How a U.S. University Empowered Students and Boosted Security With Stronger Password Management

Bruce Macdonald

February 4, 2021

The beginning of each semester at a large university in the midwest of the United States was a nightmarish experience for the IT help desk staff. (Due to our customer's policy, Hitachi ID is unable to disclose the university's name.) Countless requests would come pouring in from students and staff who had forgotten their passwords over the summer, inundating the support team.

Making matters worse, the password problems were piled on top of the workload of creating thousands of accounts for new students. With pressure to reduce call volume to the campus help desk and decrease problem resolution time, the school set out to find a platform that could help them quickly overcome these challenges.
The solution? Hitachi ID Bravura Pass provided precisely what this university needed to break free from their password management woes.

Empower Users and Unburden Staff With Self-Service Solutions

On the user experience end of these difficulties, students and faculty were frustrated by long delays to resolve password problems. As a workaround, many resorted to choosing trivial passwords that were easy to remember — and easy to crack. To eliminate this potential system vulnerability, the school needed a platform that would allow users to solve their own password reset problems without calling the help desk.

With Hitachi ID Bravura Pass, users who forget their passwords are now able to authenticate themselves by answering personal questions or using a hardware token and can then reset their own credentials. Remaining password-related help desk calls are resolved using a Hitachi ID Bravura Pass help desk interface, cutting resolution time to about one minute. In addition analysts do not require admin rights themselves on the connected systems they are resetting passwords.

Tighten Security Practices

Although self-service shortened support wait times, it didn’t eliminate the university’s need for stronger passwords among users. Without stricter guidelines for password selection, the school was still at risk for common password vulnerabilities. By introducing Hitachi ID Bravura Pass and its federated single sign-on, the school quickly reduced the frequency of login prompts and most importantly, enforced a strong password policy to strengthen security all around.

Keep Solutions Synchronized, Simple, and Intuitive

Before the implementation of Hitachi ID Bravura Pass, one of the key contributors to password problems was the sheer volume of passwords users had to keep track of. Synchronizing passwords would not only secure the system, it would eliminate a serious point of frustration for end users.

When students or staff change their password, Hitachi ID Bravura Pass automatically updates it on every 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.

Leave Room to Grow

Since implementing Hitachi ID Bravura Pass, the university has seen a substantial reduction in calls to the help desk, stronger security, and an incredible increase in student, faculty, and staff satisfaction. Hitachi ID Bravura Pass successfully reduced the burden on the IT team and the frustration of users while improving security and lowering IT support costs.

When the university’s security needs expand beyond passwords, they’ll be able to easily implement other solutions within the Hitachi ID Bravura Security Fabric. This flexible, scalable cybersecurity architecture includes Hitachi ID Bravura Identity for identity and access management (IAM) and Hitachi ID Bravura Privilege for privileged access management (PAM) and more.

Hitachi ID is the only industry leader delivering identity, privileged access and end user password management across a single platform to ease implementation as your cybersecurity needs change. You can learn more about this university’s password challenges and the solutions Hitachi ID implemented to overcome them here: University Case Study