The Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority (GEFA), which assists local governments, state agencies and non-profit organizations with waste removal and recycling services, used an office move as a catalyst to implement a single card technology for physical and logical access. Its goal was to provide secure log-on to GEFA’s server with the same card employees used to enter the office, thus providing security and convenience.
Kevin North, manager of IT Operations, was familiar with GEFA’s existing physical access solution, but did not have a solution for logical access in mind. North looked to Raak Technologies Inc., an Austin, Texas-based provider of strong authentication. The two-factor authentication solution supplied by Raak consists of something a user knows, a PIN, and something a user has, a smart card or smart token. North purchased a Raak Administration Kit, which contains client and administrative software, a C7 card and a card reader to launch and test Raak’s two-factor authentication solution.
After testing, HID Prox cards with embedded contact smart card chips were ordered from a local HID reseller, Intelligent Access Systems (IAS), Atlanta. Raak custom-printed the cards with the GEFA logo and user information and initialized the contact chips so they were ready to use by GEFA employees.
After the move, IAS installed physical security readers and door controls, and cards were issued to employees. To implement the logical access component, GEFA’s IT staff installed Raak’s client software at each PC, which contained a built-in card reader. GEFA employees now only have to insert their card into the keyboard reader slot and type in their PIN. The server and card then perform a mutual authentication. Once completed, the PC connects to the server.
A useful logical-access feature implemented by GEFA was “auto log off,” which disconnects the PC from the server when the smart card is removed. The feature ensures that a workstation will be logged off when an employee leaves the office because the employee needs the RFID portion of the card to re-enter.
Barry Foster, operations manager for IAS, says the card gives his company the opportunity to generate increased revenue and margin. North and GEFA employees are pleased with the new technology. “Almost every day I have someone mention to me how much they like the smart card,” he says. “It’s a hit at GEFA.”