In this Q&A, ITS Identity Management Manager Celeste Copeland discusses what her group is working on and why the work is important, and she highlights some of Identity Management’s recent successes.
This Q&A is the second post in a Getting to Know series about ITS Identity Management.
What is Identity Management focusing on this year?
We’re also doing some cross training on portions of C# code that works with Office 365 and Microsoft Identity Manager. The C# code is the self-service email provisioning and the mass-mail utility used to send mass email across campus.
We will also be supporting the upcoming PeopleSoft upgrades to Campus Solutions, Human Capital Management (HCM) and Finance.
What is the size of your team?
Why is this work important?
What are your recent successes?
Implementing Duo 2-factor was a big innovation. Such tools help deter intruders and hacking incidents.
It’s important to stay on top of ways of preventing security holes and approaches to authentication and authorization. Authentication verifies that you are who you say you are. Authorization is what you can do now that we know who you are.
Consider your driver’s license. Your license matches your face and confirms your identity. That’s authentication. Your driver’s license also says what you can and can’t do, such as drive a motorcycle or a commercial motor vehicle, which is authorization.
For us, authentication is Shibboleth. Grouper and Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP), meanwhile, help applications make authorization decisions. Just because you’ve authenticated, it doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want. For example, you could be a student, parent or staff member with no need for sensitive information.
Our identity is used in more ways than people imagine. Explain.
Ideally, identity management is done right and you don’t have to concern yourself with it. You don’t think about identity management, but every time you log in, update your personal information, sign up for Duo or change or password, you’re interacting with identity management.
When you lose access, you learn how identities are intertwined with applications.
What do you enjoy about this work?
Internet2, the advanced technology community, has provided a communal space for education and research organizations to innovate and solve common challenges. Through Internet2, the identity and access management space has a new initiative called TIER (Trust and Identity in Education and Research) where we can exchange ideas with colleagues at other campuses. UNC-Chapel Hill is a TIER sponsor. It’s exciting to see how other institutions are solving the same issues that we face.
How can the campus community help you and your efforts?