Signify reports increase in remote access and trend to ICE – In Case of Emergency – cover
February 2008 by Signify
With over 100,000 people a week catching the Noro sickness virus when most should be heading back to work after Christmas, Signify - the secure authentication service - has reported up to 18% more remote logins to corporate systems over the past three days. With GPs recommending that Noro sufferers should remain at home for 48 hours after their symptoms have gone, for more enlightened companies there is no excuse for their employees not to work from home while they are ‘in quarantine’.
“The Noro virus has already lost millions of man hours for ‘UK plc’ but the impact on companies that have planned ahead for this type of event will be minimized,” says John Stewart, marketing director at Signify, a UK managed security service provider. “We have seen a surge in user login activity during the first few days of this week, compared to equivalent periods in previous years,” says Stewart: “We put this down to people taking NHS advice to stay away from the office and simply logging into the corporate network from home and getting on with their work.”
But the Noro virus is just the latest problem. Every 3-6 months there’s a significant national or regional issue that seriously affects a large number of people’s ability to get to work. These include floods, blizzards, train and tube strikes, terrorist threats and bomb scares, foot and mouth and avian flu. As a result, more companies are now taking measures to provide a short term response, sometimes referred to as ICE - In Case of Emergency.
“Employers that make provisions to allow their staff to work flexibly away from the office when and emergency strikes are reaping the benefits,” adds Stewart. “Most organisations provide secure remote access for a few senior staff and ‘road-warriors’, but the ability to give everyone short term secure remote access to email, files and applications really minimises the stresses and business losses created by these short term emergencies.”
While it’s expensive for organisations to build IT capacity in-house to cope with surges in traffic; the new generation of Managed Service Providers is well placed to help with the scalability and resources to meet peaks of demand.
Signify delivers a fully 24/7 managed, two-factor user authentication service that makes it quick, simple and affordable for organisations of all sizes to secure their remote access and ensure that every user really is who they claim to be. Signify’s flexible choice of token and tokenless authentication options mean that regular users can be given an RSA SecurID token that produces a new one-time passcode (OTP) every 60 seconds, while users who will only log in occasionally during an emergency can opt for the lower cost Passcode OnDemand service that turns their mobile phone or PDA into their authentication device.
As a managed service provider, Signify has a view of remote access activity across a wide range of sectors and businesses can monitor trends and spikes in day-to-day flexible and home working activity across the nation. Signify clients include Eversheds, Kier Group, Norwich and Peterborough Building Society, Accord, Serco and London Borough of Tower Hamlets.
Headquartered in Cambridge, UK, Signify provides Secure Authentication Services to corporate and public sector customers to provide authorized access to sensitive information and systems. Signify makes it easy to replace weak, static passwords with strong two-factor authentication including tokens, mobile phones and PDAs.