To enforce consistent password policy for the firefighters, while improving security
London Fire Brigade (LFB), the UK’s largest fire service, has implemented an automate password management tool of Courion, a provider of Access Risk Management offerings.
Courion’s Access Assurance Suite is expected to enforce consistent password policy for the Brigade’s 7,000 full-time firefighters and support staff.
The company said that by using Courion, LFB would effectively reduce the overhead costs of password resets.
LFB is the only fire service in the UK to employ only full-time firefighters and serves an area of 620 square miles.
LFB – which has two data centres in Greenwich View Place and Wapping – operates a thin client, Microsoft and Citrix-based environment in a multi-user, multi-server setup. While it makes heavy use of Microsoft Active Directory to set permissions and group policy, it also uses a number of bespoke applications.
"Clearly, the London Fire Brigade has an important responsibility; any process that impedes their main function of saving lives needs to be reduced to a bare minimum," said Marc Lee, EMEA Sales Director at Courion.
"Using Courion, London Fire Brigade has managed to reduce the volume of calls to its IT helpdesk significantly – Courion’s solution has handled over 8,000 jobs that would otherwise have been manually processed by helpdesk staff. In so doing, it is also improving security and encouraging better password management," said Lee.
Head of ICT contracts and support services at LFB Sally Devine said the Brigade has password management problems in the past which led to a large volume of support calls.
"Firefighters who don’t access their accounts on a daily basis often forget their passwords, which historically caused a huge volume of calls being logged with the service desk," said Devine.
"This placed unnecessary pressures on the service desk team, making it increasingly difficult for them to achieve the required SLAs in relation to other ICT services."
Couron said that with the Access Assurance Suite in place, 5,016 staff, or 73% of all user accounts, have performed 8,288 successful password resets. The Brigade’s Service Desk in the same period has taken 4,903 calls to request password resets.