Florida State College at Jacksonville Enables a Better, More Secure Application Access Experience With OneLogin

At a glance

Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) is a public college in Jacksonville, Florida that is part of the Florida College System. FSCJ ranks among the top colleges and universities in Florida and provides affordable, high-quality education that meets the demands of a modern workforce. For more than 50 years, it has served the First Coast community in multiple locations throughout Duval County, Nassau County and FSCJ Online.

Due to its diverse programs and more than 400 full-time faculty and nearly 800 adjunct (part-time) faculty, the school attracts international students from 154 countries and serves over 50,000 students each year.

Challenges

To empower its staff, faculty and students, the school’s IT department makes nearly 30 applications available. These include third-party applications such as a Learning Management System, tutoring software, Office365 suite, WebEx, financial aid and student services software and a student admissions platform, to name a few. FSCJ has also custom-developed its own apps.

Previously, staff, faculty and students accessed these apps via the school’s MyFSCJ portal, powered by PeopleSoft, using custom single sign-on (SSO) software developed in-house. However, this SSO software wasn’t standardized across applications. Moreover, users had to log into the portal and then separately into each and every app. Even the self-serve password reset didn’t reduce calls to the IT helpdesk since most users forgot their answers to security questions. “Our portal experience was broken and users were tired of multiple logins in a single session,” explains Pete Snell, Executive Director of Network & Server Systems at Florida State College at Jacksonville.

Complicating matters was the need to protect users’ identities to satisfy state auditing and cyber insurance requirements. This meant FSCJ needed multi-factor authentication on all staff and faculty accounts.

“We wanted users to be able to seamlessly access all apps through the portal,” says Snell.

Solutions

Snell looked into identity and access management (IAM) options, but found some vendors were unable to serve as a single identity provider. “Certain vendors required that we separately configure SSO for staff and students. Legacy apps aren’t able to recognize multiple identity providers. Plus, we didn’t want to burden our users with two-factor authentication, which requires a huge behavior change,” Snell says.

Not wanting to change its infrastructure, the school needed an IAM provider that could be the single identity source even though FSCJ maintained multiple domains and tenants on its back end. OneLogin fit the bill.

In addition to adaptive authentication, which only requires users to go through multi-factor authentication if the context of their login is particularly risky, Snell was impressed by the extensive app catalog maintained by OneLogin and the ability to enable password reset using SMS and other versatile authentication factors.

According to Snell, implementation was a dream compared to his other experiences. “We’ve invested lots of time over the years in SSO with many vendors. It was easy bringing on new apps with OneLogin due to two-factor authentication and the app catalog. We just clicked the app name in the catalog, entered the required information, and were up and running within minutes.”

Results

With OneLogin, FSCJ can secure accounts without making it onerous for faculty and students. Seamless SSO across applications translates to a better experience. Staff and students no longer have to leave the portal to access apps. “They don’t need to know the URLs for different applications, and don’t need to log in repeatedly. Once in the portal, they simply click on the apps they want to access,” explains Snell.

Due to OneLogin’s adaptive authentication offering, SmartFactor Authentication™, users are only prompted when their behavior changes, such as being in a new location, on a different computer, or logging in at a different time of day.

Plus, FSCJ administrators can provision apps much more quickly. Because all identities can be merged into OneLogin, it’s easy for FSCJ to tie roles to students and staff and then provision apps accordingly. Now that app authentication has been reduced from weeks to minutes, administrators gain back time to focus on developing new apps.

In addition, OneLogin significantly streamlines the certificate renewal process. “Now, it’s a single process via OneLogin, instead of a separate process for each app. This saves us a lot of time,” explains Snell.

Administrators can also filter down to determine who has application access, satisfying auditing and cyber insurance requirements. As Snell says, “Now we have data to make smart decisions about our app environment. Eventually we will use this to limit our license scope and turn off apps that aren’t being used.”

Already, FSCJ has used OneLogin to reduce student accounts that were considered active from 380,000 to 138,000–over 60%. “By assigning apps only to truly active users, we can stop paying for more licenses than we need,” concludes Snell.

Why OneLogin?

OneLogin brings speed and integrity to the modern enterprise with an award-winning single sign-on and identity management platform. Our portfolio of solutions secure connections across all users, all devices and every application, helping enterprises drive new levels of business integrity and operational velocity across their entire app portfolios.

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