Getting Unstuck from the Password-on-a-Stickie Method

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2007-02-26 Email Print this article Print

IBM's Tivoli Access Manager automatically manages numerous user names and passwords beneath the user's radar.

Rohm and Haas makes things stick. The glue that holds the first sheet of tissue paper to the roll, the stuff that keeps your candy bar wrapper snug on your chocolate, the chemicals in paint that keep it stuck to the wall.

There are good sticky things, and then there are the stickies stuck onto PC monitors with passwords jotted down.

The 17,000 employees at the specialty chemicals company—a company whose IT department is a firm believer in off-the-shelf software—until recently were laboring under the task of maintaining between 12 and 15 separate user names and passwords to access systems needed to do their jobs. The help desk, for its part, were handling 14,000 password-related calls per year.

To fix the problem, Rohm and Haas turned to IBM's Tivoli Access Manager for Enterprise Single Sign-on a few months back. At this point, Rohm and Haas has pushed the application out to 700 desktops, with plans to push it out to the rest of employees in the works.

Tivoli Access Manager automatically manages numerous user names and passwords beneath the user's radar. Whenever a user is prompted for user ID and password, the application intercepts the request, automatically entering the information. It does so by relying on a central LDAP directory that also stores passwords in conjunction with a local "vault" of passwords.

Read the full story on Getting Unstuck from the Password-on-a-Stickie Method

Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.

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