Washington DC-based password security firm Thycotic recently announced the release of Password Reset Server 5.0. This represents a significant update to what is one of the leading enterprise-level password management solutions.
Thycotic Password Reset Server essentially streamlines the process of resetting Active Directory and Office 365 passwords. It works though an element that is added to the Windows Login Screen, or through a self-service web application. This has the effect of reducing the burden on the increasingly-sparse front line IT support workers, whilst simultaneously reducing the productive time lost to password issues.
The system consists of two parts. The first is a back-end, which runs on Windows Server 2008 and above, and requires Microsoft SQL Server. The second is the user-environment, which is integrated to the overall Windows login process, as well as being available through the four major web browsers – Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.
Version 5.0 is an ambitious and radical update. Perhaps the biggest addition to the software is the ability to reset passwords while a machine is offline.
Administrators can install an application on each machine, which tightly integrates with the Windows logon process. If the machine cannot contact the active directory domain server, the client-side application presents the option for an algorithmically-generated code to be inserted, allowing the user to log in. This code can be generated by a helpdesk employee, or by the user themselves.
In what could be a hint to their broader strategy, it also includes a refreshed and updated user environment. For the first time, this emphasizes a responsive environment and feature-parity with Thycotic’s desktop offerings.
For the first time, users can reset the password of an offline machine through a phone or a tablet. The company believes that a mobile experience is key for the offline reset scenario, since the only internet access many users will have will be from their smartphone or tablet.
Breaking The Fourth Wall
This update is the second big piece of news to come about Thycotic in the past month. The other was covered by my colleague, Javvad Malik, at the end of April. Malik explored the implications of the release of Secret Server 9.0 – their flagship Privileged Account Management (PAM) software. Just like this update, it represented a significant step forward for the company, and expanded its offerings to support OS X and Unix users.
This is indicative of a trend. Thycotic has seen the value in supporting different technological platforms, as well as different paradigms.
As for Password Reset Server, its value proposition is that it allows companies to reduce the burden that is so frequently placed on front-line IT support staff from requests to reset passwords. It empowers users to resolve their password problems themselves.
By allowing end-users to reset their passwords from their mobile devices, and even while their computers are offline, Version 5.0 enhances the value proposition of Password Reset Server significantly.
Thycotic offers a free 30-day trial of Pasword Reset Server for users wishing to test it out.