Overview Business Case
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Hitachi ID Password Manager Business Case

The Challenge

Users who must manage multiple passwords to corporate systems and applications have usability, security and cost problems.

Users have too many passwords. Each password may expire on a different schedule, be changed with a different user interface and be subject to different rules about password composition and reuse.

Some systems are able to force users to select hard-to-guess passwords, while others are not. Some systems require that users change their passwords periodically, while others cannot enforce expiration.

Users have trouble choosing hard-to-guess passwords.

Users have trouble remembering passwords, because they have too many of them or because they chose a new password at the end of the day or week, and didn't have an opportunity to use it a few times before going home.

These problems drive users to choose trivial passwords, to avoid changing their passwords and to write down their passwords. All of these behaviors can compromise network security.

When users do comply with policy and regularly change their passwords to new, hard-to-guess values, they tend to forget their passwords and must call the help desk.

Password and login problems are the top incident type at most IT help desks, frequently accounting for 25% or more of total call volume.

In addition to the above security and support cost problems, users simply don't like memorizing and typing passwords. Password management is a nuisance that contributes to a negative perception of IT service.

Despite all these problems, passwords will continue to be needed for years to come:

  1. Passwords are significantly less expensive to deploy and support than other technologies.
  2. Other authentication technologies, such as biometrics, smart cards and hardware tokens, are typically used along with a password or PIN. i.e., "something you have" (smart card, token) or "something you are" (biometric) plus "something you know" (password, PIN).
  3. Passwords are an important backup to other authentication technologies:
    1. Hardware devices can be lost or stolen or simply left at home.
    2. Some devices from which users need to access corporate systems, such as smart phones and home PCs, may not support more advanced authentication methods.

Since passwords are not going away and remain difficult for users to manage, solutions are needed to help users more effectively manage their passwords.

Stronger Security

Hitachi ID Password Manager improves the security of authentication processes:

Cost Savings and Improved Productivity

Password Manager realizes cost savings and enhanced productivity for both users and the IT support organization:

Improved User Service

Password Manager improves user service by simplifying system and application login processes for users: