This astute utility is saving money, adding flexibility and it’s environmentally friendly too
Northumbrian Water Limited (NWL) serves a population of 2.6 million people in the north east of England with water and sewerage services, and 1.8 million in the south east of England where it provides water services trading as Essex & Suffolk Water.
As you’d expect with a utility organisation, it has a diverse workforce some of whom work away from the office, teams who work in the field, – operational managers, communications and marketing teams, IT employees and project managers. In addition, it also uses the services from a number of third parties including consultants and contractors. For these remote workers it is paramount that they have secure, timely access to the corporate network.
Anthony Smith, IS Security Co-Coordinator at NWL, explains, “As part of our remote access program we were looking for a replacement to our previous token system. We wanted something that could offer flexibility, a reduction in costs and introduce efficiencies –while continuing to maintain a high level of security. With SecurEnvoy we found it.”
After reviewing the marketplace NWL opted for a revolutionary approach to the age-old problem of providing secure access to corporate systems without the need for tokens or smartcards. It selected SecurEnvoy’s SecurAccess to provide tokenless® two factor authentication for its remote workforce and contractors.
How SMS two-factor authentication works:
Utilising SMS technology SecurAccess turns any mobile phone into an authentication token. Each NWL employee’s existing Microsoft password acts as the first factor, with a passcode sent to the user’s mobile phone as the second.
Unlike its legacy hardware tokens that previously took days to deploy, it can roll out SecurAccess to its remote workers and contractors in seconds without the pain, cost or environmental impact created by legacy hardware distribution. By removing the need for physical tokens reduces their impact on the environment – both in terms of production and deployment.
This industry standard solution will replace its original hardware token system, offering the utility increased flexibility while reducing costs.
Anthony adds, “Tokenless® two-factor authentication means we can switch on users in seconds rather than relying on postal systems to deliver physical tokens, often arriving days later. A further inconvenience was trying to get tokens returned by contractors when projects ended. Each one costs money so it gets expensive if they’re just written off. We felt it was time for a change. That the majority of our users prefer the SMS tokens is an added bonus making the whole program effortless.”
Continuity an added bonus
In the event of an emergency, many organisations in desperation will allow remote users to authenticate with a standard username and password. However, this is often when corporate defences are at their weakest and the threat from attack is greatest. SecurEnovy’s ‘SecurIce’ is a revolutionary approach to this problem. It allows emergency secure access to corporate systems without the need for tokens or smartcards.
NWL can switch on this rock-solid two-factor authentication for numerous users in seconds in the case of an emergency, such as freezing conditions preventing access to its offices. There is no need for users to enrol and remember an additional PIN, and no need for extra tokens or smartcards – the perfect emergency two-factor authentication system.
Anthony concludes, “Along with the
rest of the country, the last two winters meant some of our employees struggled to get in to work and, instead, needed to work from home. Investing in hardware tokens that are only used for a few days a year is nonsensical. SecurIce means, if again the mercury plummets, it’s a quick and simple process for us to switch on our employees so they don’t have to risk travelling on icy roads, instead staying safe and warm at home with immediate secure access to the network.”
SecurEnvoy is the trusted global leader of tokenless® two-factor authentication. SecurEnvoy lead the way as pioneers of mobile phone based tokenless® authentication.
Their innovative approach to the tokenless® market now sees thousands of users benefitting from their solutions all over the world. With users deployed across five continents, their customers benefit from significant reduced time to deploy and a zero footprint approach means there is no remote software deployment and administrators enjoy the management tools allowing them to rapidly deploy up to 20,000 users per hour.
Making significant growth in every region, SecurEnvoy and partners have expanded its revenue by over 100% year on year with customers in Banking, Finance, Insurance, Government, Manufacturing, Marketing, Retail, Telecommunications, Charity, Legal, Construction. Their partners include, Juniper, Citrix, Fortinet, Sonic Aventail, Cisco, Checkpoint, Celestix, Microsoft, F5 and others.
For more on SecurEnvoy visit www.securenvoy.com