Why CA Supports the Kantara Initiative

Over the past year or so, I have been CA’s representative involved in the structuring and birth of the Kantara Initiative.  Now that the Kantara Initative is officially launched, I thought it made sense to blog about why CA believes the creation of the Kantara Initiative is so important.  In no particular order, here are my thoughts on “why Kantara.”

  • The challenges around identity go beyond just technology. Over the years the industry has done a pretty good job inventing technologies and establishing standards to address identity challenges (too well really), only to discover that the real challenges to identity and security on the Internet are around softer issues like privacy and trust. The Kantara Initiative will focus on this in a way that is neutral to the underlying technologies.

  • Along the same lines, to date technologists have invented many technologies/standards that are at least somewhat overlapping and certainly not interoperable (example SAML, Information Cards, OpenID) which complicates matters for both deploying organizations and end-users. The Kantara Initiative will focus on this. The identity community cannot afford to create new, incompatible silos of identity on the Internet.

  • Certification of interoperability of vendor implementations is critical to eased deployments in the real world. Inventing new technologies/standards without sustained vendor certification testing is a recipe for slow and painful adoption. The Kantara Initiative will focus on this.

  • Creating and promoting identity technologies and best practices is a global challenge and opportunity. Technology invention is only part of what is needed for adoption. Thus the Kantara Initiative will focus on both bringing the global community in on the debate as well as be the focus of the related communication and promotion.

  • Combining open participation with a serious and well-funded organization is unique. Traditionally you could have one or the other of these, but not both. We have typically seen many organizations where “all are welcome,” but it is hard to get things done since everyone is a volunteer with day jobs. Or organizations which are well-funded but are correspondingly exclusive based on the need to pay – so that staff and expert consultants can be hired. The Kantara Initiative is covering both bases partially based on its unique bicameral governance model.

I will certainly blog more about the Kantara Initiative as it develops and starts making an impact, but if any of these points hit home for you, please consider participating and/or joining the Kantara Initative yourself.

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