Applying the Fourth Dimension to Security

For the last few weeks I’ve been reviewing a business process model for a client. It’s an interesting task for me as I’ve always been fascinated by models and how best to structure them. Being a bit of a perfectionist and a keen futurist, my immediate reaction is always to see if I can find a model that is completely agile. It’s a do-able challenge.

Of course I do have the advantage of having worked alongside leading data management luminaries such as Matthew West of Shell. So my first reaction was to catch up with the latest learning from Shell. And there is some impressive work going on there, especially in the use of applying 4-Dimensional concepts to high-quality business data architectures.

“Pretentious!” some of you might say. But that washes off me. I’m used to hearing this from old-fashioned security managers. Particularly the ones that hope we could reduce the entire subject area to a handful of simple common-sense principles. That will never be true. Security is a subject of growing complexity. And we have to step up to the challenge.

And there are some major learning points for Identity Management architectures in applying the 4D paradigm. Because we continue to build major problems into our identity management processes through a failure to take sufficient account of how entities change over time. Think about it. And try to spot how many deep-seated flaws you have embedded into your own access management systems. User roles and circumstances are in constant flux. We need to cater much more for this.

And when you grasp this concept you will also understand that we have some way to go to crack the so-called “laws of identity”. We need to learn more from emerging science in related fields. That’s the only way we will understand just how to design fully agile, fit-for-purpose identity management systems.

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