All NetID users can be expecting some changes with the University’s authentication system at the end of June.
The University’s LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) servers are being updated as a result of outdated infrastructure which poses a security risk to the University and its assets. The LDAP system that runs on the outdated infrastructure was designed some ten years ago and was built to support a much smaller user base than the University’s current approximately 34,700 users (combined sum of University faculty/staff, undergraduates, and postgraduates). University Information Technology Services (ITS) has taken this opportunity to redesign UConn’s NetID authentication system along with the architecture connecting the LDAP servers.
“We reorganized how the servers interact with each other — streamlined it and minimized its footprint and the cost to support it,” said Marc Jones, the Student Affairs IT Systems Architect.
“We’ve also rewritten the codebase so we can use more modern coding languages.”
While this project doesn’t affect how NetIDs are provisioned or terminated, it does affect the way individuals interact with the NetIDs themselves. The primary changes surrounding NetID include the elimination of secret security questions to reset a NetID password (e.g. “What is your mother’s maiden name?”), the ability to reset a NetID password through a secondary, non-UConn email address or text message, and compliance with the University’s password requirements.
The University requires that passwords expire every six months, and NetID passwords haven’t been expiring for several years now. All students, faculty, and staff who have a NetID account can expect a password change sometime in the coming Fall ‘13 semester. The NetID Modernization and Enhancement project is a sub-project of the IAM (Identity and Access Management) project, a larger initiative to streamline the University’s system processes of identifying and granting levels of clearance to users across networks.
The go-live date for the NetID Modernization and Enhancement project is June 26, and NetID users can expect an immediate change.
For further questions regarding the project, please contact Marc Jones.
This article, by Tim Williams, first appeared in the June 12, 2013 issue of the Project Weeklies newsletter of the ITS Project Management Office.