Law firm makes case for two-factor authentication

RSA SecurID token

London law firm, Hodge Jones & Allen has signed a deal to provide two-factor authentication technology and services to safeguard accessing its highly regulated and confidential data.

The law firm is making secure, 24-hour access to email and client case notes available to many of its 170 staff, using an RSA SecurID two-factor authentication hosted service.

In addition to providing senior staff with secure access to company resources and applications, selected clients, partners and third-party companies are also now able to log into the firm's systems, using the hosted service from Cambridge-based provider Signify.

Celina Ho, IT manager at Hodge Jones & Allen said the provision and management of secure access tokens used to be managed in-house. "But it was a hassle to manage and maintain the authentication servers and support our users round-the-clock," she said.

"The Signify hosted service now handles everything and just keeps running, so we can get on dealing with other important issues," she added.

Users are issued with a RSA SecurID token that produces a new unique one-time passcode every 60 seconds. Using the token, along with their username and PIN via a web-based Citrix application portal, users can log in securely from any internet-connected PC.

The Citrix portal 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. And the Signify service covers all aspects of the two-factor security, from dispatching tokens and rights administration to providing 24-hour support.

Ho retains the ability to enforce corporate security policy, add or remove users, define what they are authorised to access and view detailed reports using Signify's Identity Management Centre web portal.

The law firm is now also looking at using Signify's Passcode OnDemand service that sends unique one time passcodes to a mobile phone or PDA for less frequent users and for those that don't want to carry a separate token.

Miya Knights

A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.

Her role as a journalist has seen her write for many of the leading technology publishers in the UK such as ITPro, TechWeekEurope, CIO UK, Computer Weekly, and also a number of national newspapers including The Times, Independent, and Financial Times.