Information Technology Services to implement new security system

Updates include revisions to better protect student’s passwords, tuition payments



Jacqueline Southwick, Information Technology Systems communication coordinator, says the online security system coming to WSU will be a measure to protect students against online threats. She says her team blocked 40 billion “malicious actions.”

DAISY ZAVALA, Evergreen managing editor

The Information Technology Services will launch a new security system called Okta this spring semester that will add a more complex layer of protection to personal information at WSU.

Jacqueline Southwick, ITS communication coordinator, said the Okta product is a multi-factor authentication resource that will add more security to critical information such as birthdays, social security and bank account numbers.

This type of security will ensure that only the person who owns that information can access it, she said.

“Nobody else can easily break in,” Southwick said.

She said the Okta system will be implemented into every network that uses WSU passwords, including the ones students use to log in to myWSU.

There is a variety of ways to use the Okta system and ITS will work to choose the system that will ensure students, faculty and staff, have optimal security, Southwick said.

The implementation team works to identify the different needs of each group and how to manage resources and timelines needed to launch the system, she said.

Business processes and applications WSU staff use will be protected by the Okta system, she said. This means tuition payments, payroll functions and myWSU for students will all have the upgraded security.

“Our information security team blocked 40 billion malicious actions against WSU,” Southwick said.

That included different ways people attempted to retrieve personal data from WSU’s information network during the 2018 fiscal year.

Southwick said they work to address these malicious attempts every day and is why the new Okta system will be implemented.

She said WSU has a standardized password reset system, where every six months users are asked to reset their network password.

“That was a great tool but this one takes it to a whole new level,” Southwick said.

She said the new system may require extra steps for students, faculty and staff to access their information but is worth it to protect them.

Students should have more information about Okta and be migrated to the new system before they leave for the summer, Southwick said.