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24 April 2009, 11:44

Microsoft presents beta of the Geneva open identity platform

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At the 2009 RSA Conference in San Francisco, Microsoft has presented a beta version of its Geneva open identity platform. Geneva reportedly allows single sign-on access to systems that are active across several data centres. The platform is based on a claims authentication model and the proprietary Security Token Service technology (STS). It consists of the Geneva server, which is to deal with issuing and exchanging claims and controlling user access, a cardspace client and the Geneva Framework, an extension of Microsoft's .Net Framework 3.5. The server itself supports active directory and web service standards like Security Assertion Markup Language 2.0 (SAML), WS-Federation and WS-Trust.

A proof-of-concept phase is currently in progress in a school district in the US state of Washington. Students and teachers use Geneva to securely access learning materials via the internet. The identity metasystem is part of the End-to-End Trust programme started last year. Using technologies that are integrated in Windows 7, this programme is to ensure that the components within a system environment – users, operating system and hardware – can be trusted.

Other technologies implemented in the Windows 7 beta include the Trusted Platform Modules (TPMs), a hardware approach designed to help users achieve optimum system security standards, Windows BitLocker now extended to allow encryption on USB devices, AppLocker which is designed to ensure that only trusted applications can run, and DirectAccess which allows secure connections between security-enabled end devices and corporate networks.



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