Self Service Password Instructions

Self Service Password provides VMI faculty, staff, and Cadets with a browser-based tool that enables secure reset of forgotten domain/network access passwords and the ability to unlock an account without assistance from Help Desk.

Forgotten passwords are one of the most frequent problem calls to Help Desk and IT staff resulting in lost productivity for both the user and technical staff.

Users initially connect to the Self Service Password system using their known password to configure their security settings. The user then chooses three challenge-response items from a list of open-ended questions that are designed to have specific answers that are easy to recall and are only known to that individual. In the case of a forgotten password, the user accesses the Self Service Password Web site http://www.vmi.edu/ssp, answers the questions, and can reset their password or unlock their account. The Self Service Password Web site can be accessed at any time of day from any connected location, including the Barracks, an office or lab computer, a home Internet account, a hotel, an airport business kiosk, or an Internet Café.

Registering in Self Service Password

Benefits of Self Service Password 

  • Increase Productivity
    In today's technology dependent VMI, productivity decreases to almost zero for users who have forgotten their password or are locked out of the network.

VMI is deprived of the valuable contributions of the disconnected faculty, staff, or cadet, while they sit idle waiting to gain access to their critical applications, data, and email. By automating this mundane and re-occurring task, such non-productivity can be eliminated.

  • Improve Security 
    Self Service Password ensures the highest level of network security by utilizing an encrypted "challenge-response" process.  Self Service Password will also require and assist users in selecting a “best practices” password by ensuring that the VMI password policy is adhered to.
  • Achieve Ease of Use
    Resetting a password is as simple as the following three easy steps:
    1. Identify (enter the account ID)
    2. Verify (correctly answer the private questions)
    3. Reset (enter a new password)
  • Gain Instant Access
    As long as the user has access to a browser they can reset their password and unlock their account without requiring any help desk assistance.
  • Reduce Loss Productivity and Costs
    This process accounts for over 15% of all VMI Help Desk calls. This equates to more than three hours per week at the help desk and an incalculable amount of user time.
  • Enforce Accountability
    Every action taken with Self Service Password is logged to a database, which allows critical data, alerts, and reset failures to be e-mailed directly to VMI’s security administrator.
  • Decrease Frustration
    Delay, frustration, lost productivity, and overhead typically experienced while waiting for the Help Desk to process password reset requests are eliminated. Cadet visits to the VMI help desk to process password reset requests are eliminated. SSP not only removes the burden from the Help Desk but most importantly lets the user get back to work with minimal disruption or delay. This is especially critical when the user needs a password reset outside of the help desk hours of operation. Note:  All helpdesk assisted password resets will require the user be able to answer their 3rd security question-- the inability to do this will require the user to physically present him/herself at the VMI help desk with a photo ID. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

  • What is Self Service Password?
    Self Service Password increases network availability and security by utilizing a “challenge and response” technology to validate the user’s identity during the network password-reset process. SSP will provide VMI with time savings in both the Help Desk and end user productivity.
  • Will Self Service Password work with Colleague and Post View passwords?
    Colleague--no; Post View--yes.
  • How is Self Service Password used?
    To reset a password using Self Service Password at work, on the road, or at home, the user simply accesses the VMI Self Service Password Web page http://www.vmi.edu/sspregistration from any Internet connection. After entering their domain name (VMI) and network ID, they will be prompted to answer their pre-selected personal challenge-response questions. If the questions are answered correctly, Self Service Password allows the authenticated user to securely select a new password and/or unlock their account.
  • How does Self Service Password authenticate users?
    Self Service Password authenticates users with three challenge-response questions that were chosen from a list of choices presented at enrollment time.
  • What happens if a user fails the authentication process?
    Self Service Password will not allow a password reset until a proper authentication is complete. All successful attempts and failures are logged.
  • How does the user know if the password reset was successful?
    The user will see a “success” message upon completion of a successful password reset.
  • What are the procedures if a password reset is not successful?
    If a reset fails and the user cannot answer all the challenge-response questions correctly, they will have to physically present themselves at the VMI help desk with a photo ID for their password to be reset.
  • How can I reset my forgotten password if I have not yet enrolled?You will have to physically present yourself at the VMI help desk with a photo ID for your password to be reset.
  • How do I enroll?
    Enrollment information will be emailed to all VMI emailed to users.

Security Questions 

  • Is Self Service Password communication secure?
    Yes. All communications are encrypted in 3DES and hashed in MD5
  • Where is this authentication information stored?Authentication information is stored in Active Directory. It is also encrypted so that only Self Service Password can read the information. For even tighter security, the personally chosen questions are not stored with the answers.
  • What are the auditing/logging processes?
    Self Service Password activities are logged on the server running the Self Service Password service. All attempts (and failures) are logged.