What is Identity Management to me?

Your online identity consists of your My.UNL Username and Password. Identity Management is the procedures and systems that ensure you can access all the online resources while you're a student, faculty, or staff member at UNL.

There are bits and pieces of you scattered all across UNL. You might be working on a course, or working on a grant, using a computer in a lab or a classroom, or using the campus wireless network. You could also be flashing your NCard to unlock a door or buy a soda from a vending machine. It's our responsibility to collect all of those different pieces of "you" into a cohesive whole.

Our goal is to establish a single identity that lets you interact with any of the services that UNL offers. We also need to make sure that any of those services can interact with each other when they're talking about you (computer gossip). Finally, when you start a new job, or classes - or when any of your roles go away - we need to keep track of that as well.

Identity Management is entirely focused on what happens in MyRed, or in Firefly, or with your NCard. If you're having trouble getting access to something, you probably need to make sure that everything is correct in those sources first.

UNL employee and student resources

What else does IDM do at UNL?

Aside from managing user accounts, we also look at how to reduce the number of logins and passwords you have to remember, how many times you have to log in, and how to keep your identity as safe as possible.

To reduce the number of times that you have to log in, we provide some Single Sign-On (SSO) services. For on-campus services, we use the open-source CAS tool, and for off-campus services, we use Shibboleth. When a service uses one of these SSO services, you can pass between different web tools that use SSO and not have to log in again.

One way that we try to reduce the number of logins and passwords that you have to know is by forming relationships with partner organizations (like Educause, NIH, or the NSF), using Shibboleth through the InCommon Federation, so that you can use your UNL login and password to access resources that they provide. It makes life easier for the service provider because they can just trust that someone from UNL is a real person, and it makes life a lot more convenient for you.