Quit while you’re ahead...?

By Dr Guy Bunker. 

Last week saw The Open Group conference take place in London. In conjunction with this was The Jericho Forum’s announcement that after ten years they were declaring success and sunsetting. By sunsetting we mean that the Jericho group in its current form will be disbanded and we will hand over the legacy of work to various parts of The Open Group, where it will be continued with fresh eyes and minds. I have been a member of the Jericho Forum since 2007 and on the Board of Management for the past few years and it was quite a momentous decision we took to make the announcement – after all, most of the work that has been done has now made it into ‘the real world’ and the group of people who have created it are now more friends than colleagues – after all we have met by phone or face-to-face at least once a month for the past ten years! At its inception a decade ago, Jericho had a mission and that was to help drive the next generation of security needs and requirements into the public eye.

Jericho is most famous for coining the term ‘de-perimeterisation’ and with it setting out a series of commandments. In essence the perimeter of the organization, from an IT perspective, has gone and things will have to be done differently. Ten years ago, this was almost heresy (similar in some ways to when no-one thought Microsoft would ever be in the datacentre), so there was a lot of coverage about how this was not happening and that the perimeter would always be there. Today,
de-perimeterisation is now commonly used jargon and most organisations understand what it means. However, after the initial commandments were created, the group at Jericho started to look at changing business practices and how the commandments applied to those:

  • The Cloud Cube Model explained the various different cloud models and highlighted the need for the next piece of work on Identity
  • The launch of the Identity Commandments set the wheels in motion – tackling how we will need to protect our information in the future. These include pieces of work on Smart Data, Trust Ecosystems and a new set of Data Commandments

From a Clearswift perspective, data loss prevention and Adaptive Redaction are a step on the road to Smart Data – but this is just a step. There’s more to be done if Smart Data is to be realised as self-protecting information, (semi)autonomous in its ability to allow access to its content based on identity and entitlement, no matter where it is located.

These final pieces of work are being completed and handed over to the Open Group towards the end of the year, with their entrustment to the security group.

Last week it declared success – de-perimeterisation is now an acknowledged and accepted fact of IT life. Standards for secure use of the cloud, BYOD and identity are all being tackled in several different organisations – and most of them use or reference the various Jericho commandments. I will miss the discussions and hypothetical situations which formed much of the thinking, but it is good to look back and think that as a group, Jericho made a real difference – but it is now time to move on, while still at the top.