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MITnet is an open network. There are no network firewalls, or network filter restrictions, and computers connected to MITnet are given network addresses that are accessible by the public Internet. This type of network provides reliability of, and accessibility to, shared network resources and supports the diversified needs of the community.

In this type of computing environment (where there is direct exposure to the Internet), an unprotected computer is especially vulnerable to online attacks, spam, or other threats that can compromise a user's identity or undermine the security of a computer's hardware and data.

Before connecting to MITnet, do a quick "health check" on your computer. Follow the tips listed on this site and the steps provided in the Knowledge Base to reduce the risk of becoming the victim of an online attack.

Methods of authentication

To safely use online resources at MIT, these secure authentication methods are provided to help protect your identity as well as authenticate the communication between two computers.

Kerberos: Your Kerberos identity, established with a username and password, confirms that you are who you say you are to many of the IT systems on campus.

MIT Web Certificates: MIT delivers many services and applications over the Web. Those requiring authentication come from secure servers that limit access to authorized users, and protect transmission of sensitive data by encryption. For instance, many of MIT's secure web servers leverage certificates for user authentication. These certificates are imported into your web browser.

MIT Touchstone: Provides a single sign-on solution for MIT web applications requiring authentication. Once users are authenticated using the central authentication service, they will not need to authenticate again during the browser session. The service supports several ways for users to authenticate and leverages the existing Kerberos infrastructure.