Microsoft's identity and security solution, Identity Lifecycle Management 2.0 RC, debuts this week at Tech•Ed EMEA IT Professionals. ILM 2.0 comes out of Microsoft's newly merged Identity and Security division and leverages the IT department's nemesis and master, the knowledge worker--offloading self-service tasks such as group and distribution list management to end users via self-help and workflow tools. The IT department retains control with integrated tools that allow management of identities, credentials, policies, and settings, as well as features that provide auditing and compliance.

"Most vendors have been keeping solutions \[for identity and security\] separate," says John "JG" Chirapurath, Microsoft director of marketing for the Identity and Security Division. But identity is a security hole—"A hacker goes for identities first thing," he says. "Customer challenges in both areas were intersecting. What we decided to do was balance identity management across the enterprise."

End users can access tools for group and distribution list management integrated into a SharePoint-based console as well as via Microsoft Office Outlook. IT pros manage policies and identities through a SharePoint-based policy and workflow management console. Developers can extend features through public APIs. "Most solutions are bolt-on solutions," Chirapurath says. "But we found customers prefer built-in solutions, built-in to Windows and other products. Say you want protection of data. Email is the biggest data leak. A bolt-on solution would filter out Exchange info and apply key words. Or, you could build those capabilities into Exchange. What the customer buys and deploys is seamless."

To read more about identity management and security, click the links below:

"Controlling the Password Not Required Property Using Update-Password-Not-Required-Bit"
http://windowsitpro.com/Windows/article/articleid/100145/controlling-the-password-not-required-property-using-update-password-not-required-bit.html

"Securing AD Service Accounts"
http://windowsitpro.com/article/articleid/98791/securing-ad-service-accounts.html

"As Expected: New Worm Exploits Latest Windows Hole"
http://windowsitpro.com/article/articleid/100692/as-expected-new-worm-exploits-latest-windows-hole.html

To read more about ILM 2.0 RC, visit http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc678640.aspx.