Startup debuts with cloud-based open-source identity and access management software

Startup ForgeRock makes its official debut today with cloud-based open-source identity and access management (IAM) software called Open Identity Stack intended to be used by enterprises and service providers to enable centralized provisioning and access management to enterprise, mobile and software-as-a-service applications.

Originally founded in Oslo, Norway, in 2009 and now with U.S. headquarters in San Francisco, ForgeRock's founders CEO Lasse Andresen and Hermann Svoren, vice president of sales, have a backgrounds steeped in what was Sun Microsystems' open-source IAM. In fact, many in the engineering and support teams at ForgeRock have a similar background, says Daniel Raskin, vice president of marketing, who says he was formerly chief identity strategist at Sun. But he, like several others at Sun, left after Oracle's acquisition of Sun in order to strike out on their own. "Oracle had a different strategy and they were not going to continue down the road of open-source identity," says Raskin.

Ernst & Young's IT security survey shows struggle to control cloud computing, social media and mobile risks

Now backed with $7 million in funding landed in March from Accel Partners -- as well as an undisclosed sum from Sun co-founder Scott McNealy -- ForgeRock is taking the open-source IAM legacy from the Sun era and striving to transition it into a cloud environment.

Today, says Raskin, the challenge for the enterprise is that centralized identity-based provisioning and access management needs to be extended beyond traditional corporate assets to user mobile devices, social networks and cloud services, such as

ForgeRock's Open Identity Stack, available now, is intended to do that. This Java-based product, which Raskin says should end up costing a few dollars per year per user, follows a number of other software products from ForgeRock that essentially represent further development of Sun's open-source access management, identity management and directory services components.

Raskin says ForgeRock now has about 130 corporate customers through subscription-based services. The startup will be bumping into various types of identity-management competitors, including IBM, Symplified and Symantec, among others.

Under the open-source model ForgeRock has, potential users can review and make use of the identity-management code base under the open-source terms at community developer site. Procurement of the commercial product is available through, says Raskin. Code development proceeds in the customary fashion of open source, through contributions of code through a community of developers. But ForgeRock is vetting the code for inclusion for commercial products, says Raskin.

Although sometimes arguments against open source are made that open-source code is suspect because backdoors might have been added, Raskin rejects this notion, saying he thinks open source provides better security than proprietary code origination because so many developers get to evaluate open source.

Ellen Messmer is senior editor at Network World, an IDG publication and website, where she covers news and technology trends related to information security. Twitter: @MessmerE. Email:

Read more about wide area network in Network World's Wide Area Network section.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Ernst & YoungForgeRockSun MicrosystemsSun identity managementForgeRock Open Identity StackOpen Identity Stackcloud computinginternetOracleOriginidentity and access managementsecurityCloud

More about Accel GroupIBM AustraliaIDGOracleSalesforce.comScott CorporationSun MicrosystemsSymantecSymplified

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Ellen Messmer

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts