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News

CoCo Compliance requires 2-factor authentication for mobile workers

Signify : 18 August, 2009  (Technical Article)
Signify is warning companies of the need to have two-factor authentication for remote employees in order to gain Code of Connection compliance and maintain connection with government departments
With the final deadline for compliance with the Code of Connection (CoCo) fast approaching, Signify is warning local authorities that they run the risk of ID theft or, importantly, losing online connection to central Government departments if their employees working remotely are not secured with dual or two-factor authentication. It is estimated that over 20% of councils are yet to adopt CoCo standards and time is running out if they are to meet the deadline of 30 September 2009.

A key element of CoCo is that users working remotely must replace simple password protection with secure two-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication requires remote users to present two different factors (or proof) of identity - something you know and something you have. These factors are usually a secret PIN (something you know) and a tangible object like a token, USB device, or mobile device such as a phone or BlackBerry (something you have).

The original deadline for compliance has already been extended and the Government has made it clear that after the 30th of September, local authorities will need to have made the all the necessary changes to their networks and security to comply with CoCo. Failure to do so will mean that they will no longer be allowed to connect to the Government Connect Secure Extranet (GCSx) - a secure private Wide-Area Network (WAN) that enables communication between local authorities and Government departments such as Work and Pensions and Children Schools and Families.

Because two-factor authentication systems can be complex and time-consuming to deploy, Signify is offering local authorities a two-factor authentication hosted service to beat the deadline.

Southwark Borough Council is one local authority that uses Signify's hosted service to secure remote access to sensitive information and provide more flexible working, speed up bureaucratic processes and paperwork and reduce office space.

"Local authorities find our hosted service is attractive because it is easy to set up, has low overheads and total cost of ownership, as well as being reliable and secure with flexibility to grow as their requirements change," says Dave Abraham, CEO at Signify. "For authorities that have not yet adopted two-factor authentication to comply with CoCo, it can be set up and running within days."

Other Signify local authority clients include The London Borough of Tower Hamlets, Huntingdonshire District Council and Lincoln City Council.

Signify is also a member of Project Nomad, a centre of excellence for mobile and flexible working in local government. Nomad plays a valuable role in promoting the solutions being implemented in local government across the UK, developing detailed case studies and hosting varied events to spread the word.
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