Password Management Made Easy



By: ssutapalli

March 26, 2010 12:47 pm

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Novell’s array of password management software helps you create a single sign on for improved productivity and security. SVV Satyanarayana explains how they use Password Management from Novell to improve password management for employees, and control access to company resources.

In any company, adding new employee details and providing access to all company resources through authentication is a tedious job for the IT department. And for an employee, remembering passwords and managing them is another tedious job. As an employee, I always wanted to have an application or some alternative to manage all my passwords at one place.

Novell’s Identity Management (IDM) Solutions provide simple ways for doing both the above-mentioned tasks. The IDM solutions include Identity Manager, Access Manager, eDirectory, Audit, Storage Manager, Secure Login, Sentinel and the log management product – Sentinel Log Manager.

IDM protects your IT infrastructure from information theft and ensures privacy. Novell IDM Solutions will simplify things for users as well as giving them easy access to systems. It provides an interface where you can incorporate corporate policies.

I’ll discuss few of the Identity Management products in this article – Identity Manager, Access Manager, SecureLogin, eDirectory, and Sentinel.

Identity Manager

Novell Identity Manager automates the complex process of provisioning new users in a large organization. It provides first-day access to resources for those employees based on your policies and their roles. When roles change, the access rights are updated automatically. With role-based provisioning, systems are so secured and non-vulnerable that companies can restrict visibility of data to just the people who need to see it.

Using Identity Manager, you can grant access to all the systems using a single password. It’s simpler for end users to remember and maintain a single password. Users can maintain passwords using a simple UI. This way, password management is left to users, and the system administrator’s job is made easier. This will lead to increases in productivity for end users and IT personnel.

Identity Manager enforces security policies and makes it easy to handle users using a good UI. You can easily set up roles and provide accessibility depending on roles. The day a person enters a company, systems access is ready. And when a person leaves a company, on their last day all the access permissions are disabled and the database is updated automatically. You can even set alerts when needed.

Access Manager

Providing accessibility to corporate resources to all of the stakeholders — employees, customers, partners — from any place in the world and at any time is another challenge in a large company. Novell Access Manager can easily overcome this challenge and help administrators to provide access to corporate resources with more secure connections, involving less risk.

This product includes tools for IT personnel to establish easy access to corporate systems. This product also works in association with roles. And so, depending on roles, accessibility will be provided/limited to users. This product also allows single sign-on – one login for all the corporate based web apps.

Due to its features, it’s very easy to install and maintain. The process is very simple and gives you centralized access control to all the resources. Other usage is “Reporting.” An IT Administrator can easily look up reports about when a user logged into any given machine/system, when a user enters a particular location, etc. Different formats of reporting to meet the different needs of regulations like HIPAA, European Union privacy laws, etc.

The setup usually consists of an identity server, policy engine, a few java agents, integrated with SSL VPN, and good UI for managing.

SecureLogin

The next challenge for IT personnel is to maintain a secured connection to resources. This comes into the picture when stakeholders of a corporation try to access its resources from the outside world. Similarly, accessing outside-world resources (like accessing a partner’s company resources) from inside the corporation must also be secured.

Novell SecureLogin will help secure these connections, and prevents others from accessing the data and hacking the systems. This is integrated well with the world’s most trusted enterprise Single Sign-On technology and so password management is easy here too. Corporate employees can use single and secured login authentication details for all the resources they can access. They can easily login to systems, networks, web applications, websites, etc. Plus it enforces better credential policies for password management.

This provides centralized administration, and allows you to handle credentials and maintain policies for Novell Identity Manager, Novell Open Enterprise Server, Novell eDirectory, etc. Get immediate access to enterprise applications like GroupWise, Lotus Notes, SAP Applications, etc.

Security can also be simplified by integrating with smart cards. Passwords can be stored on smart cards or in encrypted format using One Time Password feature (OTP). We can further use encryption algorithms to provide more security. It can also provide access integrated with smart cards via NMAS, SLAA etc.

Sentinel

In a large organization, continuously monitoring security environments, network servers, intrusion detection, databases, applications, firewalls, routers, switches, etc., is a hectic process. And it’s quite difficult to keep an eye on each and every individual resource. Novell Sentinel provides a single solution for all the resource monitoring in an organization. Sentinel continuously monitors the resources for the compliance events and responds quickly in real time. Sentinel enables you to react promptly and resolve incidents effectively.

The beauty of Sentinel is that the whole process of monitoring is automated. You will get secured real-time monitoring across all the systems and networks. Use it to set up a framework that enables business policies, and provides automated documentation of all the reports about security and access, built in incident management and remedies.

eDirectory

Novell eDirectory is a full-service directory service software that is basically used to manage centrally all the resources residing on multiple servers. With a directory service you can unify, and you have customized identities, resources, devices, policies (like email addresses), apps, peripherals, etc. It’s an object-oriented database used to represent assets in a corporate. Novell eDirectory is trusted for its compatibility and reliability by many large organizations around the world. It is basically an LDAP directory based service.

The scalability of eDirectory is so good that no other similar product by any other company can beat it. It can scale up to 1 billion objects on a single server. This product meets the needs of high-end and large-scale deployments, and supports evolving business requirements.

Coming to compatibility, it allows uses to remain productive with individual environments such as AIX, HP-UX, LINUX, Solaris, NetWare, Windows, etc., machines – it is truly “Platform Neutral.” eDirectory supports most popular standards & web services like SOAP, DSML, XML etc.

It provides multi-layer security. It consists of a better designed cryptography engine. It easily integrates with smart cards, tokens, and digital certificates to provide better security. It provides two levels of disaster recovery – traditional and continuous backup/restore capability. This ensures a very fast return time in case of disaster.

Managing eDirectory is also simple as it provides browser-based management as well as monitoring reports for diagnosis. A rich user interface for monitoring is provided. It has manual maintenance tools that help to recover serious data errors without interrupting its services. One of its popular features is its manageability, which simplifies routine processes and eliminates admin redundancy.

Conclusion

With the use of Novell Identity and Access Management solutions, the password management work of IT Personnel as well as employees is reduced, better productivity is achieved, and good relationships between corporations and customers/partners can be maintained.

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Disclaimer: As with everything else at NetIQ Cool Solutions, this content is definitely not supported by NetIQ, so Customer Support will not be able to help you if it has any adverse effect on your environment.  It just worked for at least one person, and perhaps it will be useful for you too.  Be sure to test in a non-production environment.

2 Comments

  1. By:mugirish

    Very Good Article Satya…

  2. By:lydialiu

    Easy to undersatnd.

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