Professional services firm PM Group uses cloud authentication

Miya Knights News
17 Feb, 2012

Global engineering and architecture expert PM Group signs up to cloud based two-factor authentication access control platform

PM Group, a global engineering, architecture and project management company, is about the upgrade to the latest version of a cloud-based authentication platform from Cryptocard.

The global professional services firm swapped out its legacy two-factor user authentication system based on physical fob tokens 18 months ago when its associated cost and overheads became unmanageable.

It became a particular issue given that up to a third of 1,600 PM Group staff in 25 offices worldwide require secure virtual private network (VPN) and remote Citrix access to corporate applications. And, with a high level of contractors, restricting access to the network for current workers via one-time-use passwords was essential to avoid user provisioning security risks.

Niall Twomey, PM Group infrastructure manager, said: “The old solution was very difficult to control. People were losing their [fob] devices. They were being replaced, with all the cost involved, and then the lost ones weren’t taken off the system. It was difficult to track.”

Twomey told Virtual Clouds that, as an existing user of other cloud services, the minimal upfront infrastructure costs and pay-per-user pricing model of Cryptocard’s BlackShield Cloud software-as-a-service (SaaS) authentication platform were attractive.

“There are certain things we have resource for and can manage well. Others are not core,” he added. “SaaS had been around for a reasonable amount of time and we were already using MessageLabs and iCritical that don’t really handle sensitive data and work around the edges.”

The company is now in the process of upgrading to BlackShield Cloud version 3.1 and Twomey reported that the platform and its smartphone and SMS authentication tokens have been “very easy” to administer.

"It was easy to transition and import existing users onto the system,” he continued. “And its ability to handle the dual running of the old system alongside it has been good for managing the process of bringing users across."

Twomey’s team have this week had training on the latest version upgrade, which he said demonstrated improved reporting features and wider variety of smartphone devices supported in v3.1.

He concluded: “If I was a greenfield site, I would think it was no-brainer. I don’t see why anyone would build this in-house unless they had specific regulatory or compliance requirements. The way it facilitates dual operations makes it easy to work with users to transition. And Cryptocard manages availability and support – it’s not rocket science.” 

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