Southwark Borough council rolls out two-factor authentication

Southwark Borough Council is rolling out two-factor authentication to secure its new remote connections, following the successful use of the system by its social services offices.

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Southwark Borough Council is rolling out two-factor authentication to secure its new remote connections, following the successful use of the system by its social services offices.

The council will use an authentication service from security supplier Signify, as part of security measures for staff working from home and on other sites, and staff regularly switching desks. Southwark social services already uses the system to securely and remotely record files on cases, and access email and other desktop applications on the move.

Southwark is in the process of rolling out remote access to the rest of its 5,500 staff who work at 190 different sites. The rollout is being managed by Serco, which runs the council's IT infrastructure.

The Signify authentication system uses RSA SecurID tokens that produce a new passcode every minute, and staff will use this code with their username and PIN for remote access. IT managers can add and remove users, and check who is accessing the systems, using the Signify web portal.

Richard Heap, business partnership manager at the council, said that “with staff working from home or in the field, we cannot rely on using simple passwords to log into personal client files, and a secure two-factor authentication solution is essential".

The Signify authentication system is also used by the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

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