A DICTIONARY OF IMPORTANT TERMS ASSOCIATED WITH PENNKEY

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Authentication. The method a computer system uses to verify that an individual is who he or she claims to be. PennKey is an authentication method. See also Authorization.

Authorization. The method a computer system uses to determine whether or not an individual whose identity has been verified (authenticated) is in fact eligible to use a particular service or application. Authorization is the responsiblity of service or application owners and it works with an authentication method. For example, only authorized individuals, not everyone who has a registered PennKey and password, can log in to Knowledge Link.

Challenge-Response. A convenient, secure online method for resetting a forgotten PennKey password. Only individuals who have enrolled in Challenge-Response can reset their passwords online. Enrollment in Challenge-Response is optional and is not available to individuals with Non-Persistent PennKeys.

Cleartext Password. A password that is transmitted across the network without being encrypted. Such passwords are vulnerable to being intercepted by intruders and other unauthorized persons.

keyboardPenn ID. A unique eight-digit number issued to Penn and UPHS affliates. University offices frequently require a Penn ID for identification in situations where they formerly required an individual's Social Security Number. PennCard holders will find their Penn ID printed on their PennCard -- it is the middle 8-digit sequence of numbers at the bottom of the card. See also PennCard Number and PennKey.

PennCard. Your University ID card showing your photo and PennCard Number. For Penn faculty, staff, and students, a PennCard is a required form of photo ID at PennKey Administration Stations.

PennKey. An individual's user name in the PennKey Authentication System. Your PennKey is based on your PennName, a unique identifier that is the basis for user names in an increasing number of University systems. You must register your PennKey and associated password before you can access any services that use PennKey authentication. See also Non-Persistent PennKey and Penn ID.

PennKey Administration Station. A campus location where you can obtain a PennKey Setup Code.

PennKey Authentication. The authentication system that was introduced at Penn in October 2002 and the Health System in 2004. See also Authentication.

keysPennKey Set-Up Code. A temporary identifier that is issued when needed to register a PennKey. See also Challenge-Response.

Secure Client. Desktop software that is used to access a service that has been secured using Kerberos, SSH, SSL/TL, or another technology that employs strong encryption.

Setup Code. See PennKey Setup Code.

Single Sign-On. The ability to authenticate once and access multiple electronic services, rather than authenticating separately to each service. Kerberos, the technology underlying PennKey, provides a foundation for single sign-on.

SSL/TLS. Secure Socket Layer/Transport Layer Security. A technology used to secure services on host computers. SSL/TLS uses strong encryption for passwords. SSL/TLS is one of several strong security technologies in use at Penn. See also SSH, Kerberos, and Strong Encryption.

Strong Encryption. A method of securing information so that it cannot easily be intercepted and deciphered by an intruder. For services that require passwords to be transmitted across the network, strong encryption is the minimum standard on Penn's critical hosts. See also Critical Host Policy.

 
 


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