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Law Enforcement Authentication – Keep Safe Out There

Karen Platt

Entrust met on August 24th with a number of representatives of Southern California police forces to discuss strong authentication for law enforcement. While most policing agencies already have some form of access control in place, a number of factors are causing these systems to be reexamined.

Budget Squeeze
It’s no secret that the slow economy is affecting agencies at all levels of government. Like the rest of us, agencies are being asked to do more with less. It’s expensive to provide one-time-passcode (OTP) tokens to all members of a law enforcement organization. And depending on their role, it’s not always necessary.

Risk
As mentioned, not everyone is accessing data sensitive enough to warrant deployment of an OTP token.  It depends on what applications a person needs to see. If they are just checking e-mail remotely through Microsoft Outlook Web Access, for example, maybe IP-geolocation, machine fingerprinting or knowledge-based authentication is “secure enough.” It certainly helps to have the ability to match the authentication method to the risk involved.

More Mobility
Law enforcement personnel such as sworn officers have always been mobile with a need to access data from outside the enterprise perimeter. But as is happening on the business enterprise side, other employees are also demanding mobile data access. And more unmanaged devices such as smart phones are increasingly accessing the network.

Excess Baggage
With all the access tokens and devices users are asked to carry, it sometimes feels like you are burdened with carry-on luggage. A multipurpose credential, such as a smart card that combines physical and logical access, can greatly reduce the number of items a sworn officer or other employee is asked to carry.

Security and Compliance
Cybercriminals are increasingly sophisticated. It doesn’t take much for malware, such as keystroke loggers or Trojans, to be introduced to a network, potentially resulting in breaches that compromise investigations or prosecutions — and, at the very least, cause embarrassment. As privacy regulations have gained prominence in recent years, knowing who and what is on the network is more important than ever.

Entrust is fortunate to have experience working with some of the foremost law enforcement and policing organizations in the world in helping solve their authentication challenges. The Entrust IdentityGuard versatile authentication platform is helping a Southern California policing agency cover their entire workforce for less than they were paying for expensive tokens for just their officers.

Entrust also recently announced an important relationship with INTERPOL, and that credentialing service work continues in earnest. Many other local, state/provincial and national policing agencies rely on Entrust. We thank you for your work protecting us and we’d be happy to talk with you about ways we can return the favor and keep your identities and access safe.

Karen Platt
Karen Platt

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