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September 2008

Interview: Bill Jiminez, Systems Architect at the University of the Pacific

Like his counterparts at many universities, Bill Jiminez, systems architect at the University of the Pacific, has to balance security with the desire of faculty and students for openness. How he did that while rolling out NAC and password-management systems provides some key lessons for dealing with reluctant users. Bill Jiminez University networks are notoriously open and accessible. Why did you want to implement a password management system? We were using Novell, along with some NT and Unix systems, and to go along with that, 10 different AAA stores. You can imagine the complexity with that model. So we collapsed everything into Active Directory about five years ago and had one directory. I started [forcing users to] log on across campus, to streamline everything, using one username and password. We tried to do 24/7 services, but account lockout became an issue. It introduced a whole new set of problems for us. Was there much resistance from the students, faculty and other users? Not a lot; we did it as painlessly as we could....

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