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Windows Accounts & Security

Windows Account Credentials

MCAD staff members are given Windows credentials if they have a Windows computers at their workstation or if they use Windows servers or other services. These credentials are separate from the standard credentials associated with the MCAD Login and must be managed independently. Users who log in with their Windows credentials are logging into the Graylock Active Directory Domain.

Staff who know their Windows password can reset this password by pressing ctrl + alt + del on their computer's login page, or by contacting the Help Desk. 

Windows accounts will be locked after 5 failed password attempts, and reset passwords must be different than the last 8 passwords. Windows passwords must be changed every 90 days.

Staff with Windows credentials who have forgotten their Windows password, or who have had their Windows account locked as the result of too many failed password attempts, will need to enter a ticket with the Help Desk. The Help Desk will verify their identity, unlock their account and/or reset their password.

More information about Graylock Domain Passwords

The Graylock Active Directory Domain utilizes Microsoft technologies. These technologies are among the most actively attacked and compromised. The Graylock Domain protects the college's most sensitive and important data. Strong and secure passwords are along the frontline in preventing unauthorized use and abuse.
Graylock Domain passwords have a few restrictions placed upon them:

  • Maximum Password age of 90 days
  • Minimum length of 7 characters
  • Must be a “strong password”

The following definition of strong passwords is from Windows 2003 Server Help:

Strong Passwords
The role that passwords play in securing an organization's network is often underestimated and overlooked. Passwords provide the first line of defense against unauthorized access to your organization. […]

Weak Passwords
Provide attackers with easy access to your computers and network, while strong passwords are considerably harder to crack, even with the password-cracking software that is available today. Password-cracking tools continue to improve, and the computers that are used to crack passwords are more powerful than ever. Password-cracking software uses one of three approaches: intelligent guessing, dictionary attacks, and brute-force automated attacks that try every possible combination of characters. Given enough time, the automated method can crack any password. However, strong passwords are much harder to crack than weak passwords. A secure computer has strong passwords for all user accounts.

A weak password:
  • Is no password at all.
  • Contains your user name, real name, or company name.
  • Contains a complete dictionary word. For example, Password is a weak password.

A strong password:
  • Is at least seven characters long.
  • Does not contain your user name, real name, or company name.
  • Does not contain a complete dictionary word.
  • Is significantly different from previous passwords. Passwords that increment (Password1, Password2, Password3 ...) are not strong.
  • Contains characters from each of the following four groups:
Uppercase lettersA, B, C ...
Lowercase lettersa, b, c ...
Numerals0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Symbols found on the keyboard (all keyboard characters not defined as letters or numerals)` ~ ! @ # $ % ^ & * ( ) _ + - = { } | [ ] \ : " ; ' < > ? , . /

It is OK to write down your passwords, but they are worth more to MCAD than all the cash on campus and must be kept in a safe place. It is not acceptable to put them on your monitor, beneath your mouse pad, keyboard, etc.


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