After reading about the latest round of attacks against DoD and other government computers, I started thinking about the defensive, reactive nature of security world. Vendors are consistently on their heels trying to catch up with hackers and crackers. Consumers are consistently running behind vendors trying to deploy security patches, let alone adopt security-based best practices in their own applications. Yes, there are more proactive solutions, especially at the network level, but its safe to say that the computing world has yet to achieve a complete proactive stance when it comes to security.
Being proactive is hard. As a vendor, there is so much you can do to stay head of the curve, making sure that your code is a well behaved as possible. As a consumer, you are beholden to both the vendor-world as well as the particulars of your organization in terms of rolling out patches and new technology.
We, as an industry, have to make sure that there are security functions at every layer of our customer solutions. But more than that, those functions have to be able to act in concert. They have to be able to be monitored and audited in a more holistic manner. I feel that an Identity Metasystem is part and parcel to this. We owe it our customers to create a computing world which is security proactive on its own, freeing the customer to focus on their day to day business.