EMC has announced the acquisition of Aveksa, one of the burgeoning players in the identity management space. Aveksa will be moved into the RSA security division, and no doubt merged with existing authentication products. From the Aveksa blog:

… business demands and the threat landscape continue to evolve, and organizations now expect even more value from IAM platforms. As a standalone company, Aveksa began this journey by connecting our IAM platform to DLP and SIEM solutions – allowing organizations to connect identity context, access policies, and business processes to these parts of the security infrastructure. This has been successful, and also led us to recognize the massive and untapped potential for IAM as part of a broader security platform – one that includes Adaptive Authentication, GRC, Federation, and Security Analytics.

At first blush it looks like RSA made a good move, identifying their weakest solutions areas and acquiring a firm that provides many of the missing pieces they need to compete. RSA has been trailing in this space, focusing most of its resources on authentication issues and filling gaps with partnerships rather than building their own. They have been trailing in provisioning, user management, granular role-based access, and – to a lesser extent – governance. Some of RSA’s recent product advancements, such as risk-based access control, directly address customer pain points. But what happens after authentication is the real question, and that the question this purchase is intended to answer. Customers have been looking for platforms that offer the back-end plumbing needed to link together existing business systems, and the Aveksa acquisition correctly targets the areas RSA needs to bolster. It looks like EMC has addressed a need with a proven solution, and acquired a reasonable customer base for their money.

We expect to see move moves like this in the mid-term as more customers struggle to coalesce authentication, authorization, and identity management issues – which have been turned on their heads by cloud and mobile computing demands – into more unified product suites.