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Getting to Know SecureLogin

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Keith Lewis

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Posted: 20 May 2002

Keith Lewis rolls up his sleeves in this AppNotes article and shows us how to set up a real-world system that logs you into various and sundry Internet applications using Novell's SecureLogin solution.

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In today's computing environment, Web applications provide a cross-platform, clientless method of delivering information to corporate users. This information is sometimes sensitive, and therefore users must authenticate to Internet applications for access. As the demand for this type of application rapidly increases, users will have to remember more and more username/password combinations. But herein lies the dilemma. When users are forced to remember varying username and password combinations for each Internet site they access, they often write their credentials on calendars, on paper placed in a desk drawer, or on sticky notes hidden under the keyboard. Stringent password policies requiring special characters, non-repeating characters, and case-sensitive passwords characters add complexity, which often introduces a greater security risk due to the increased chance of human error. As a result, security is compromised.
The ideal solution for sites that require this added layer of security is to provide a method to automatically furnish the required credentials when prompted by the Web application, with the usernames and passwords being based on the users' initial network authentication. Such a solution is especially attractive if it provides policies that enforce stringent usernames and passwords, while reducing the total cost of ownership.
Novell's single sign-on solution, Novell SecureLogin, enables administrators to reduce the total cost of ownership normally incurred when adding applications to an environment that requires high levels of security. SecureLogin harnesses the power of Novell eDirectory through its use of inheritance in its corporate scripts. When placed near the top of the directory tree, these scripts provide instructions for a particular application that flow down to single sign-on enable all users below the Organization or Organizational Unit level.
SecureLogin enables administrators to set and enforce stringent password policies for the username ($Username) and password ($Password) variables. Thus you can enforce existing policies or quickly introduce new policies customized for each Internet page that requires authentication. This component-based solution includes the SecureLogin client, a scripting language, a Window Finder tool, and the Prolauncher and Terminal Launcher applications. The inclusion of these components provides a feature-rich solution for enabling a wide range of environments--from the simplest Windows or DOS-based applications to the most complex Citrix, mainframe emulation, and Telnet applications--to be enabled for single sign-on.

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