Venafi Expands Machine Identity Management Development Fund to Include World’s Top Universities


SALT LAKE CITY–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Venafi®, the inventor and leading provider of machine identity management, today expanded its groundbreaking machine identity management development fund to include the world’s leading universities, including Carnegie University Mellon (CMU) and the University of Oxford. The new development fund initiative provides sponsorships for academic research and development on critical controls and capabilities advancing state-of-the-art machine identity management. Launched in 2018 with $12.5 million, the Machine Identity Management Development Fund is already providing organizations’ developers with direct Venafi sponsorship to accelerate machine identity management research and innovation that sustains success customers and industry.

The new development fund program offers direct sponsorship to university research teams and students who invest in cutting-edge machine identity innovation. Research and development programs can focus on attack tactics and techniques and possible mitigations, as well as applied uses of machine identities, with particular emphasis on identities for new types of machines, including those designed for cloud-native environments.

To launch this new development fund initiative, Venafi has partnered with Oxford University and CMU. Venafi sponsors a comprehensive PhD program at the University of Oxford to study innovations in machine identity management and create new open source solutions. At CMU, Venafi sponsored master’s candidates in the Information Networking Institute internship as part of the College of Engineering. Students explored politics as code, governance, authentication, and authorization in open source machine identity management projects. Venafi hopes its sponsorships in this area will improve the industry’s ability to stop the misuse and compromise of machine identities by cyber attackers and help organizations modernize their machine identity management programs to improve the speed and agility, especially in the cloud.

“Machine identities are rapidly gaining importance in the digital world, as they underpin all machine-to-machine communication and online transactions. This is an important area to explore and research, as machine identities are likely to be even more critical to the digital economy than human identities in the near future,” commented Professor Kasper Rasmussen, University of Oxford. “Collaboration between industry and academia is now essential to help researchers advance innovation and solve the complex problems faced by players in the field. The goal of this program with Venafi is to explore new ways to establish how machine identities will work securely and create a better and safer world for humans.

“Venafi’s initiative to partner with CMU has been successful in raising awareness around machine identities. During the fall semester of 2021, the CMU internship team designed the foundation for a domain-specific language (DSL) that supports different types of machine identities. In doing so, students explored cutting-edge methodologies and techniques. “At the end of the semester, the students documented their findings and presented them to a large group of stakeholders,” said INI Assistant Professor Dr. Mohamed Farag. “As an academic advisor to the internship team, I appreciate the guidance and support students have received from Venafi’s subject matter experts. Venafi’s expertise in the field of machine identities was essential to the success of the students in achieving the predefined objectives of the internship.

“The Machine Identity Management Development Fund brings together the world’s greatest minds to shape the future of machine identity management, one of the most significant cybersecurity challenges of this decade,” commented Kevin Bocek, vice -President of Security Strategy and Threat Intelligence at Venafi. “The Development Fund sponsors innovative new ways to apply intelligence and automation to the challenges of machine identity governance, authentication and authorization. Companies will not be able to apply enough security analysts and developers to keep up with the explosion of machine identities. Academic research is an essential part of the solution to sustain the success of Venafi customers.

About Venafi

Venafi is the cybersecurity market leader in identity and access management for machines. From ground to cloud, Venafi solutions manage and protect identities for all types of machines, from physical and IoT devices to applications, APIs and containers. Venafi provides global visibility and lifecycle automation for all types of machine identities and their associated security and reliability risks.

With more than 30 patents, Venafi provides innovative solutions to the world’s most demanding and security-conscious organizations and government agencies, including the top five US health insurers; the five major US airlines; the four major credit card issuers; three of the four major accounting and consulting firms; four of the top five US retailers; and the top four banks in each of the following countries: the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and South Africa.


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