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Metadirectory definition

A metadirectory is a system that consolidates information from multiple directories into a unified view, harmonizing data from different sources for consistency. It plays a crucial role in managing user information across various network domains, facilitating data integration and accessibility.

See also: data dictionary

History of a metadirectory

The concept of metadirectory emerged in the late 1990s. It addressed the challenge of managing disparate user directories in growing IT environments. Early developments included Zoomit Corporation's VIA in 1996, a pioneering product for synchronizing identities across network directories.

Microsoft's acquisition of Zoomit in 1999 and the subsequent integration into Active Directory marked a significant advancement in the field. The 2000s saw further evolution with various companies developing metadirectory solutions, enhancing identity management and single sign-on technologies.

Vulnerabiliets of a metadirectory

  • Single point of failure. Metadirectories, centralizing data from various sources, can become a single point of failure in an organization's IT infrastructure.
  • Complexity in integration and maintenance. Integrating disparate systems into a metadirectory often involves complex configurations and ongoing maintenance.
  • Potential for insider threats. Given their access to extensive user data across systems, metadirectories can be attractive targets for insider threats.