}

SSO- The new software that could be the answer to NHS data protection woes

Healthcare organisations such as hospitals and surgeries operate complex networks comprising various applications running on multiple systems. Users need to have access to multiple applications for e-mail, the helpdesk and patient data, etc. In order to comply with increasingly strict security requirements, staff must enter separate username and password combinations for each application. This can easily lead to entering credentials for 12 different applications or more [Source: SINGLE SIGN ON SURVEY REPORT, July 2011]. With so many combinations to remember it is likely that employees will store this data in an insecure way – i.e write their password on sticky notes or share login credentials with colleagues. System administrators take extra precautions to keep the network safe, such as using complex passwords and setting a maximum validity period for passwords, etc. Often, all of this can only serve to exacerbate the issue further.

Issues such as these, gave rise to the development of Enterprise Single Sign On (SSO) solutions. With an SSO solution employees have to enter just one set of login credentials, after which they will be logged in automatically to all their required applications. This greatly helps to limit security issues, and speed up the login process. However, even the initial login can prove to be too time-consuming in a busy A&E and this is where the innovative further features of E-SSOM-Tools4ever's SSO solution could have industry changing consequences.

To ensure proper patient care, doctors need quick access to patient information. The "Fast-User Switching" feature offers users the ability for staff to login and out on public computers quickly. When users login using Fast User Switching, the applications they need are launched and logged-in immediately and automatically. When users log-out, the SSO solution can log-out of the applications and/or close the applications. The login process can be made even easier when Fast User Switching is combined with a key card. In this scenario entering the key card grants the user access to the desired applications, and removing it logs them out, making the computer available to other members of staff.

Another feature which can prove very useful in this environment is the "Follow Me" feature. An alternative to Fast User Switching. Staff begin by logging into the network and launching the required applications (the SSO solution takes care of automatic login). If the user decides to change computer, they have the ability to take the logged-in session 'with them' to the other one. The user has immediate access to the desktop launched earlier and the applications. As with Fast User Switching it's possible to link the switching of users to a key card. In this scenario a user only needs to identify themselves with a key card and an optional PIN code.

This kind of innovative technology could greatly reduce the instances of data protection breaches within the healthcare sector, whilst also improving the overall productivity of the workforce in general. In the current economic climate this could help to improve the quality of care given despite tight budget cuts.

Single Sign On: regulating access cards

By now, many organisations are aware of the advantages of Single Sign On (SSO). Employees benefit from SSO because they only have to remember a single (complex) password rather than dozens of (complex) passwords, the IT department receives fewer password reset calls and network security is enhanced ensuring the organisation can meet auditing requirements.

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Category

Single Sign On

SSO, Single Sign On, E-SSOM, HRM system, access cards, passwords

Who’s speaking please?

The majority of calls received by the IT helpdesk need to be verified. After all, to protect the network, helpdesk needs to be certain that the caller is who they say they are before they can grant access rights to applications. So, how can they do this whilst protecting each end-user's personal information?

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Category

Single Sign On

Identity and Access Management, Helpdesk Caller ID, Caller ID Verification.

Access Management and SOX compliancy/audits

We frequently deal with companies that have to be compliant to SOX regulations. This often has a big impact on the IT department, particularly with regards to managing access rights. We find in these scenarios there are three very common issues which tend to arise:

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Category

Single Sign On

Access Management, SOX, UMRA, User Management Resource Administrator, IT department.

Password Synchronisation vs. Single Sign On

Clients often ask me to advise them on reducing the number of passwords end-users need to use in order to access their account and applications. Their first approach, in order to avoid multiple passwords, is usually to ensure that passwords are synchronised over different systems.

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Can time- consuming login processes become a thing of the past?

Password synchronisation solutions can prove extremely useful for increasing efficiency and reducing costs. As with Tools4ever’s Password Sychronisation Manager, they allow end-users to use a single password for logging into their network, and all other applications they require access to. After end-users have changed their password, PSM ensures that they can log in directly to all the required systems and applications with a single set of log-on credentials. This can improve end-user productivity and minimise the number of password-related helpdesk calls. But is it possible to enhance efficiency and workforce productivity further still?

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Category

Single Sign On

E-SSOM, SSO, Fast User Switching, Single Sign On, PSM