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Missouri College Overhauls Identity Management System

A community college in Missouri just revamped its entire IT security and identity arrangement, giving everybody on the 10,000-student campus a single password for all their accounts, changing the way they can reset passwords and reworking all the account permissions and entitlements — in five weeks.

Jefferson College in Hillsboro, MO was way behind schedule with replacing manual and automated account creation, credential management and password reset processes, and administrators knew the situation was creating problems for students and faculty, hindering business processes and threatening the school's security functions.

The college hired Fischer International Identity to examine and quickly overhaul all of its identity processes and the information security company did it in just over a month.

"I know Jefferson College had reservations about our ability to deliver a full identity management deployment in five weeks," said Fischer COO Dan Dagnall, "but higher education needs to know that identity management doesn't have to be hard or risky."

The main areas of concentration in the identity management process were core business areas like admissions, enrollment, human resources and alumni relations. Fischer implemented its Identity Suite software that incorporates all accounts across all campus and cloud systems.

It provides users with a single password for all their various accounts and gives them the ability to automatically reset passwords anytime anywhere, if necessary. The new system also automatically determines who has permission to access which accounts, based on the user's affiliation with the college — and it did it without the college having to use any vendor services once the implementation work was done.

"This project required full commitment from both sides and anything less would have put both parties at risk of project failure," said Jefferson College Senior Information Technology Director Tracy James. "Both Jefferson and Fischer were committed to meet an aggressive schedule and we achieved everything we expected."

About the Author

Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.

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