Remote access for 5,500 workers
Southwark Borough Council has signed a deal with Signify that will enable it to offer flexible working to its staff.
The Council employs 5,500 people, spread over 190 sites, and hopes that the new system will provide more flexible working, speed up bureaucratic processes and paperwork and reduce office space. Workers will be able to operate from home and the Council can now also offer mobile working and hot desking.
Cambridge-based Signify has introduced a secure two-factor authentication service to guarantee that only authorised staff have access to sensitive information.
The Council will be moving to a new office in 2009, which will have 1,800 desks for 2,100 staff.
Richard Heap, business partnership manager at Southwark Borough Council, said: “There are major benefits to both the Council and its employees by providing more flexible working options and with people moving around so much, it does not make sense for everyone to have a desk.”
“But with staff working from home or in the field, we can not rely on using simple passwords to log into personal client files and a secure two-factor authentication solution is essential.”
The system Signify has put in place involves Southwark staff being provided with a small RSA SecurID token, usually carried on a key ring that produces a new unique one-time passcode (OTP) every 60 seconds. Combined with staff username and PIN codes, workers are granted secure access to the Council’s systems.
The service is already being used by Social Services in the borough for full electronic case recording, meaning that all necessary forms and reports can be completed and filed remotely so workers do not have to return to the office.