Netegrity has begun shipping Netegrity SiteMinder 5.5.
According to the company, SiteMinder 5.5 enables federated identity and security with support for SAML, Microsoft .Net Passport, and Kerberos. Federated security may help companies standardize the sharing of identity information across applications within the enterprise as well as to partner companies outside of the enterprise, and help businesses more easily and cost effectively provide customers with seamless and personalized access across a network of connected services.
The company says that the promise of federated authentication is to allow secure, distributed management of user identity within and across enterprise boundaries, and across a wide range of technologies. Netegrity's federated security model may help companies leverage a single unified authentication, single sign-on, authorization, and auditing model to provide shared security services, regardless of whether the application is hosted locally within the organization or remotely by a partner. This should may let users log in just once, using a broad range of authentication services.
Netegrity is providing support for SAML, Passport and Kerberos in SiteMinder 5.5 to provide customers with a standards-based approach to allowing authentication and identity information to be shared among multiple organizations and servers.
SiteMinder 5.5 provides support for:
- SAML (Security Assertion Markup Language) - SiteMinder 5.5 enables a SiteMinder identity to be mapped to a SAML based identity. SiteMinder is designed to create a SAML assertion for a user and makes it available to a partner site. Companies should be able to securely exchange information with authenticated users without having to change their security infrastructures, which may reduce costs, create more efficiencies, and provide a better user experience.
- Microsoft .Net Passport - SiteMinder integration with Microsoft .NET Passport should help users log in just one time using their .NET Passport user name and password, and access .NET Passport enabled Web sites as well as enterprise applications protected by SiteMinder and configured to trust Passport authentication. In addition, for more sensitive applications, companies may implement a policy that challenges users for additional credentials beyond their Passport identities.
- Kerberos - With support for Kerberos, users should be able to log into their Microsoft desktop using Windows credentials and then provided with a single sign-on to the SiteMinder protected environment, without having to sign on again.
In addition to federated security features, SiteMinder 5.5 introduces new features that should make it easier to develop, deploy and manage e-business Web sites, and reduce IT administration costs. These features include:
- Performance Enhancements - With SiteMinder 5.5, Netegrity offers new features that may optimize LDAP, making LDAP requests even faster. Also, the improved request handling model in SiteMinder 5.5 should allow the Netegrity policy server to connect with virtually unlimited number of Web-agents which may be ideal for Apache Web servers.
- Developer Customization - The cookie application program interface (API) in SiteMinder 5.5 should allow custom agents to be developed to enable single sign-on with SiteMinder agents. In addition, the session server API's should allow enterprises to store application state associated with the user and make it available to all applications as a shared service.
"As companies broaden the reach of their business initiatives to new user constituencies and expand the scope of their business activities across corporate boundaries, federated identity and security become critical," said Bill Bartow, vice president of engineering and marketing at Netegrity. "With SiteMinder 5.5, Netegrity is supporting a broad range of authentication services that will enable an enterprise to identify users from multiple authentication sources from both inside and outside the enterprise."
SiteMinder 5.5 is available immediately.