A good read on authorization management from Kuppinger Cole (author is the Kuppinger part, Martin). One paragraph that I could relate to:
There is another interesting aspect of Authorization Management: Dynamic Authorization Management. Most of today’s approaches are static, e.g. they use provisioning tools or own interfaces to statically change mappings of users to groups, profiles, or roles in target systems. But there are many business rules which can’t be enforced statically. Someone might be allowed to do things up to a defined limit. Some data – for example some financial reports – have access restrictions during a quiet period. And so on. That requires authorization engines which are used as part of an externalization strategy (externalizing authentication, authorization, auditing and so on from applications) which provide the results of a dynamic authorization decision, according to defined rules, on the fly.
Most organizations I know are kind of stuck in static authorization management. It’s all about groups (and roles) that need to be populated by IAM tools. Even when the rules to do so are leaning towards dynamic authorization management. Sometimes they just have to, platforms like Microsoft Sharepoint depend largely on groups to perform authorization.
Also note the “European Identity Conference” organized by Kuppinger Cole. I was lucky to attend the first edition (as speaker) and can warmly recommend this conference to anyone interested. Atmosphere is great, content in-depth and a high concentration of (identity) brains. Now, do I qualify for free registration as a blogger ? 🙂