USL Medical - SafeNet Authentication as a Service

BACKGROUND

With a primary focus in the healthcare sector USL Medical service a cross section of healthcare providers throughout New Zealand including District Health Boards for medical supplies and equipment, doctor’s practices, rest homes and physiotherapists. The company also actively works in the sporting arena providing medical supplies to sports clubs, teams, associations and events such as the All Blacks, NZ Netball and the Commonwealth Games.

Key to providing the right level of service to their customer base is ensuring sales people and product managers are able to spend plenty of time in the field. Today 50 of the 110 USL staff have the ability to remotely access systems and data so they can be customer facing. For some years remote access at USL has been secured using a SafeNet physical token that connected to their on-premise authentication server. However with the advances of technology and specifically the introduction of smartphones and tablets the organisation felt it was time to review their authentication options for the future.

 

CHALLENGES 

USL Medical had seen and understood the value of deploying Two Factor Authentication nearly 10 years prior. At that time the company had decided that using just a user name and password for remote or mobile users logging into company systems represented a security risk. Putting in place the extra 2FA requirement meant the likelihood of someone gaining unapproved access was eliminated as they would not have the key pieces of information required for remote access. However over time there were a number of instances where users had misplaced or lost their physical authentication token which meant they were required to call the IT department to obtain an interim access code to remotely connect to internal systems. In some cases the physical tokens would get damaged as a result of wear and tear so a replacement token would need to be issued and despatched to a user.

 

SOLUTION

In assessing options IT Manager, Stuart Herbert determined that SafeNet’s Cloud-based Authentication Service solution provided the right platform for the future. This would also see USL retire the physical tokens in use plus their on-premise authentication server and replace them with the SafeNet MobilePASS soft-tokens.

SafeNet’s MobilePASS family of one-time password (OTP) software authentication solutions combines the security of proven two-factor strong authentication with the convenience, simplicity, and ease of use of OTPs generated on personal mobile devices. By turning a mobile phone into a two-factor authentication device, USL Medical saved significantly on hardware and deployment costs, while users benefit by not having to carry an additional hardware token around with them.

The process to transition took an hour and saw the staff go through a simple self-enrolment process.

USL Medical provide secure remote access to in-house applications including Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM systems. Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft Office via a Citrix platform. There is also authenticated secure access in place to a selection of cloud based applications.

“The Install was absolutely seamless, says Stuart Herbert, IT Manager, we had no issues what so ever. Being a Cloud-based solution the configuration work was very quick and done across the phone. Since we introduced the soft tokens we have had no trouble coaxing people to change and receive their authentication on their smartphone, it works really well”

 

BENEFITS

Secure remote access for the sales team and product managers to all USL Medical in house and Cloud based applications.

  • Secure remote access for the sales team and product managers to in house systems and applications.
  • Strong authentication can be extended to Cloud based applications.
  • Very quick and easy to deploy.
  • No more lost or damaged physical tokens.
  • No requirement to maintain and administer on premise hardware or software.
  • Lower cost of ownership.
  • The solution is very scalable.

 

“I can’t stress enough that having a token on your mobile is so much easier than using a physical token and as everyone has smart phones these days it makes perfect sense” - Stuart Herbert