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Single sign on IT access control for NHS trust

Evidian : 05 December, 2008  (Application Story)
E-SSO from Evidian enables single password sign on capabilities for employees of hospital trust reducing password related helpdesk calls
Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has successfully deployed a Single Sign On solution across its wards to increase login security, improve staff efficiency and cut IT support calls.

The E-SSO solution, from identity and access management vendor Evidian, will simplify access to several unique healthcare applications by enabling authorised clinical and admin staff from all wards to simultaneously login with a single user ID and password instead of having to remember multiple passwords for the different applications.

A key benefit of the solution is its ability to quickly and securely switch between users on shared computers. This not only enhances strict hospital security standards by minimising potential security breaches and improves compliance by creating an audit trail of users, but also improves staff productivity by eliminating the need to juggle and remember several passwords.

IT services manager for Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Steve Nicholson, said: "The E-SSO solution has been so popular with staff that they are actually requesting to be signed up to it. It makes their jobs considerably easier and more efficient and also encourages a greater level of security when it comes to the use of healthcare applications. It will also make our job easier as we start to deal less and less with password related problems - we expect it to cut IT Helpdesk password calls by around 70%."

"Although we evaluated four other solutions we opted for Evidian's E-SSO because it offered greater granularity, flexibility and a wider scope of facilities - furthermore out of all its competitors the E-SSO solution was the most cost effective. We were also extremely impressed by Evidian's demonstration of how their system would integrate with our Meditech hospital information system - which was essential."

An additional benefit of Evidian E-SSO is its self-service password reset function, which lets staff reset passwords themselves by going through a series of pre-set security questions. As well as eliminating many password-reset calls to the helpdesk it also encourages employees to use the full range of applications available to them.

The Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust worked with Evidian to install and customise the E-SSO solution at both locations during the summer this year. After installation the initial focus was on integration and testing with the Trust's key healthcare applications, followed by a pilot across 150 users. E-SSO has now been rolled out to almost 1000 users - including the busy A&E department, and a total of 3500 employees will be trained in its use within the coming months.

Evidian's solutions secure access to all types of corporate application - whether Windows, Citrix, Linux, Unix, web-based or mainframe. They combine multi-factor authentication with a plug-and-play SSO solution, replacing user passwords with digital signatures based on certificates, smart cards, USB keys or biometrics. Access is authorised according to existing security policies and enterprise directories.

Evidian E-SSO is available for Windows XP, 2000, 2003 and Vista. For thin clients, Evidian E-SSO is also available in the Windows Terminal Server and Citrix (MetaFrame, Presentation Server and NFuse) environments.

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