CEC Theses and Dissertations

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Date of Award

2010

Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Information Systems (DISS)

Department

Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences

Advisor

Marlyn K. Littman

Committee Member

Junping Sun

Committee Member

Ling Wang

Abstract

Historically, managing access to information systems (ISs) required direct interaction with a limited number of users. Increasingly, managing access involves handling an increased numbers of internal and external students, faculty, and staff as well as partners such as workforce development centers, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. At Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU), the approach to identity management (IdM) required the distribution of a username and password to authenticate MnSCU employees and students. Authentication enables authorized users to access campus-supported ISs and Office of the Chancellor (OOC) supported ISs such as the Integrated Statewide Record System (ISRS). In some cases, an MnSCU employee or student will receive as many as 7 usernames and passwords. When a new employee or student joins MnSCU, the campus IT group creates a general log-on to campus-supported ISs. This log-on consists of a username and password and provides the new employee or student with access to a local area network (LAN) hosted application such as e-mail and campus directory services.

The author used Minnesota State College-Southeast Technical (MSC-ST) as the unit of analysis. In this inquiry, the following propositions guided and shaped the case study data collection: (a) system development processes (SDPs), (b) single access sign-on credentials through all MSC-ST ISs, (c) electronic data assurances, and (d) implementation across public and private security zones.

The findings from this case study were used to develop a paradigm supporting the design and development of an IdM system model at MSC-ST. This model contributed to the establishment of a uniform IdM system for use by MSC-ST students, staff, and faculty regardless of time and location.

Based on findings from this case study, key processes involved in establishing this IdM system based on uniform identities and authentication processes were documented. Key steps involved in facilitating secure IS access to MSC-ST resources by students, staff, and faculty accessing OOC-supported ISs as well as MSC-ST campus-specific applications were described. The author contributed to advancements in the IS space through the use of a replicable approach for implementing an IdM paradigm at MSC-ST.

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