Security

U San Diego Tightens Access to Privileged Passwords

The University of San Diego has gone public with its adoption of a service that standardizes how it protects "privileged" passwords — those used by members of the IT organization, for example, in network administration operations. The institution chose Secret Server from security company Thycotic.

Secret Server maintains passwords in a Web-based repository. Authorized users use their existing Active Directory credentials to gain access to the sensitive information in order to maintain, monitor and rotate privileged account passwords and change out passwords based on user permission levels.

"Ideally we needed to just have a place to store secrets that was different from how we were doing it before," explained Systems Administrator Jordan Anderson.

"We have a number of important IT initiatives at the university, including cloud applications and wireless network support for students and faculty," said CIO Chris Wessells. "Controlling access to privileged accounts that maintain these initiatives is critical to their success and to our security."

As they assessed their options, noted Michael Somerville, manager of system support in a video on the project, enterprise capabilities was a major criterion. "The great thing from a management perspective [is] that my staff doesn't have to manage this huge application. It's very lean, very effective, incredibly reliable; it never fails. And we're able to provide a solution to the customers without spending a lot of time."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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