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Digital Identity Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Length: 256 pages

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Editorial Reviews


"Highly recommended" - Greg Matthews, news@UK, March 2006

About the Author

Phillip J. Windley is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Brigham Young University. Dr. Windley is a nationally recognized expert in using information technology (IT) to add value to the business. Windley received his PhD in Computer Science from the University of California, Davis in 1990. Prior to his graduate studies, Windley worked for 4 years as a nuclear metallurgist and a member of the technical staff at the Department of Energy's Division of Naval Reactors.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1058 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (August 1, 2005)
  • Publication Date: July 14, 2008
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0026OR3DA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #960,878 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Phil Windley is the Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Kynetx, an early stage company providing a platform for building browser apps. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Brigham Young University where he teaches courses on reputation, digital identity, large-scale system design, and programming languages. Phil writes the popular Technometria blog and is a frequent contributor to various technical publications. He is also the author of the book Digital Identity from O'Reilly Media.

Prior to joining BYU, Phil spent two years as the Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the State of Utah, serving on Governor Mike Leavitt's Cabinet and as a member of his Senior Staff. Before entering public service, Phil was Vice President for Product Development and Operations at Excite@Home and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of iMALL, Inc. an early creator of electronic commerce tools. Phil serves on the Boards of Directors and Advisory Boards for several high-tech companies. Phil received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Univ. of California, Davis in 1990.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
If you are looking for an architectural level book on tracking and maintaining identity in distributed systems this book is for you. If you are looking for something about managing your personal digital identity, there is nothing here for you. In addition those looking for code samples beware. There are some XML code fragments but this is an architectural level book, which means, no code.

The writing is great, and the illustrations are used well to cut through what are often some complex interactions between multiple digital authorities. Definitely worth the look if you know what you are getting.
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Format: Paperback
When I received Digital Identity (234 Pages, O'Reilly, 2005, ISBN 0596008783) for review, I was fully expecting I would be slogging through a deep technical dive into identity management architectures (IMA). Boy, was I wrong. What I got was a extremely thorough discussion of identity management architectures within the context of information systems (IS) governance processes. This is the first time I have read a book that so thoroughly weaves technical discussions (at an appropriate level for the intended audience) with a full discussion of the IS governance frameworks that are essential to success when implementing an IMA. There is only one place where Phillip Windley, former CIO of the State of Utah, falls short in this book.

Windley is up front in stating that management of digital identities is fundamental to success in information technology. He also makes it clear that the purpose of the book is not to show how to design and implement an IMA. It is about understanding IMAs in a business context. Windley also does an excellent job at showing why critics of digital rights management (DRM) (as enforced by the movie and record industries), are doing more of a disservice by framing the DRM dialog in the wrong context. A such, people are predisposed in their opinions whenever the discussion comes up in any context.

Stating this up front, the reader of the book will walk through an explanation of what digital identity is, the concept of trust, the lifecycle of digital identity, and the business reasons for it. After laying the groundwork, as well as covering interoperability and federation of identity, the authors covers what really should be the best practices for any organization.
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Format: Paperback
Many people who review their credit report for the first time are shocked to learn how many identities are linked to them. Even when there is no problem of identity theft, it is not uncommon for people to have 10 or more names linked to their credit reports due to various errors, including permutation of their name.

Just as it is difficult to maintain and manage identities in the real world, it is difficult to maintain and manage digital identities. As the digital economy is becoming more ubiquitous, the need for a single federated identity is becoming more critical. In Digital Identity, Phillip Windley details the steps needed to develop an identity management architecture (IMA).

Identity management has become a pressing need in the past few years. This has come about because networks and systems are no longer geared around a single infrastructure, and businesses have become increasingly virtual and decentralized. In previous years, there were simply internal users. Today, systems have internal users, along with external users such as consultants, contractors, third-parties, customers, collaborators, and many more. Such requirements necessitate a well-designed and planned IMA.

So what is this thing called IMA? Windley defines an IMA as the coherent, enterprise-wide set of standards, policies, certifications, and management activities that enable an organization to effectively manage digital identities.

IMA is also known as federated identity. The book notes that the real challenge in developing a federated identity infrastructure is dealing with the various different hardware and software platforms where user accounts reside, and working with different organizations and departments, including the ever-increasing amount of outsourcing.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I selected this book based on an upcoming IAM project I'd be involved in, and on Amazon reader recommendations (overly positive, as it turns out). The book, written around 2003 is a bit outdated in some points, but this is not too much of an issue given its focus: governance, broad principles of identity management, high level theoretical guidelines of architecture. Sure, it is a good refresh of the high level governance principles that should guide identity management projects from a managerial perspective.

But the book clearly lacks substance when it comes to the practical implementation. While it is of some help during the planning phase of IM projects, it essentially stops where one wants to start. Conceptual approach, theoretical design, planning are one thing. Implementing is another, totally absent here. The book will not help in areas like dimensioning, practical issues and pitfalls, product evaluation, actual design and architecture, ROI, cost vs benefit and such. It is totally lacking any How To?

The book starts the traditional way: explaining what digital identity is. This is followed by about 8 chapters about the constituents of identity management, including authentication, trust, integrity, non-repudiation, and even digital rights management. Except for a very brief refresher, I think these have no place here and they should have been summarized in one single chapter. Other books treat this much better, and many readers will find this part to be a somewhat boring given it is background knowledge for any CISSP-level security person. The DRM chapter (Chapter 10), and some other parts in this area are even irrelevant, in my view.

This first part is followed by two chapters on (11) Interoperability Standards and (12) Federating Identity.
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