InCommon IAM Online Speaker Spotlight: Q&A with Microsoft Education Security Chief Technology Officer Corey Lee
By Apryl Motley - Technical Writer & Communications Lead, Internet2 Trust and Identity/NET+ Service
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Learn More About How Recent Microsoft Announcement Signals a Win for Multilateral Federation in the Research and Education Community
This spring, Microsoft published documentation and guidance on multilateral federation for Azure AD/Entra ID campuses – including information about solutions like Shibboleth and the Cirrus Bridge. According to Corey Lee, security CTO, Microsoft Education, its publication underscored Microsoft’s recognition of the important role of identity in the journey of digital transformation, security modernization, and research collaboration across higher education.
“We wanted to provide clarity and options for our customers who want to leverage Entra ID as their primary identity provider, while maintaining interoperability with national/global federations and complying with education identity standards for research,” Lee said. “We also wanted to showcase some of the innovative solutions that our partners like Cirrus Identity have developed to facilitate this integration.”
Best IAM Advice He Ever Received:
Identity is not a product; it is the byproduct of a well architected/designed solution.
Both Lee and Cirrus Identity’s Mary McKee will participate in a community discussion, “Multilateral Federation Guidance from Microsoft and Its Potential Impact on the R&E Community,” as part of InCommon’s IAM Online webinar series on January 17, 2024 at 1 p.m. ET. Lee gave us a preview of some of the insights he’ll share during the webinar.
Why is Microsoft’s documentation and guidance for Azure AD/Entra ID campuses important for the research and higher ed community?
Corey Lee: This documentation and guidance is important for the research and higher ed community because it demonstrates Microsoft’s commitment to providing clarity in regards to the identity foundations that power the research and education ecosystem. Additionally, it enables institutions to clearly evaluate the options available, review potential considerations, and make informed decisions that empower current and future strategic research outcomes while maximizing their Microsoft investments.
Identity is not only a technical challenge, but also a cultural and organizational one. By providing this documentation and guidance, we hope to foster a dialogue and a collaboration among different stakeholders in the research and education community, such as researchers, educators, administrators, IT professionals, and identity providers. We believe that advancing multilateral federation can enhance the security, privacy, and user experience of accessing diverse and distributed resources and services across the globe.
We also want to highlight the benefits and opportunities of using Entra ID as a cloud-based identity platform that offers a rich set of features and capabilities, such as conditional access, multi-factor authentication, single sign-on, self-service password reset, and identity protection. These features can help institutions improve their security posture, reduce costs, and increase productivity and efficiency.
What are your thoughts about what happens next with multilateral federation among industry identity providers in the IAM space? Will Microsoft’s actions pave the way for more progress?
Corey Lee: Multilateral federation is not a new concept, but it is gaining more relevance and momentum in the current digital landscape. As the demand for cross-organizational and cross-border collaboration increases, so does the need for scalable, flexible, and interoperable identity solutions that can support diverse and distributed resources and services. Multilateral federation offers such a solution, by allowing institutions to leverage purpose-built identity infrastructures and trust frameworks, while enabling users to securely access resources and services with a single digital identity.
Microsoft is committed to supporting secure research in education and advancing the identity futures of the research and education community. As one of the leading industry identity providers in the IAM space, Microsoft has a unique role and responsibility to provide a cloud-based identity platform that can interoperate with various federation models and industry standards, such as SAML, OpenID Connect, and OAuth. Microsoft also has a vision and a strategy to foster a culture of innovation and collaboration among different stakeholders in the identity ecosystem, such as researchers, educators, administrators, IT professionals, and identity providers.
What do you hope attendees will learn from your presentation?
Corey Lee: We hope that our presentation will inspire attendees to explore the possibilities and benefits of multilateral federation in their own contexts and scenarios. We also hope that they will gain some practical insights and tips on how to implement and configure Entra ID for multilateral federation, as well as, common considerations. Lastly, we hope that they will join us in the ongoing conversation and collaboration around multilateral federation and identity futures in the research and education community.
Join us for IAM Online in January 2024!
Microsoft’s Corey Lee will participate in a community discussion, “Multilateral Federation Guidance from Microsoft and Its Potential Impact on the R&E Community,” at 1 p.m. ET Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2024.
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