Ping Identity Invests in Next Generation Blockchain Alternative to Solve "Global Single Logout” Dilemma
New Orleans, LA — June 6, 2016
At the Cloud Identity Summit, Ping Identity®, the leader in Identity Defined Security, today announced a seed investment in Swirlds, a new platform that emerged from stealth today to harness the power of the cloud without servers and solve the limitations of blockchain technology. Ping Identity plans to work with Swirlds to launch a technology preview program which will create a new standard for Distributed Session Management that leverages this new approach so that all cloud applications and identity providers can apply it. Together the companies will demonstrate the early stages of their collaboration at the Cloud Identity Summit in New Orleans, June 6-9.
“Swirlds represents a huge technological breakthrough that can change the way distributed consensus communities function across a myriad industries and use cases,” said Patrick Harding, CTO, Ping Identity. “The new identity standard we’re developing solves the major challenges that identity professionals face in conducting and verifying session logout.”
The Power of Blockchain... and its Limitations
Distributed consensus networks, like blockchain, have gained recognition for their potential to solve the challenges with creating trust within peer-to-peer networks. The Bitcoin system – a payments system built on blockchain technology – originally emerged to facilitate these transactions with this new form of distributed trust.
Blockchain’s distributed consensus algorithm can generate distributed trust, but it has a number of limitations. If the members of the Blockchain community are untrusted, then a proof-of-work mechanism is often required to ensure the community comes to a consensus. This is inefficient; introducing high lag time and wasted resources. Further, blockchain doesn’t provide trusted timestamps or proof of receipt.
“The real impact of blockchain was always going to be its inspiration. Blockchain ‘squared the circle’ in digital currency and that was amazing. But the first generation algorithm is not efficient or practical for other applications,” said Steve Wilson, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research. “What the community needs is real research and development that will begin to solve these challenges — not solutions that arbitrarily jam the blockchain algorithm into every pet problem. This collaboration of Swirlds and Ping Identity is fresh, focused R&D and a very significant advancement for moving Identity forward.”
Next Generation Distributed Consensus Technology Enables Global Sign-Off
Swirlds hashgraph is a next-generation distributed consensus platform that has huge advantages over existing systems, like blockchain, central servers or leader-based systems. This is because it uniquely provides three important properties: fairness, distributed trust and resilience to Denial of Service attacks, without the need for inefficient proof of work. Potential applications for the Swirlds hashgraph expand far beyond the financial industry — from cloud applications, to supply chain logistics, social collaboration and multiplayer gaming.
When applied to identity management, the Ping DSM system built on the Swirlds hashgraph platform reduces risk by giving IT organizations the ability to globally sign off users, for example in instances of employee terminations and lost or stolen devices. This unprecedented standard enables global session logout for all active Single Sign-On and Application Sessions across web and mobile apps, independent of the identity protocol being used. It also generates a cryptographic timestamp and proof of receipt, providing the certainty that session commands have been received.
"Swirlds is excited and grateful to have a visionary partner in Ping Identity," said Dr. Leemon Baird, founder and CEO of Swirlds. "The DSM system they are building on top of the Swirlds hashgraph distributed consensus platform will allow their customers to achieve unprecedented control within their identity systems. We look forward to working with Ping and their customers to help them adopt a fundamentally new standard for identity."
"The OpenID Foundation supports Ping Identity and Swirlds' plan to submit its DSM system for standardization, and make its DSM software publicly available for review as an early reference implementation,” said Nat Sakimura, Chairman, OpenID Foundation. “This will fast track the development of an open standard that can benefit all."
About Ping Identity | The Identity Defined Security Company
Ping Identity is the leader in Identity Defined Security for the borderless enterprise, allowing the right people to access the right things, securely and seamlessly. More than half of the Fortune 100, including Boeing, Cisco, Disney, GE, Kraft Foods, TIAA and Walgreens, trust us to accelerate their move to the cloud, deliver a rich customer experience and quickly onboard partners as part of their digital transformation. Protecting more than 1.3 billion identities around the globe, Ping Identity allows employees, customers and partners the freedom to access the Cloud and the on-premise applications they need with an enterprise IDaaS solution that includes multi-factor authentication, single sign-on and access security. Visit www.pingidentity.com.
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