Passwords are never easy. As we all strive to keep our systems and data secure, requirements for password complexity become increasingly demanding. But the fact is that most people can remember only a few simple passwords at the best of times. And we all dread the frustrating “forgot password” response when trying to get into our various accounts, yet this is happening with increasing frequency.
There’s a much more efficient way to keep systems secure though – it’s the concept of Single Sign On and authentication known as SSO.
SSO is a smart answer to the issue of multiple passwords and logins. It’s an access management approach that allows each user to access many domains with one login. Importantly, it reduces the risks of ID theft or unauthorized exchange of IDs. In a university context, less study or administration time is wasted dealing with lost passwords. And because it’s so easy to use, students are more likely to make use of the resources provided for them, so you get greater return on investment and potentially improved learning outcomes.
With SSO each user (faculty, staff or student) has a single username and password which provides access to both internal university resources, such as email and thelearning management system, and other online resources owned or subscribed to by the university but hosted externally. What this covers could be vast – examples include databases of scholarly content, anti-plagiarism services, and all the other essential systems that enable a university to run smoothly. Connect2 is one of these systems and ensures students can browse, reserve and access all university equipment and resources required for their classes and assignments.
SSO uses a standard Security Assertion Mark-up Language (SAML), which works on a collaborative principle where organizations work to the same rules and trust each other’s systems. SAML brings three big benefits:
- It enables Single Sign On as discussed above
- It ensures a greater level of security
- It streamlines the administration aspects of the system
From the university’s point of view, the capabilities provided with a combination of connect2 and SSO are extremely useful. The goal of managing simple, individual access to a plethora of resources becomes a reality. For example, it provides a way to ensure that valuable equipment is only loaned to students that are registered for the relevant classes or have the right training – after all you wouldn’t want just anyone to walk away with a $10,000 camera! All users are authenticated and authorized before reserving or borrowing resources, and all usage is tracked and recorded.
A university department installing connect2 would liaise with the university’s central infrastructure and network security team to link to the central directories. Using SSO to manage access keeps security risks to a tiny minimum. The users’ passwords are never stored in connect2, because the authentication requests are seamlessly redirected to the identity provider, the academic institution, which is the sole manager of the identity credentials. Security is strong, access is easy, and the administrative work is extremely low.
It’s an effective way to enable students to secure what they need as quickly and effortlessly as possible while providing the personalized service facilitated by connect2’s tailored permissions and functionality.
To find out more about connect2, contact Danny Thomas on +1 646 583 2215, email firstname.lastname@example.org