Do-it-yourself password recovery

PC Guardian provides an easy way to reduce calls to the help desk

If your agency's information technology staff is overworked—and whose isn't?—one way to provide some relief is to reduce the number of help requests from desktop users.

If you think that's easier said than done, take a look at PC Guardian's new Encryption Plus Secure Password Recovery. As the name suggests, the software enables users to recover forgotten passwords without calling the help desk. Because forgotten passwords make up a significant portion of help-desk calls, the program can save time and money by freeing up IT staff to attend to other tasks.

To prepare the program, users create up to three question-and-answer pairs. The questions should ask about personal information known only to the user, such as a grandmother's maiden name or a favorite novel. Later, if a user makes three unsuccessful log-in attempts, the program automatically prompts for the answers to these questions. Upon successful completion, the user is presented with his or her password and logged in.

At first glance this doesn't seem secure, but PC Guardian incorporates a high level of encryption into the program to protect the passwords. The software uses 233-bit elliptical curve cryptography (ECC), a public/ private key technology. In addition, it uses Rijndael—selected last year by the National Institute of Standards and Technology as the U.S. government's Advanced Encryption Standard—with a 256-bit key to protect the ECC private key. If a password is changed, the new password is automatically encrypted and the program's files are updated.

Although the software can be installed on and run from a client PC, most organizations will want to install it on a server and use a combination of network scripting and third-party deployment software to accomplish remote installs.

The program's wizards make it easy to set up Encryption Plus Secure Password Recovery. First, you install the administrator program, which takes just a few steps. Then the administrator configures the user program.

We were impressed with the program's many options. First, the administrator chooses the number of questions (up to three) a user must answer before the password is presented. For each question, there are three configuration options from which the administrator can choose.

The first option allows the user to select a question from a predefined list that the administrator has set up. The second option allows the user to create a question to answer, and the last option requires the user to answer a question chosen by the administrator.

Once the administrator has selected an option for each question, the program is deployed to the user's PC. The user must run through a quick setup process on the client PC before the program is ready to work.

When the user next logs in, the setup program automatically begins. Administrators can choose any of the three options for any of the questions. For example, all three setup questions could prompt the user to choose a question from the predefined list. The primary limitation is that the user cannot use the same question-and-answer pair more than once.

Once the user completes the user program setup, the unique question-and- answer pairs for that person are encrypted and saved. It's important to note that for the program to work, administrators must configure the user's account to lock that user out after a certain number of unsuccessful attempts to log in. Upon lockout, the program automatically runs.

All aspects of setup and use of Encryption Plus Secure Password Recovery are wizard-driven, and instructions are presented clearly.

If your agency's help-desk staff spends too much time helping users recover forgotten passwords, this product should be next on your shopping list.

REPORT CARD

Encryption Plus Secure Password Recovery

Score: A

PC Guardian
(800) 288-8126
www.pcguardian.com

Encryption Plus Secure Password Recovery costs $20 per seat, but quantity discounts are available.

This is an affordable, easy-to-use product that can help IT staff save time and resources.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.