Feds eye single sign-ons for full access to network apps

Federal users have a growing need to simplify their password access to dozens of
applications, according to industry officials who develop access control software.


“Last year it was mostly tire-kicking. This year there are funded, dedicated
projects for single sign-on,” said Michael McLaughlin, federal sales manager for
PassGo Technologies of Boxborough, Mass.


Formerly called CKS North America, the company has renamed its MyNet sign-on software
PassGo.


The Health Care Financing Administration has a project under way to deliver single
sign-on to about 500 users in the initial phase, McLaughlin said.


Desktop-level synchronization in PassGo complements central security administration
through Control-SA from New Dimension Software Inc. of Irvine, Calif.


Organizations typically would develop their security profiles in Control-SA for use
under RACF, IBM Corp.’s mainframe authentication software, McLaughlin said.


Then PassGo would extract the profiles and distribute them throughout the organization,
he said.


Interest in single sign-on products has grown along with the proliferation of networked
applications, McLaughlin said.


Some managers now must cope personally with hundreds of passwords, he said.


A self-registration feature in PassGo reduces the time it takes to register
applications and users.


Instead of leaving it all up to the administrator, PassGo lets the user register
initially for only one application, said Ann Palermo, vice president of worldwide
marketing for PassGo.


Any time the user logs on after that and is validated to use another application,
PassGo registers the subsequent application, Palermo said.


PassGo works on top of existing application directories and security tokens, and it
consolidates audit trails from different applications, Palermo said.


A tool kit for customized installations is included, but PassGo itself requires only
minimal scripting, McLaughlin said.


The time it takes to go live with the software depends on how long it takes to do a
security audit and distribute the software to all the desktop PC users, McLaughlin said.


A well-prepared agency could expect to bring PassGo sign-ons to 500 users within 21/2
months, he said.  

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