Regular Hours, Summer 2022

Summer Hours: May 23 – July 29, 2022: Monday – Thursday 8:00am – 4:30pm, Friday 8:00am – 12:00pm


What is a password/passphrase?

Password/Passphrases are not the same as passwords. A password/passphrase is a longer version of a password and is, therefore, more secure. A password/passphrase is typically composed of multiple words. Because of this, a password/passphrase is more secure against "dictionary attacks."

A good password/passphrase is relatively long and contains a combination of upper and lowercase letters and numeric and punctuation characters. An example of a good password/passphrase is d0gsareMybestfr!3nds.

Why is a strong password/passphrase important?

Password/Passphrases are an important aspect of computer security. A poorly chosen password/passphrase may result in unauthorized access and/or exploitation of Hawkeye Community College's resources.

All users, including contractors and vendors with access to Hawkeye Community College systems, are responsible for taking the appropriate steps, as outlined below, to select and secure their password/passphrase.

Password/Passphrase Construction Guidelines

All user-level and system-level passwords must conform to the Password/Passphrase Construction Guidelines:

  1. Users must not use the same password for their Hawkeye accounts as for other non-Hawkeye accounts such as personal email, banking, etc.

  2. Where possible, users must not use the same password/passphrase for various Hawkeye access needs.

  3. User accounts that have system-level privileges granted through group memberships or programs must have a unique password/passphrase from all other accounts held by that user to access system-level privileges.

  4. Where Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) is used, the community strings must be defined as something other than the standard defaults of public, private, and system and must be different from the password/passphrase used to log in interactively. Simple Network Management Protocol community strings must meet password/passphrase construction guidelines.

Creating your Password/Passphrase

Password/Passphrases must:

  1. Contain ten characters or more. The longer your password/passphrase, the better!

  2. Not be based on dictionary words/common names.

  3. Contain characters from three of the following four character classes:

    • Upper Alphabetic (A–Z)
    • Lower Alphabetic (a–z)
    • Numeric (0–9)
    • Punctuation and other characters (!@#$%^&*()_+|~-=\`{}[]:";'<>?,./)

Protecting your Password/Passphrase

All password/passphrases must be treated as sensitive, confidential, Hawkeye Community College information.

  1. Do not share password/passphrases with anyone including administrative assistants, secretaries, managers, co-workers while on vacation, family members, etc.

  2. Do not write password/passphrases down and store them anywhere in your office.

  3. Do not store password/passphrases in a file on a computer system or mobile devices without encryption.

  4. Do not use the "Remember Password" feature of applications (for example, web browsers).

  5. Do not reveal your password/passphrase to anyone, anywhere including:

    • Over the phone to anyone.
    • In an email message or other form of electronic communication.
    • On questionnaires or security forms.
  6. Do not hint at the format of a password/passphrase (for example, "my family name").

If you suspect that your password/passphrase may have been compromised, you must report the incident to the Chief Information Officer and change all password/passphrases immediately.

Password/Passphrase Expiration

Your password/passphrase will expire after:

  • 90 days for regular Active Directory User accounts
  • 12 Months for Multi-Factor Authentication enabled accounts
  • All system-level password/passphrase (for example, root, enable, NT admin, application administration accounts, and so on) must be changed on at least a yearly basis.
  • All user-level password/passphrase (for example, email, web, desktop computer, and so on) must be changed at least every six months.

Password/Passphrases History

To prevent recycling password/passphrase:

  • Eight password/passphrase changes are required before reusing a previous password/passphrase.
  • Users may change their password/passphrase once a day.


Users will be locked out of their Hawkeye accounts after six failed attempts to login.

How do users gain access to their account if they are locked out?

Password/Passphrase Cracking or Guessing

Password/passphrase cracking or guessing may be performed on a periodic or random basis by the Information Security Team or its delegates. If a password/passphrase is guessed or cracked during one of these scans, the user will be required to change it to comply with the Password/Passphrase Construction Guidelines.


Information Security recognizes that legacy applications do not support proxy systems in place. Please refer to the technical reference for additional details.

The scope of this policy includes all personnel who have or are responsible for an account (or any form of access that supports or requires a password/passphrase) on any system that resides at any Hawkeye College facility, has access to the Hawkeye College network, or stores any nonpublic College information.

To simplify the user experience and ensure the security of personal data and College resources, the Office of the Chief Information Officer is updating account creation and management processes and implementing new password/passphrase policy and complexity rules.

All of the rules above that apply to passwords apply to password/passphrase. When password/passphrase are used, they must meet the following complexity specifications:

Contact Information

Communication and Information Services (CIS)

How Can We Help? Need Support?

Email CIS

Regular Hours

Monday – Friday
7:30am – 5:00pm

Chief Information Officer (CIO)

Brian McCormick
Black Hawk Hall 125
Email Brian McCormick

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