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Two factor authentication for law firm mobile workers

Signify : 11 August, 2008  (Application Story)
Legal company takes up SecurID strong authentication for its mobile workforce to cut the risk of data loss
Law firm Hodge Jones and Allen is providing many of its 170 staff with secure, round-the-clock remote access to email and client case notes using an RSA SecurID two-factor authentication ((2FA)) hosted service from Cambridge-based Signify. This is part of the London firm’s ongoing commitment to the highest levels of security to prevent confidential information being compromised and also to avoid any risk to its reputation.

In addition to providing senior staff with access to company resources and applications, selected clients, partners and third-party companies can also log-in securely using the Signify two-factor authentication service. This includes typists who are able to work flexibly from home through secure access to the digital dictation system.

Users are issued with a small RSA SecurID token from Signify that produces a new unique one-time passcode (OTP) every 60 seconds. By using this, along with their known user name and secret PIN via the web-based Citrix Application Portal, they can log in safely at any time and from anywhere. This gives users the same desktop look and feel and access to authorised applications and data as if they were sitting at their desks in the office.

As a hosted service, Signify handles everything from dispatching Tokens and rights administration to providing a 24/7 support and dealing with forgotten passwords. 'We used to run an RSA solution in-house but it was a hassle to manage and maintain the authentication servers and support our users round-the-clock,” says Celina Ho, IT Manager at Hodge Jones & Allen.

“The Signify hosted service now handles everything and just keeps running, so we can get on dealing with other important issues. The system is easy to use, is always available and simple to deploy, manage and scale.”

Celina Ho is also able to enforce corporate security policy, add or remove users, define what they are authorised to access and view detailed reports using Signify’s powerful Identity Management Centre web portal. The law firm is also looking at using Signify’s Passcode OnDemand service that sends unique one time passcodes to a mobile phone or PDA. This is ideal for less frequent users and for those that don’t want to carry a separate token.

“With increasing pressure and competition, lawyers and other legal professionals need reliable, round the clock access to client information and communications,” says Dave Abrahams, CEO at Signify. “But while most law firms recognise that simple passwords are not secure, many don’t want the additional hassle or don’t have the resources to run an in-house two-factor authentication solution. That’s why we are finding increasing interest in our hosted services.”

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