A common problem with multiple systems is how to manage user accounts and authentication between them all. A mix of Linux and Windows system will cause issues of correlation between them with a need of a common solution that fits both. There is, however, an excellent solution to this called Lightweight Directory Access Protocol or LDAP for short. Relatively easy to setup and understand, originally conceived by telephony companies to keep track of phones, it has found applications in all sorts of places in the IT field not just for telephony only applications.
This is, of course, not restricted to just server administration and desktops. A wide variety of applications, may it be desktop or web based, can utilize this powerful resource to create perfect symmetry between every server, desktop, and application. All major CMS web applications have full LDAP support for authentication like for instance WordPress, Joomla, and Media Wiki.
Giving employees access to the company website is possible in a few mouse clicks on a properly setup installation. A trend that is slowly growing is having a company only wiki where employees can share information to increase productivity in the workplace which can be done securely by the usage of properly configured LDAP authentication system. Records can be easily added, deleted, and modified using a verity of tools including a web interface. One such interface is phpLDAPAdmin which is based upon php technology which can be easily setup for usage upon a remote or local LDAP authentication system.
Installation of an LDAP authentication server can usually be done within 30-45 minutes maximum by a skilled IT personal. However, importing employee records and information depending on the setup can be time consuming but well worth it. The time required to setup such a system is small in comparison to the beneficial usages of such a universal authentication system.
A universal login held by an employee combined with best password practices offers both a great degree of security and ease of use. For instance, if there is any form of a security issue a login can be revoked immediately pending further actions. Another advantage is a greater ease of memorization combined with best practices for passwords decreases the usage of simple and inefficient passwords on multiple systems. The greatest advantage of a properly setup centralized authentication is the dramatic increase in productivity due to less strain on the IT personal for it’s administration.