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New App Takes the Pain Out of Password Management


Forgotten passwords and other password problems are the second most common reason workers call help desks. According to Forrester Research, the average cost of a help desk call is about $25. That can quickly add up, even for the smallest businesses. But there’s a new self-service application now in beta testing that takes the pain — and expense — out of password management.

Nervepoint Access Manager Self Service is a free, automated application that shifts the responsibility of password management from the help desk to the end user. It was developed by Nervepoint Technologies, a U.K. startup, to serve small and mid-size organizations.

It enables users to effortlessly and securely unlock their own accounts and set their forgotten passwords without contacting the help desk or creating a support ticket. The application also provides administrators with the ability to monitor password usage.

It is packaged as a Virtual Machine image, which means it's ready right out of the box without any additional downloads or system configurations. The only requirements are that you have one of the numerous VM players such as VMware Player and an SSL-enabled Active Directory.

There's an installation wizard that guides you through the setup steps and automatically locates and populates the Active Directory database. Because NAMSS is a Web-based app, there are no external clients for users to download.

Resetting forgotten, expired or compromised passwords is part of the territory for countless IT support staff and administrators. It can be tedious and time-consuming, besides being expensive. Help desks receive, on average, 1.75 calls per user per month about passwords and 30 percent of those calls involve password resets.

Based on an average of $25 per call, password resets alone can suck nearly $8,000 from the bottom line for a company with 50 employees.

The beta version of NAMSS and a newer version in the pipeline with enhanced features are free and will remain so in the future, a company spokesman told BusinessNewsDaily. Eventually, the company plans to offer a paid version with advanced features.

"It's still in early release to get that vital feedback but we already have educational institutions, government departments and businesses using it," he said.

Reach BusinessNewsDaily senior writer Ned Smith at nsmith@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @nedbsmith.

Ned Smith

Ned was senior writer at Sweeney Vesty, an international consulting firm, and was Vice President of communications for iQuest Analytics. Before that, he has been a web editor and managed the Internet and intranet sites for Citizens Communications. He began his journalism career as a police reporter with the Roanoke (Va.) Times, and was managing editor of American Way magazine and senior editor of Us. He was a Captain in the U.S. Air Force and has a masters in journalism from the University of Arizona.