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Passlogix offering twist to complex single sign-on

Network World Fusion

By John Fontana

(IDG) -- The quest to boil down user passwords to a single secret code for network and application access has always included one single fact: IT must set up a dedicated server for the task.

But Passlogix is out to change that. The company last week released the latest version of its V-GO Single Sign On (SSO) software that features integration with directories based on the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol.

The result is that now IT executives can develop a single sign-on capability for their users without having to set up a centralized infrastructure to handle the task.

"The strength of this software is in the client," says Peter Lindstrom, an analyst with the Hurwitz Group. "And with the addition of the directory it is easier to manage."

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V-GO SSO works from a user's desktop by keeping an encrypted file of access credentials for each and every system available to that particular user. The software is activated when users log on to their machines. When a user subsequently tries to log into a network or application, V-GO SSO intercepts the log-in request, grabs the appropriate credentials from its profile store and serves it to the requesting system.

Users need remember just their desktop log-in password, a feature that Passlogix says will dramatically reduce forgotten passwords and calls to the help desk.

Also, users can store passwords to Web sites and business partner systems that are beyond the corporate firewall, and for applications hosted by a service provider. Those are services can be difficult to duplicate on a centralized system such as those from Computer Associates, IBM, Netegrity, Oblix or Securant.

The architecture also means IT does not have to write scripts or connectors that foster synchronization between a centralized single sign-on server and every resource available to a user.

"The primary use here is to help end users better manage their own security, their own passwords and single sign-on," says Lindstrom. In other words, IT doesn't have to concoct a way to do it for them.

With the addition of directory support, IT can replicate the user profiles to a centralized directory, which lets users roam between laptops and desktops, share machines and work in a disconnected mode. Users can access the directory and cache a copy of their profile on the machine they are using. The profile, tied to a user by a pair of encryption keys, disappears when the user logs off. The directory also can be used to enforce policies such as requiring users to change passwords every 30 days.

Passlogix says V-GO SSO allows IT to use stronger desktop authentication, such as smart cards and biometrics. Initially, Passlogix will support iPlanet's Directory Server, but will add support for Novell's eDirectory by October and Microsoft's Active Directory before the end of the year.

Novell has been reselling the software for the past year and sells it under the name Novell SSO with V-GO.

V-GO SSO 3.0 is available now and is priced at $70 per user.





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