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Self-Service, Anywhere™ - Hitachi ID Password Manager

Hitachi ID Password Manager (formerly P-Synch) offers a unique set of technologies, collectively referred to as "self-service, anywhere™." Using these technologies, users can resolve problems with their passwords, smart cards, tokens or full disk encryption software both at the office and mobile, from any endpoint device.

Self-service, anywhere™ automates problem resolution in a number of technically challenging and business-critical scenarios:

arrowMobile users warned of password expiry
Problem

Solution

Business impact
Mobile users are not notified by Windows when their passwords are about to expire. Users who infrequently connect their laptop to the office network, instead checking e-mail with a solution such as Outlook Web Access, suffer regular password expiry and require frequent password resets.

Hitachi ID Password Manager sends users e-mails warning of imminent password expiry. Users change passwords using a web browser. An ActiveX control refreshes the password on their laptop.

Fewer login problems that cause a work interruption. Lower IT call volume and support cost.

 

arrowReset forgotten, cached password while away from the office
Problem

Solution

Business impact
Laptop users sometimes change their password before leaving the office and may forget the new password when they need to use it while not attached to the corporate network. Without a technical solution, the IT help desk cannot resolve these users' problem until they return to the office. User laptops are rendered inoperable until they return to the office.

A Password Manager client software component allows users who forgot their primary, cached Windows password and cannot sign into their PC to connect to the Internet over a WiFi hotspot or using an air-card. Users locked out out of their PC login screen can also establish a temporary Internet connection using their home Internet connection or a hotel Ethernet service. Once the user's laptop is on the Internet, Password Manager establishes a temporary VPN connection and launches a kiosk-mode (full screen, locked down) web browser. The user steps through a self-service password reset process and Password Manager uses an ActiveX component to reset the locally cached password to the same new value as was set on the network back at the office.

Forgotten passwords are a major work disruption for mobile users, since they cannot be resolved until the user visits the office. Password Manager allows users to re-enable their laptop in minutes.

 

arrowUnlock encrypted hard disk
Problem

Solution

Business impact
Organizations deploy full disk encryption (FDE) software to protect against data leakage in the event that a corporate laptop is lost or stolen. Users with FDE on their PCs normally have to type a password to unlock their hard disk, before they can boot up an operating system. This password is normally synchronized with the user's primary Windows password, so that the user only has to remember and type a single password at login.

If a user forgets his hard disk encryption unlock password, the user will be unable to start their operating system or use their computer. This is a serious service disruption for the user and can contribute to significant support costs for the IT help desk.

Most FDE packages include a key recovery process at the PC boot prompt. This normally involves a challenge/response process between the FDE software, the user, an IT support analyst and a key recovery server. Password Manager can front-end this process using an integrated telephony option, so that users can perform key recovery 24x7, from any location, using their telephone and without talking to a human help desk technician.

Key recovery is an essential IT support service for organizations that have deployed FDE. Password Manager lowers the IT support cost of key recovery by moving the process to a self-service model.

 

arrowSmart card PIN reset
Problem

Solution

Business impact
Organizations deploy smart cards to strengthen their authentication processes. Users typically sign into their PC by inserting their smart card into a reader and typing a PIN. If users forget their PIN or leave their smart card at home, they cannot sign into their PC. PIN reset is a complex support process since the new PIN has to be physically installed on the user's smart card. This means that IT support may trigger a physical visit to the help desk.

Password Manager allows users to access a self-service web portal from anywhere, including from the locked out login screen of their laptop, even away from the office (even using WiFi, as described earlier). Once a user signs into the self-service portal, Password Manager can download an ActiveX component to the user's web browser, to communicate with the smart card and reset the forgotten PIN. Password Manager can also be used to assign a user a temporary login password (often a very long and random one) to be used in the event that a user left his smart card at home.

While forgotten PINs are infrequent -- PINs are not usually set to expire -- when they do happen, they are extremely disruptive. Assigning temporary passwords is just as important for users who left their smart card at home, which happens quite often.

 


Watch a Movie

Self Service Anywhere™


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Content:

  • A user forgot his primary Windows login password.
  • The user is away from the office and the corporate AD password is cached locally.
  • The video shows how the user can reset the forgotten password -- from the PC login screen, over WiFi+VPN and get back to work.

Key concepts:

  • Users are increasingly mobile.
  • Mobile users sign into their corporate laptops with cached domain credentials.
  • If a user forgets his Windows password while away from the corporate network, the IT help desk cannot help him, as they cannot access the cached password.
  • Using Self-Service, Anywhere, Password Manager allows mobile users to reset forgotten passwords even while away, enabling them to get back to work before they return to the office.
  • Without this technology, a remote user who forgot his password cannot use his PC until he returns -- a major business interruption.

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