PortalGuard: Standardizing Login Experience

Gregg Browinski, CTO
Sometime back, the management at the California-based Contra Costa Community College District (CCCCD) was facing a major challenge due to consistent password related help desk calls at the beginning of each new semester, and when faculty and students return from a mid-semester break. They needed a solution to largely reduce the amount of incoming calls while simultaneously consolidating multiple login prompts. After scrutinizing multiple prospects, CCCCD approached PortalGuard—an innovative software technology firm that is focused on delivering a web-based identity management portal that binds strong authentication with high-performance and flexible integration. By deploying PortalGuard’s on-premises enterprise solution, CCCCD was able to address both their major pain points with Single Sign-on (SSO) and Self-service Password Reset (SSPR).

To consolidate various login prompts for Sharepoint, Office 365, and Ellucian apps, a PortalGuard server was installed as an on-premises Identity Provider (IdP) for the CCCCD. Now, users have to only remember a single set of credentials in order to receive access to the full range of resources they may require. With the wave of change driven by cloud and supporting architectures, PortalGuard offers its clients a clear path and well-secured set of login options to prepare them for the journey.

“Time has proven that security takes a backseat to usability,” asserts Gregg Browinski, CTO at PortalGuard. With SharePoint evolving for more than simply internal use—allowing secure external access for employees, business partners and customers—there is a dire need for password management and stronger authentication. PortalGuard addresses this need with its single, integrated authentication package. “Having a successful web security product running on the Lotus Domino HTTP server that provides account lockout, password self-service, and password expiration functionality, we knew there was a market for this same functionality on other platforms/web servers, and so we created PortalGuard,” reckons Browinski.

Poised at the pinnacle of its success, PortalGuard offers an extensive array of customer-driven features in a single, enterprise-level solution that has been proven by deployments across all verticals around the world over the last 8 years.

Our focus has been on achieving Single Sign- On, but the risk has now shifted to users remaining logged in when they don’t expect it

Their solution leverages industry-standard technologies and enables clients to enforce a consistent set of security policies at a single choke point.

“Our professional services team helps clients to quickly integrate PortalGuard to augment our customers’ IT department,” notes Browinski. In a nutshell, PortalGuard brings in numerous benefits to Office 365 and SharePoint login processes by acting as a drop-in replacement for Microsoft ADFS. PortalGuard’s contextual authentication and two-factor logins enable customers to match their security requirements with the sensitivity of the data being accessed.

Upon the implementation of PortalGuard’s methodology, procedures and practices, users can replace disparate logon screens with a single, trusted logon interface, thereby reducing potential attack surface. With their methodology, Proof of Concept (POC) installations can be immediately promoted to production instances, which prevents the need for a ‘big switch’ cutover. “Our Deployment Kits contain best practices and communication templates to streamline a successful deployment,” notes Browinski.

All PortalGuard’s features are available from one product without the need for a patchwork, multi-vendor solution. They provide responsive/thematic UI, password self-service—multiple options including account unlock, password reset, password recovery and enforceable enrollment—and extensible self-registration option for external users. “Our focus has been on achieving Single Sign-On, but the risk has now shifted to users remaining logged in when they don’t expect it. We are implementing selective single log out to help combat this,” assures Browinski. In days to come, PortalGuard is contemplating adding integration for mobile fingerprint authentication–utilizing additional layered whitelist authorization methods.


Bedford, NH

Gregg Browinski, CTO

Offers a web-based identity management portal, combining strong authentication with flexible, high-performance integration