Central Authentication System

Feedback from the UNI community prompted Information Technology Services to research solutions which would simplify the application process for computer accounts as well as decrease the number of passwords required to access computing resources across the university.

Simplifying the account application process included the creation of one account or login that would fit the requirements of multiple applications. This CAS (Central Authentication System) single login is called your UNI Cat ID username. Your username and passphrase together make up your Cat ID credentials.

On April 15, 2013, ITS began the process of switching UNI accounts from using passwords to passphrases.  Instead of having at least three UNI accounts with separate passwords that expire every 90 days, you will now use a single passphrase that expires after a year.

UNI faculty, staff, and students have historically called their primary login -- and its associated password -- by many names: logon or login, account name, username, user ID, computer password, and others. When support specialists asked a person to test something by typing in their login and password, a common response was, "Is that my email password?" Cat ID credentials, the combination of your username and passphrase, is now the new buzzword on campus.

The goal is to reduce the number of username/passphrase combinations that are needed to access ITS core systems by using your Cat ID (username/passphrase) for multiple systems. The CAS (Central Authentication System single sign-on) is based on Oracle Internet Directory and is the basis for authentication to MyUNIverse, e-Business, eLearning (Blackboard), Email and Calendar. This Cat ID credential is tightly integrated with Microsoft Active Directory so Cat ID credentials can also be used for authenticated access to computer labs, Windows servers/desktops, and wireless access.

The CAS (Central Authentication System) was initially implemented Spring 2007. The services included in central authentication to date include email, calendar, MyUNIverse, eLearning (Blackboard), eBusiness, self-service applications such as registration, residence contracting, and financial aid. This project has greatly simplified what has become a maze of usernames, passwords and password resets into one set, Cat ID Username and Passphrase.


Aaron Thompson - Manager Database & Systems Admin Team, Administrative Information Systems
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