Hitachi ID Password Manager
The Challenge Eastern Illinois University faced pressure to reduce call volume to the campus help desk and decrease problem resolution time. “Our users have a high dependence on our IT infrastructure,” said Brian Murphy, Director of Information Services. “It is important that we keep them up and running at all times.” Background Eastern Illinois University is dedicated to providing its students, faculty and staff with the technology resources they need to be successful. Eastern Illinois University is a state supported, four-year university located in Charleston, Illinois. Well known for their education programs, the university currently has an enrollment of approximately 10,500 students and employs an estimated 3,000 faculty and staff.
The beginning of each semester was a time help desk staff dreaded. The help desk was inundated both by calls from users who forgot their passwords over the semester break and by the workload of creating thousands of accounts for new students. “The backlog of issues at the start of each semester created huge problems for us. After analyzing our metrics, we realized that the most cost effective way for us to decrease call volume was to implement an automated password management solution,” said Murphy. “We needed a solution that would do two things for us: First - reduce the total number of passwords that users had to remember and second - provide users with the ability to solve their own password problems, without calling the help desk,” said Murphy. Eastern Illinois University faced another critical challenge - to enhance the overall security of the university’s systems. Users, frustrated by long delays to resolve password problems, resorted to choosing trivial passwords, that are easy to remember but also easy to crack.
The Solution Eastern Illinois University chose Hitachi ID (formerly M-Tech)’s password management solution, Hitachi ID Password Manager, to address these problems. “We wanted a password management solution that we could depend on to provide fast and reliable password reset and synchronization across all of our systems,” said Murphy. Hitachi ID Password Manager, a scalable solution that is both intuitive and easy to use, includes powerful features, such as password synchronization, selfservice password reset and assisted password reset.
When an Eastern Illinois University user changes his or her password, Hitachi ID Password Manager automatically updates that user’s password on every other system where they have a login ID. This allows users to remember and regularly change one strong password, rather than an assortment of static and easily guessed passwords. The net result: fewer password problems. Users who forget their passwords are able to authenticate themselves by answering personal questions or using a hardware token and can then reset their own passwords - without calling the help desk. Remaining password-related help desk calls are resolved using a Hitachi ID Password Manager help desk interface, which reduces problem resolution time to about 1 minute. Upon initial registration, new students are introduced to Hitachi ID Password Manager and directed to the university’s web site, which instructs users on how to use Hitachi ID Password Manager to register personal profile data which can be used for subsequent authentication.
“Our help desk now receives a manageable number of incoming calls. The beginning of each semester is no longer intimidating to our support staff. Their satisfaction levels have considerably increased since we rolled out Hitachi ID Password Manager.”
Key Business Results Eastern Illinois University has recognized significant benefits since deploying Hitachi ID Password Manager, including a substantial reduction in calls to the help desk, enhanced security and increased student, faculty and staff satisfaction. “Hitachi ID Password Manager is fast, reliable and extremely easy to use,” says Murphy. “The response from our users has been extremely positive.” Network security has improved through use of stronger passwords and implementation of reliable processes to authenticate users who forget their password. “The implementation was streamlined and the self-contained approach was remarkable,” said Murphy. “We consider Hitachi ID Password Manager to be the best technology in the market and we have had a very positive experience working with Hitachi ID,” said Murphy. “It is very clear that Hitachi ID takes pride in their solutions and in the service that they provide before, during and after a sale.”
Brian Murphy, Director of Information Services Eastern Illinois University
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