A ‘FastPass’ to IBM i Password Satisfaction
December 2, 2014 Alex Woodie
The need to remember multiple passwords is the source of much stress for today’s modern computer user. Users must remember passwords for systems, passwords for apps, and passwords for phones. One vendor helping to eliminate the password overburden is the Danish company FastPass, which has been supporting IBM i with its password synchronization software for the past four years.
FastPass is a software or a service that enables employees to use a single password to access multiple systems. FastPass is based on Microsoft‘s identity management software for Windows, including Active Directory. On top of that, FastPass has built connectors for a number of systems, including IBM i, Oracle, and SAP. It also provides a self-service mechanism for users to reset forgotten passwords.
FastPass CEO Finn Jensen says his solution is about password synchronization. “Sometimes we are asked if our solution is a single sign-on solution,” he tells IT Jungle “It is not! Some customers call it a simple sign-on solution, because with password synchronization, users only need to remember one password.”
In addition to synchronizing passwords from Windows to IBM i, the software can also be used to reset specific IBM i passwords that are unconnected with Windows, Jensen says. This flexibility may give FastPass an edge over other password synchronization solutions that are based entirely in Windows or LDAP. “A high number of customers use FastPass for their IBM i systems together with their Windows systems,” Jensen says.
The company supports all IBM i password policies, Jensen says, from level 0 to level 3, the later supporting complex, 128-character passwords. When users enter a new password in FastPass, they’ll get password policy guidance to help them comply with their organization’s IBM i password policy, he says.
FastPass is available as a software-based solution or as a cloud-based solution. When FastPass is used as a cloud solution, the company never stores the password. Instead it is immediately transported to the user directory, Jensen says. “All personal information like questions/answers is stored, encrypted, and hashed, to secure 100 percent privacy,” he says.
During the password reset process, the authentication mechanism can involve challenge questions, or PIN codes sent via email or SMS to mobile phones. Because the help desk is not involved in the password reset process, users can reset their passwords at any time and any day of the year.
FastPass has more than 1 million users worldwide, including companies in the United States, such as Volkswagen Credit and Sonoco. The company, which is traded jointly on the NASDAQ and Copenhagen stock exchanges, has an office in New York, but the customer base is still heavily slanted toward Europe.
FastPass sells two main variations of software. Customers can purchase basic password synchronization, or for an additional fee they can get password reset self-service too. Both products are available as on-premise software or as cloud subscriptions.
A company with 500 users that chooses only password synchronization costs $6,000, while for 2,000 users the purchase price is $10,000. A license for a password self-service application for 1,000 users can be acquired for $8,000, while an annual subscription would be $3,600, Jensen says. “For all variations, customers can lease the solution or choose a cloud solution,” he says.