certificates. The common services will include user management, identity authority services, access authority, and integration services. Other features such as provisioning will be provided by third parties.

Bringing products closer together does not represent a change to selling suites, said Breton. "We are committed to continue to offer separate products," said product manager Brian Breton, though he did say the company is looking into suite-licensing options. This distinction is worth making, as security suites, often pulled together by acquisitions, are proving unpopular with users, who prefer to pick and choose the best products for each application.

Although Nexus milestones will be hard to spot because the change is incremental, some have already happened, said Breton. "Last September, RSA Mobile was built on Nexus services. Cleartrust is not on Nexus, but it uses some services such as the Nexus user management interface."

The products will have the same management interface and use the same store, from a third party. "There will be one common way to manage users' trust," said Breton.


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