Cardinal Newman College, Strengthen Security Against Growing Threats with Shibboleth and Active Directory. 

Minimising password overload and boosting enterprise security are 2 of the main challenges Cardinal Newman College faces to be a truly cloud institution. With the help of Shibboleth and SAAM bridge, integrating Active Directory has never been easier. 

Established 1978



Preston, UK


Curriculum for A-LevelBETCT-Level, and more 


Higher education student enrollment.  


Course Leads, Teachers, and Staff members.


Training and Career Support Members

Solutions at a glance


Although The Cardinal Newman College is “on the cloud”, they are being hosted externally, and are still using Active Directory as the authentication source. Where the network manager still needs an extra layer of protection. 

Data premises need migration and transition action in order to be able to use both Active Directory and Shibboleth. But, authentication requirements are needed for Shibboleth to authenticate against Azure AD rather than the ON-Premises AD.

Remove “dependency” in order to make Cardinal Newman College’s dream of being truly cloud only institutions! 


Implementing SAML (an approach of using both Active Directory and SSO Shibboleth) will help Cardinal Newman College to strengthen user premises authentication.

Overt Software solution implemented a SAAM Bridge, an authentication module that allows users to bridge authentication between Active Directory and Shibboleth.

To fully achieve the goal of being a “truly cloud institution”, cloud migration and configuration will help Cardinal Newman College to be a truly cloud only institution. 

The Challange

When a user is to access an application or domain, the IdP's database does not have to prompt for their login credentials every time. Instead, these credentials are stored in the IdP's database. 

The Identity Provider (IdP) confirms the user's digital identity, authenticates them 

and sends their identity information to the Service Provider (SP), allowing them to access multiple applications and systems. 

In Cardinal Newman College's case, despite being hosted externally within the cloud, The college needed another layer of protection to help it minimise password-related risks, secure its data, and improve user experiences. 

The Solution

Shibboleth is a well-known federated identity management solution which allows a user to access multiple or third-party applications and domains using one set of credentials. It links the user's identity across multiple identity management systems (IMS) to access different applications securely and efficiently. 

Active Directory and Shibboleth require one set of credentials to give users access to multiple third-party applications using both solutions. Despite this similarity, both Active Directory and the Shibboleth systems operate differently. Thus, Cardinal Newman College needs migration and transition action on its data premises to be able to use both Active Directory and Shibboleth. Not to mention, authentication requirements are needed for Shibboleth to authenticate against Azure AD rather than the ON-Premises AD. 

To solve this problem, with the help of SAAM bridge in integrating Active Directory and Shibboleth, users can access multiple third-party applications within the same domain or facility using one set of credentials. It also enables users to access platforms in various enterprise domains that are part of the federated configuration.  

The Benefits

With an identity management system like Shibboleth and Active Directory, Cardinal Newman College now has greater access and can provide a number of benefits over traditional authentication systems. 

Here is a list of benefits that Cardinal Newman College has achieved with the help of Overt Software Solutions 24/7 support team; 

Enhanced usability.  

Users can access multiple applications across federated domains without having to re-enter credentials. This improves user convenience and efficiency and improves user experiences. 

Secure authentication.  

In a non-federated authentication system, a user must log into individual systems with several credentials to authenticate. Each such login creates a point of vulnerability, which increases the risk of hacking attempts by unauthorised users. Shibboleth securely authenticates a user to grant access to applications in many domains and reduces the number of logins needed. 

Secure information and data sharing 

With the Shibboleth, organisations can share information and resources without risking user credentials or security. This makes it easier for The Cardinal Newman College facility to manage its data. 

Cost Effective 

Organisations can simplify their identity management by letting a single system manage all user identities, reducing costs. This means Cardinal Newman College doesn’t need to manage multiple user identities, thus reducing costs.

"We would recommend Overt Software to anybody! They have a wealth of knowledge and expertise and deliver first class service on every project we have worked with them on. You are in safe hands when you work with Overt and can relax knowing that any projects are delivered efficiently and with minimal disruption…they make it all seem so easy!"

Anthony Dickinson

Cardinal Newman | College Network Manager

Need help? 

If you would like to learn more about how Overt Software can help you strengthen your password and access management security, please contact the Overt Software Customer Success Team


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