The IT security solution of the future is hanging around the neck of employees in the Danish Municipality Faaborg-Midtfyn Kommune: One Access Card
It could have been an administrative and financial nightmare: More and more employees are required to use a digital certificate. This is a requirement for access to electronic medical journals, environmental data and an upcoming school-intranet which also requires all teachers to login using their electronic certificate.
Employees need only to remember one card and two pin codes
Now the municipality have found a solution, which makes everyday life easier for the employees – instead of making things more complicated. Security is also improved as it becomes more diffecult to forget to logout or to share login credentials.
The solution is a smart card solution which combines access to the physical premises with access to IT systems, explains Peter Bach Nielsen, Digitalization Consultant for the municipality.
“Currently, all employees have an access card which they use for accessing the buildings. In the future, they will have an employee card which will doble as both physical access card and will give them access to IT systems. This includes public IT services, as the card contains their employee certificate from the Danish National Certificate Authority. The only thing you need is your card and two PIN codes: One for the door and one for the computer,” he says.
What are the benefits for employees?
One card provides access to everything. But how can this improve security?And what are the benefits for employees? The answer comes partly from the topic of GDPR, EU’s General Data Protection Regulation.
“The smart card provides security. And the new GDPR rules from the EU states, that using only a password is not secure enough. You must provide two-factor security, which means two independent factors in combination.This can be a PIN code in combination with a certificate from your PC. But who wants to carry your PC around all the time? A smart card however, is easy to carry with you, especially when it doubles as a door access card.
“It is a huge advantage if you, say, work in a care home. This way you can easily pick up a random iPad at the start of your shift, carry it around and update information about the residents – if Ms Johnson has not taken her medicine or Mr Collins feels bad – instead of having to take notes and type them in later, when your’re back at the computer in the office” he explains.
Forgot to log out? No more!
Another security concern in the public sector is an employee who forgets to log out of a shared computer.
“Using this smart card, you just remove the card from the machine. Then your’re logged out! Some devices will actually work, so that the card does not need to be inserted into the machine. It just needs to be in the proximity. It could for example hang around your neck. One you move away from the machine, you will automatically be logged out,”says Peter Bach Nielsen.
Gradual implementation, so that budgets are kept
But what about expenses? This sound expensive!
“The business case is, that the solution is easy for us to administrate. Everything is automated and practically without any waiting time. This means that our IT department saves time, and our collegues are saving time and can get to work with unnecessary delays. And we have a fixed license fee covering all employees. This guarantees that our budget is not exceeded.
Furthermore, we are not implementing everything at once. We are doing it step-by-step over a couple of years. Again, this is about being careful with the money”says Peter Bach Nielsen, adding that they are beginning the implementation of the smart cards during autumn.
The product behind the new smart cards is called SmartSignatur, and is developed by Danish company Liga Software ApS. The company has been a provider of digital identity solutions for Faaborg-Midtfyn Kommune for many years.
“There is no doubt that Faaborg-Midtfyn Kommune is one of the most visionary municipalities in Denmark regarding IT solutions – also regarding digital identity and digital logon-solutions,” says Bjarke Alling, managing director of Liga Software ApS.