How Datawiza uses Microsoft Entra ID to help universities simplify access

This blog post is part of the Microsoft Intelligent Security Association guest blog seriesLearn more about MISA. 

In a scenario familiar to many universities worldwide, Claremont Graduate University (CGU), a renowned research university located in Southern California, was struggling with bring Oracle PeopleSoft Campus Solutions into its Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Entra ID (formerly Azure Active Directory) environment and enable multifactor and single sign-on (SSO) for students and staff who access Oracle PeopleSoft on a daily basis. The only option for the resource-strapped IT department seemed to be an expensive development effort until the university discovered Datawiza and accomplished its goal in just a few weeks.

CGU lacked security expertise and SDK programming experience to connect PeopleSoft to Microsoft themselves. The IT team also lacked the resources to consult with PeopleSoft, Microsoft, and outside security resources, or had to hire a third party to do the project. The combination of Datawiza and Microsoft enabled CGU to quickly and easily connect PeopleSoft to Microsoft and enable multifactor and SSO. Datawiza swiftly crafted a proof of concept that CGU then thoroughly tested. Once approved, Datawiza promptly configured the solution to precisely suit the university's needs, subsequently transitioning it to production.

Universities like CGU rely on PeopleSoft, one of the first client-server solutions introduced in the 1990s to store student records, which typically includes personally identifiable information (PII), such as social security numbers, credit card numbers, transcripts, schedules, financial aid history, and more. Though it remains a powerful and functional solution, PeopleSoft has no built-in support for modern security standards such as multifactor or SSO, nor does it easily connect to Microsoft to bridge the gap.

As a result, CGU students and staff needed to log into an application outside of their secure Microsoft account to access and update information in PeopleSoft. This led to confusion and frustration for them and significant ongoing support issues and trouble tickets related to password management. It also increased security risks as users who must remember multiple passwords are more likely to write them down and leave them where others can access them.

“With Datawiza, CGU was able to rapidly enhance security and improve the user experience for Oracle PeopleSoft through [multifactor authentication] and SSO without having to go through the time and expense of coding their own connector,” said Manoj Chitre, Associate Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Technology Services and Information Systems at Claremont Graduate University. “The response from students and staff has been tremendous. Users no longer need to maintain and remember a separate PeopleSoft password, and the number of trouble tickets related to PeopleSoft login issues has plummeted.”

Today, nearly 2,000 GCU students and staff access PeopleSoft through multifactor authentication and their single SSO password, completely eliminating the unnecessary security risk, as well as all the time and resource-consuming effort associated with IT having to maintain a separate password environment for PeopleSoft.

“Microsoft Entra ID is the flagship of our identity and access solutions which help organizations secure access to everything in a hybrid, multicloud world. We are pleased to see companies like Datawiza support this mission through the Microsoft Intelligent Security Association.” 

– Irina Nechaeva, General Manager, Identity, Microsoft

Datawiza, the Zero Trust Access Management Platform

Datawiza provides Microsoft Entra ID-based SSO and multifactor authentication integration with PeopleSoft using Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) or OpenID Connect. The cloud-native, no-code or low-code Datawiza platform can be deployed in minutes and connected to PeopleSoft—and other legacy or on-premises applications—without the need for Oracle Access Manager or Oracle Identity Cloud Service and without any application patches or additional installations for the existing PeopleSoft deployment.

Once PeopleSoft is connected to Microsoft Entra ID, IT administrators can also easily apply existing Microsoft Entra Conditional Access policies to PeopleSoft.

Datawiza is a simple, highly secure platform consisting of two major components. The Datawiza Access Proxy (DAP) is a lightweight container-based proxy. DAP integrates with identity providers to enable SSO, multifactor authentication, and granular authorization. DAP can be deployed in a customer's environment or hosted by the Datawiza Cloud. The Datawiza Cloud Management Console (DCMC) is a centralized console for configuring access policies. DCMC aggregates logs and provides visibility. Once the solution is set up and configured by Datawiza, IT administrators will only need to manage user access through the DCMC.

Architectural diagram describing Datawiza's integration with Microsoft Entra ID.

Datawiza: A trusted solution

Datawiza joined the Microsoft Intelligent Security Association Program (MISA) in February 2021, and the solution has previously been described in detail in a MISA blog post. Datawiza is also a fully managed service built by security experts, eliminating the need for a university's IT team to deploy and manage a new solution or hire or contract with additional security expertise. This makes the combination of Datawiza and Microsoft the easiest and most powerful way to rapidly improve security and user access for the valuable data stored in PeopleSoft.

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Microsoft Entra ID

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The Datawiza Platform is available in the Microsoft commercial marketplace. More information and a free trial are also available on the Datawiza website.

To learn more about the Microsoft Intelligent Security Association (MISA), visit our website, where you can learn about the MISA program, product integrations, and find MISA members. Visit the video playlist to learn about the strength of member integrations with Microsoft products.    

Learn more about Microsoft Entra ID.

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This article was originally published by Microsoft's Windows Security Blog. You can find the original article here.