The 63rd Edition of the Identity Jedi Newsletter

IdentiClaus, The value of identity , Holiday Cheer, and Okta..yikes

Hey Jedi welcome to the 63rd edition of the Identity Jedi Newsletter! We are fast approaching the Holiday Season here in the U.S. ( It doesn’t count until we get to December in my book). And wow, what a year it has been! As we start to wind down and the chill sets in the air, it’s hard not to think about next year and begin to set goals, but before you do, take the time to be present this year. This moment, this time, because you never get it back.

Let’s Get to the Good Stuff!

  • IdentiKlaus

  • Chief Identity Officer….but first

  • 3 IAM features every business must have


Five IAM features that can make or break the business

Ok, so I saw this article while perusing the news for topics, and I immediately got excited when I read the headline. But was less enthusiastic when I read the article. Not that it wasn’t a good article; it was I didn’t see some of the features that I thought would be there. ( Yes, very narcissistic of me, I know) So I said, not only am I going to share the article, but I’ll write my list as well. Cuz yeah, ya know the whole content creator thing.

But more importantly than that, my excitement for the article was about the topic itself and the ideas it triggered. One compelling question:

What feature is most impactful to the business regarding IAM?

Think about that for a moment…

I did, and in doing so, I came up with my list of three.

  • Automated lifecycle management

  • Adaptive authentication

  • Context-rich access reviews

As I was creating this list, I realized that I’m purely looking at this from a security standpoint because I’ve always looked at IAM as a part of security. So then I thought about it again, purely from a “what helps the business operate better” perspective, and I came up with this list.

  • Access Requests

  • Passwordless Authentication

  • Context-rich access reviews

And let me explain what I mean by context-rich access reviews. They are access reviews that actually EXPLAIN what a user is looking at in terms of access. Adds data like “last used”, and comparative data like “73% of users in your organization also have this access” Things that give the user context into what they are approving or remediating.

So those are my features…what are yours?

The value of identity..prerequisite to Chief Identity Officer

I’ve talked about this before, but lately, based on conversations I’ve had with customers, it’s been on my mind to talk about again. Identity has to have its own place at the table. It needs a champion to drive the culture of being an identity-centric organization, maintain the necessary relationships at the executive level, and drive the success of an IAM program by connecting to the main business objectives.

This is easier to make the case when an organization has a heavy customer-facing side to their business. Customer Identity and Access Management (CIAM) has such a clear path to revenue-changing actions. It’s that much harder with workforce identity, but still just as important.

So before this position can even exist, we need to define what the true business value of identity is to an organization in simple dollars and sense terms.

My thoughts around this are a dual-prong value proposition of efficiency and risk.

Efficiency: For every 1 dollar invested in identity, we save 3 dollars in operating costs. Lean into the automation of it all and show the costs of manually managing things such as access reviews, provisioning, and password resets, and contrast it to the costs of procuring and implementing an identity solution to solve those issues. But here’s the catch…it kinda actually has to be cheaper. We have to be able to solve the problem for less than it currently costs to live with the problem…just food for thought.

Risk: Simply put, we need to quantify risk. I know, I know, easier said than done, but it has been done. Insurance companies have done it, so it’s doable we just have to find the model that works for us.

So many customers I’ve worked with struggle with getting their IAM programs off the ground because they don’t know how to articulate the value of identity in their organization. And quite frankly, I don’t think we as an industry know how to articulate that value. But I feel like we have enough data and experience as an industry to do so.

But until we do, I think having a CIDO would just be setting them up for failure kinda like we’ve done with CISOs.


What’s your holiday gift to identity?

Ok, so as you read, this invisible magic dust is coming from the screen and granting you the powers to make anything possible in the world of identity. But it only lasts for the time it takes you to read this newsletter. So, with that being said: What would you create and give to identity for the holidays?

Merry Christmas GIF by Macy's

Gif by macys on Giphy

#248 - Decentralized Identity with the Identity Woman Kaliya Young

Listen to this episode from Identity at the Center on Spotify. In episode #248 of the Identity at the Center Podcast, hosts Jim McDonald and Jeff Steadman welcome special guest Kaliya Young, also known as the Identity Woman. They dive into the fascinating world of decentralized identity and explore its challenges and potential. Kaliya shares her journey into the field of identity, her involvement in founding the Internet Identity Workshop, and her work with the Identosphere newsletter. The conversation covers topics such as the hurdles faced by governments in implementing decentralized identity, the definition of decentralized identity, and the competition between decentralized identity standards. Kaliya also discusses her recent blog post on digital wallets and provides insights on the global nature of identity standards and the politics involved in their development. The conversation wraps up on a lighter note, with Kaliya sharing her best and worst water polo moments as a member of the Canadian national team. Connect with Kaliya: Blog “Exploring Approaches to Digital Wallets”: Learn more about Identity Woman: Book “The Domains of Identity: A Framework for Understanding Identity Systems in Contemporary Society (Anthem Ethics of Personal Data Collection)”: Book “A Comprehensive Guide to Self Sovereign Identity”: Identosphere newsletter: Internet Identity Workshop (IIW): Register for the free NYC and Chicago Identiverse regional events here: Connect with us on LinkedIn: Jim McDonald: Jeff Steadman: Visit the show on the web at and follow @IDACPodcast on Twitter.

Identity Jedi Show Podcast

The podcast is back and rolling! Check out the latest episode with Den Jones, and don’t forget to subscribe on whatever podcast platform you like! But you can drop us a voice note if you're a Spotify user! Links below!

The Last Word

Ok, so I couldn’t send this today without discussing the update from the Okta breach.

Turns out this was bigger than they let on, but honestly, I’m not surprised, and that’s not a dig at Okta, but just in the description of what the hack was it was hard to believe that it was limited to only 1% of the customers. But I don’t want this to be a dumping ground for picking on one company. ( Although, let’s be honest, it’s a little fun to poke at Okta) It does highlight the fact that we need to start addressing the fact that just because we have cloud IAM products now doesn’t mean we can relax in how we architect our security around them. It’s time to take a hard look at what security and IAM architectures look like with cloud services. Everything is give and take, so when we give up the responsibility of hosting the software, scaling, and maintenance, what do we take on? The secret is out, IAM tools protect they keys to the kingdom, they are going to continue to be targeted. So let’s make sure we are prepared.

Also, hug an Okta friend today.

I LOVE THE HOLIDAY SEASON. I really do! Not in a decorations, ugly sweater-wearing type of love, more so in a enjoy and embrace family and friends kind of love. I’ve got so many great memories of spending this time of year with friends and family, and I just love being around them and catching up. Seeing my nephews and nieces as grown adults and hearing about their journey through life, as they now become parents. Sharing stories with my cousins about all the things we did as kids. So as we approach the holiday season, I hope you get the chance to make time for your loved ones. Create those memories! Till next time.

Be Good to each other, Be Kind to each other, Love each other

-Identity Jedi

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