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New York City Transit

With a Novell solution, New York City Transit automated identity management for 85,000 users and provided single sign-on access to applications.

About New York City Transit

New York City Transit is the largest agency of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) in New York, the largest transportation network in North America serving 14.6 million people. New York City Transit has the world’s largest fleet of subway cars and the largest public bus agency.

Challenge

As New York City Transit moves from manual train control to a more computerized environment, providing secure access to applications and buildings is critical. The agency has 49,000 employees across 500 locations, and also manages benefits for 36,000 retirees and spouses.

For the IT staff, provisioning new users was a lengthy manual process, often requiring a few weeks to give users access to the right applications. Revoking network and building access for terminated employees was also time-consuming, and posed security risks. Automating identity management would allow the IT staff to decrease administration time, while greatly improving security.

The agency also needed a security and identity management solution that would work across a mixed operating environment consisting of Microsoft Windows, NetWare®, UNIX and a variety of mainframe and mid-range servers.

Novell Solution

After evaluating identity management solutions including Oracle, IBM, and Microsoft, New York City Transit selected a Novell solution consisting of Novell Identity Manager and Novell Access Manager™. With API support for disparate systems, the organization can connect to Microsoft Active Directory and RACF across a variety of operating platforms.

Working with Novell Consulting™, New York City Transit implemented Novell Identity Manager to automatically synchronize user identities across multiple systems, including its time keeping and building access systems. Novell Access Manager allows the IT staff to give employees and contractors role-based access to applications, based on authoritative user data in the agency’s employee information system.

An identity management solution has also helped New York City Transit with its governance, risk and compliance (GRC) strategy. The IT staff can manage risk by ensuring that the right people have access to the right information.

With Novell Identity Manager, the agency has eliminated the manual processes associated with user provisioning and can set up new user accounts in a few hours, rather than a few weeks. The IT staff can also revoke access as soon as employees leave the organization to safeguard the security of its network, as well as access to its 1500 critical infrastructure control rooms.

With a Novell solution, the staff can ensure that users have access only to authorized applications and building, which is critical when managing a large transportation system. Automating identity management has also freed up the IT staff to work on more challenging projects, rather than routine administration.

With centralized identity management, the IT staff can give users a single ID and password to access applications. This has dramatically reduced the number of passwords users had to remember, as well as the number of password-related helpdesk calls. Password self-service also allows users to manage their own passwords.

For its 36,000 retirees and spouses, New York City Transit provides VPN access to its network and uses Novell SecureLogin to provide secure, single sign-on access. Once users have network access, Novell Access Manager provides authorized access to a Web portal where they can access and change their benefit information.

New York City Transit runs its Novell identity management solution on SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server for greater stability and has had zero downtime to date.

Results

With a Novell identity management solution, New York City Transit centralized and automated identity management for 85,000 employees, contractors and retirees. The IT staff has reduced time spent on user provisioning by 60% and can provision new users 90% faster. Users now have secure, single sign-on access to applications which has improved security, as well as employee productivity.

Making its benefits program available online to 85,000 users has dramatically reduced the mailing and administrative costs of managing the agency’s benefits program. New York City Transit has automated identity management and created new services for users, all without the need for additional IT resources.

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