Kerberos is a network authentication protocol developed at MIT. It is designed to provide strong authentication for client/server applications by using secret-key cryptography. Kerberos is named for the three-headed watchdog from Greek mythology who guarded the entrance to the underworld.

Kerberos offers a strong, standards-based authentication system on a wide variety of systems, ensuring the security of your personal and professional data at BU.


  • Kerberos provides the tools of authentication and strong cryptography over the network.
  • IS&T maintains secure Kerberos servers in a number of locations to ensure the availability of campus-wide authentication services.

Getting Started

Kerberos is sensitive to time differences between server and client, so client systems should synchronize their clocks to network time.

Authentication systems and their integration into varied environments is fun (well, we think so, but hey, we’re geeks), but it can be tricky. Submit a service request for help integrating Kerberos authentication into your environment.