Upgrades for logging in to university systems
Information Services is implementing a new back end process for logging in to Kent State systems.
The primary motivations for this upgrade are:
To employ new advanced security features
To enhance user self-service processes
To align with the new Kent State brand
The implementation will not affect how users log in. The basic method stays the same – enter the user name and password, then select submit.
The addition of new advanced security features is arguably the most important upgrade. While they will likely go unnoticed by most users, these new features will keep the university in line with current industry standards and best practices, helping to ensure that your information is only accessed by those authorized to do so.
Keeping information secure is not new to the university, however, it is necessary to keep up with changing technologies.
Two-Step Authentication (2FA) is one of these new features. 2FA requires that the person logging in provides added proof of identity beyond just a user name and password. Typically this might include answering a security question or entering a code sent via email or to a cell phone.
Another new security feature will be the option to indicate whether a device is private or public. This will be especially beneficial to students working in computer labs. Once the session has ended (Mac: the user quits the browser, Windows: all browser windows are closed), all systems are logged off.
Functionality: Enhanced Self-service Processes
Another goal of the upgrade is to provide users with features that will enable them to carry out tasks more efficiently.
One such feature is centralized authentication, or single sign-on (SSO). Users logging in to one Kent State system will be logged in to all systems to which they have access. For instance, a student logged in to their Kent State email will be able to launch Blackboard Learn without the need to log in again. Currently, this is only possible by navigating to these systems through the FlashLine portal.
Likewise, only certain systems will benefit from SSO initially. However, others will be added as the implementation continues.
A second feature, coming in the future, is the availability of new methods for users to retrieve their passwords. Currently users carry out this action by answering security questions or by providing an alternate email address. The new process will include these options as well as others that align with current industry standards.
Appearance: Align with the Kent State Brand
Updates to the visual design of the login pages will be the most obvious change. The login pages include a large background image and apply the new Kent State brand's elements, colors, and fonts.
The overall design will be the same for ALL login pages, ultimately creating a consistent experience across all systems. In addition, all login pages will successively be made responsive – displaying content based on screen size and orientation – to align with current standards.
Some of the high profile systems being updated within the initial phase include mail.kent.edu, email.kent.edu, google.kent.edu, smartdevice.kent.edu, and guestaccounts.kent.edu.
Phase I Systems and Progress
This page will be updated as the implementation progresses.