ROC Amsterdam and ROC Flevoland protect access to student portal

The Regional Training Centre in Amsterdam (ROC Flevoland) is a school for vocational and adult education. Approximately 30,000 students and 4,000 employees use an online student portal that bundles, organises and manages student information. The information on the portal is sensitive and only qualified people have access to certain information.


Executive Summary

Business Objective
  • Limit or eliminate exposure of instructor passwords to students.
The Problem
  • The school needed a secure solution that reduces human error and provides stronger security than a static password.
The Solution
  • OneSpan Authentication technology
  • OneSpan Authentication Server
  • One-time password (OTP) becomes a disincentive to anyone trying to intercept the login for later use.
  • Easy ramp-up for instructors to authenticate sessions via their mobile devices.

Better Protection for Sensitive Information

“The information on the platform is indeed confidential,” confirms Rob Keemink, Director of the ICT department at ROC Amsterdam. “But in the past, students could guess the password of the teacher. During their lectures, teachers are often using a projector, and at times they accidentally enter their login details and password in the wrong field, so students could just follow along. That is obviously not the intention, so we needed a solution that reduces human error and also provides stronger security than a static password.”

With OneSpan authentication technology the portal is protected by a one-time password. Generated by a small hardware device or a mobile application, this onetime password is only valid for mere seconds, so it makes no sense to intercept and record it for a different login session. On the back-end, the OneSpan Authentication Server checks whether the authentication request can be approved.

Teachers have a choice: they either opt for the mobile application or a small hardware device. “In the future, most will choose the software version. It’s easy, because a mobile phone is always at hand,” adds Rob Keemink.

In the Netherlands, we are familiar with OneSpan. Many Dutch banks are using OneSpan authentication for online signing of banking transactions, and this creates trust.

Rob KeeminkDirector of the ICT Department
ROC Amsterdam

Challenges Resolved

In the search for a good security solution ROC Amsterdam — ROC Flevoland took into account a number of factors: technical capabilities of the solution, user-friendliness and price-quality ratio.

The application is used every hour, always at the beginning of the lecture when the teacher enters the absences. This means that every hour there is a peak time at which everyone logs in at the same time. The back-end system must be able to handle this peak.

“The OneSpan Authentication Server can process a large number of authentication requests per minute,” explains Rob Keemink. “We have tested the solution several times, and it’s all running smoothly.”

Another tricky issue was acceptance among teachers. The initial reluctance soon gave way to a widely accepted solution. After all, everyone understands the importance of good security. “In the Netherlands, we are familiar with OneSpan. Many Dutch banks are using OneSpan authentication for online signing of banking transactions, and this creates trust.”

User-friendliness was the third important pillar. “Again OneSpan scored very well here. The application is quick and easy, and anyone who does not have a smartphone can see the one-time password on the little hardware device at the push of a button. The procedure is clear and runs smoothly and quickly. It saves teachers valuable time at the beginning of a lecture.”

In summary, Rob Keemink concludes: “OneSpan authentication is a stable information system that combines ease of use with perfect security.”

Challenges Resolved

Client Overview

ROC Amsterdam (ROCvA) provides vocational education in almost all professional disciplines - from aircraft mechanic and confectioner to hotel manager and nurse. ROC Amsterdam is innovative and has close links with industry. There is intensive cooperation with people and institutions such as Schiphol College (at Schiphol), The College Hotel, Johan Cruyff at the Johan Cruyff College for professional athletes, the Frank Sanders Academy and the Jean School.