Thursday, October 15, 2015

3 Password Policy Best Practices For Any Environment

What is your password?

No, seriously, I’m curious.  Think about it right now: How strong do you think your password really is?  The problem that most people come across is finding a password that is both strong and secure.  In higher education, passwords grant access to a veritable cornucopia of different services. If any one of those passwords were to get stolen or cracked, it could spell disaster for students, faculty, or even administration. 

Starting to sweat yet?

Don’t worry; below we’ve got three for you to consider in order to help you implement a strong password policy for your network.  On one hand, as an IT Department head, it isn’t necessarily your fault if someone’s account gets hacked. On the other hand, with a little tweaking of your policy, you can make that same account much harder to access

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Top 25 Questions to Ask When Considering an Open Source SSO Solution (Part 1)

open source sso solution

Tagging off my last article: “A Free Single Sign on Solution | When Free Isn't Free”, an Open Source SSO solution isn’t always as sweet as it can appear on the surface. Like poisonous berries on a hiking trail; they may look tasty, but take a bite and you may land yourself in a lot more trouble than it was worth. This is why I wanted to take things a bit further and provide you with some questions to ask yourself when comparing a Granny Smith to a Crab Apple (apples to apples).

In this instance I compared Ellucian’s latest offering to the PortalGuard Single Sign-on solution. Both solutions provide Single Sign-On – though through widely different methods and sources. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

3 Considerations for your Strong Authentication Solution

Strong Authentication Solution

Finding a strong authentication solution that is right for your needs is like finding the perfect wine to go with your perfect dinner.  It takes a lot of research, a lot of comparing and contrasting different styles and tastes, and a whole host of trial and error before getting it just right.  A strong authentication solution for your education portal is a must, and finding one that fits your various needs is key.  The wrong solutions could set you back months of hard work or worse, and in today’s fast paced digital world, every moment counts. 

In light of this difficulty, here are three major considerations for choosing a strong authentication solution for you and your education portal.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

A Free Single Sign on Solution | When Free Isn't Free

A free Single Sign on Solution

When was the last time you saw something free and thought: oh yeah, I want that! Chances are it wasn’t too long ago. Like a porch light to a fly or a shiny object to pretty much anyone, free things are attractive. Why wouldn’t they be? It doesn’t cost you anything! But is it really free? A free single sign-on solution sounds great, but what about when the software fails, or you need some tech support? Who do you call? The more important question - is that free too? Chances are the answer is a big fat no! When it comes to a free single sign on solution, you really have to look at the bigger picture.

There are many free software offerings scattered throughout the Internet. Some are great; a free document converter, a free photo editor, a free game. They are everywhere, like free samples at a big box store. Just like with the box stores trying to worm their way into getting you to buy that particular brand – there is always a catch when it comes to free software, especially if we’re talking about a free single sign on solution.

There is no such thing as a free lunch.

If you need support or want to use more features, you are going to have to pay.  Sometimes, that bill can cost more than the solution is even worth!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Internet of Things and the Connected World | Are You Ready?

Internet of Things - Connected World

What exactly is a connected world?  Look at where we stand today, technologically speaking.  The Internet of Things (IoT) is taking the world by storm, whether any of us are ready for it or not, and we’ve seemed to fall into step without a second glance.  Now, I’ve grown up with technology, from back when getting on the Internet meant playing Chip’s Challenge on my Windows ’98 and chatting with my friends on AIM when my mom needed to use the phone.  Today, the internet is a word that gets tossed around a lot.  It can be difficult to nail down a steady meaning for it.  Even now, we’re in the midst of another evolution.  The connected world and the internet of things are changing everything, and changing it fast, and there is only time to focus on one question – are you ready to step up in the connected world?

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

BYOD Benefits and Risks | What To Think About

BYOD Benefits and Risks

We have talked about BYOD in education before, but always with an overhead look.  Most people seem to bounce back and forth between whether or not BYOD is just a hiccup in the education technology game, or if it’s here to stay.  Personally, I think the likelihood of BYOD being just a fad in education has long since passed and every IT Department head and Administrator should be planning out a BYOD policy to implement in the immediate to near future.  In that regard, I’d like to take a look at some BYOD benefits and Risks to consider when drafting or implementing your own BYOD policy.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Mobile Password Generator App | 5 Considerations

Mobile Password Generator App

How many times has your help desk had to reset a password this month?  Chances are, your support team spend a lot of their valuable time dealing with these simple errors,  especially during the beginning of the school year! Those calls add up! Depending on certain factors (like which level the call gets resolved at) Metricnet found that Service Desk Calls can cost a minimum of around $20. At higher levels, that is a fair amount of money going towards solving an annoying, yet simple to resolve issue.  Today's students, faculty and staff are constantly searching for methods to improve convenience and usability.  In an era of BYOD and students owning upwards of 7 electronic devices on average, a simple way of leveraging that use for convenience purposes could solve your help desk issues, while making life easier for your end users.  One way you can manage this is by offering a mobile password generator app to be accessed on mobile devices and tablets, allowing your end users to reset their passwords and great strong new ones any time they need to without going through the help desk.  Want to know more about how you can make use of this solution and become the IT Hero your school deserves? Read on!