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The year of authorization: lessons learned from Identiverse 2023

Originally published on IDPro. For the first time ever, Identiverse headed to Vegas for its annual conference. It was a hit, as always, and judging by the agenda, some of the hot topics were passwordless authentication, AI, and last but definitely not least, authorization. My eyes were gleaming! We’re making authorization great again! Much Ado about Authorization I was delighted to see so much activity around authorization, both in the standards track, the vendor track, and the keynotes. On the floor, we had a slew of newer vendor booths tackling the authorization challenge, from Aserto to Indykite. All sources of inspiration. There was no shortage of authorization-related talks either: As You Like It One of the main challenges with ‘authorization’ […]

A man reading Dr Seuss's ABC in a field of flowers. Photo by JOSHUA COLEMAN on Unsplash

Playing with ChatGPT: if Dr. Seuss wrote about ABAC

This morning, I woke up, got breakfast ready for my three-year-old, sat down at my desk and wondered: “what if Dr. Seuss had written about ABAC?” Don’t ask me why… Maybe because I’d been reading I Am Not Going to Get Up Today! to my kid the night before. Who knows? Oh, and if you’re wondering what ABAC is, it’s attribute-based access control. Fortunately, we live in a day and age where ChatGPT can pretty much fulfill our wildest dreams and so, without further ado, here’s what ChatGPT thinks Dr. Seuss would have said about ABAC: In a world of data and access control so tight,There’s a method that shines with a brilliant light.ABAC, my dear friend, is its clever […]

Eltz Castle, Wierschem, Germany

What is Policy-Based Access Control?

TL;DR; Policy-based access control (PBAC) and attribute-based access control (ABAC) are exactly the same thing. They enable fine-grained access control or authorization. Lately, customers have been asking me about the difference between externalized authorization, attribute-based access control (ABAC), and policy-based access control (PBAC). These are in fact all different ways of describing roughly the same thing: a better approach to tackling fine-grained authorization challenges in a way that is technology-neutral, i.e. that can be reused for APIs, data, and more. Both ALFA, the abbreviated language for authorization, and XACML are the OASIS standard implementations for ABAC.

Photo by Matt Artz on Unsplash

The state of the Union of Authorization

This post was originally published on Identiverse’s blog following the 2018 edition of their conference. Background A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure to talk at the European Identity Conference on a topic that is close to my heart: authorization. More specifically, I discussed how the evolving IT landscape requires an even finer grained authorization framework to be able to deliver value to consumers as a whole. In a later session, I took part in a panel entitled “How will Authorization Look in the Future? XACML, OAuth, Proprietary” with Loren Russon (Ping Identity), Pam Dingle (Microsoft) and Eve Maler (ForgeRock). The bulk of the debate centered around standards and in particular the battle XACML vs. OAuth (and to a […]