Bridging the gap

March 2008 Cyber Security

Physical and logical security systems are traditionally managed independently. This approach creates security holes; incomplete audit trails; and redundant infrastructures.

Eliminating these issues can translate to significant benefits for corporations. In recognition of this, Lenel Systems International, a provider of integrated security systems, and Bioscrypt, a provider of enterprise access control technology, have been tightly integrating their products to provide organisations with a converged security solution that unifies physical and logical security, giving companies the ability to create a single unified identity platform.

Lenel has incorporated Bioscrypt's VeriSoft application into its OnGuard security system for multifactor identity verification for networks, in addition to traditionally supporting Bioscrypt's Veri-Series readers for multifactor identity verification for facilities, thus enabling organisations to create a converged security solution, bridging the gap between physical and logical identity management. Because VeriSoft is an integral component of OnGuard, companies cannot only realise increased security, they can also simplify their processes. They can use authentication standards such as biometrics, proximity cards, smartcards or whatever other protocol may be used in any combination to authenticate users at the door and the desktop in order to unify an employee's identity across the organisation, mitigate 'tailgating' and quickly enrol and remove employees from their system.

Business drivers for convergence

In order to meet compliance requirements, companies must be able to track who accesses what, when. According to Gartner's 'Hype Cycle for Identity and Access Management Technologies, 2006', regulatory compliance has been a major driving force behind identity and access management solutions such as Enterprise Single Sign On, which has proven its business value.

A converged physical and logical solution is the best way to track an employee's activities both within a building and on the network.

A converged physical and logical security solution provides organisations the ability to see a single view of an employee. This allows them to implement security measures that were previously not possible with independent solutions:

* Create roles-based access. Companies can quickly give new employees or workers that have been promoted, access to all the areas of a building and to all of the applications they need through a roles-based access solution that combines both physical and logical access. This enables employees to become productive more quickly.

* Mitigate tailgating. Tailgating is the practice of one person following another into a building without first showing his or her proper credentials. By denying logical access onto computers and networks to employees who have not first shown their credentials at the door, companies force staff to properly authenticate themselves at building entry points.

* Detect attempts to gain unauthorised access. Forcing employees to badge in before granting them logical access will also send off alarms if users who have not yet entered a building are supposedly trying to access their computers.

* Quickly disable all access for terminated employees. Companies can deny physical and logical access at once for ex-employees by disabling their main accounts. This prevents the time lags and oversights that occur when both IT and physical security staff must be informed separately of an employee's departure.

Cost

Creating a converged solution in which physical and logical security are administered by a single policy eliminates duplication and creates efficiencies. Companies can also leverage physical security credentials for logical access and visa versa, eliminating the need to enrol users twice.

Bioscrypt's VeriSoft solution supports a number of authentication factors, including biometrics, passwords, smartcards and tokens while Bioscrypt's physical access Veri-Series line of fingerprint readers and VisionAccess 3D Face Reader also supports multifactor authentication including biometrics, PINs, smartcards and proximity cards. With this flexibility, companies can authenticate employees at the door and at their desktop using single- or multifactor authentication. Employees only have to enrol once to use their identity verification credential for both physical and logical access.

Lenel has incorporated Bioscrypt's VeriSoft solution into its OnGuard platform. As a result, the integrated Bioscrypt software application will remain a component of the OnGuard solution as it evolves. This means that Bioscrypt's technology will remain compatible with the most current Lenel solutions.

For more information contact G2 Security, +27 (0)11 462 5700, ht@g2security.co.za, www.g2security.co.za



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