ENERGY PROVIDER

A US diversified energy company, supplying millions of customers with electric utility and natural gas utility, required a solution that would secure their workforce’s access into their corporate systems and facilities.

With 12,000 employees geographically spread, the organisation required a solution that would ensure only the right people had access to highly secure environments, including a nuclear power plant, and IT systems and resources across the corporate network.

THE CHALLENGE

Responsible for keeping millions of lights on and homes warm, the energy provider continuously strives to mitigate any risk to the reliability of their services. With a growing threat posed to cybersecurity of US utilities, the energy provider recognised a need to mitigate this risk by ensuring they were using best practices to secure the access of their employees into their systems and networks.

As a utility provider, the company has a large and diverse workforce with different access requirements, both from a physical and logical access perspective. Key to any solution was the capacity to make secure access user-friendly and not create onerous barriers that would hinder employees’ ability to do their jobs. Ease of use was fundamental, as was the need to limit the devices needed for employees to authenticate. The energy provider did not want a solution where employees would need multiple devices to enter different facilities, or for logical access into their corporate network.

The energy provider also wanted a solution that would be simple to integrate into their existing IT infrastructure, minimising the need to invest in further hardware and software, and speeding up the time to deploy.

One cohesive system to manage their workforce authentication deployment was a must. As was a system that made the deployment manageable for a small number of system administrators and system operators across their 12,000 employees.

Lastly, as a US energy provider, best practice authentication in line with National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) guidelines was important.

THE RESULTS

Secure

All employees now use strong multi-factor authentication to access corporate systems and networks

Best Practice

The presence of MyID credential management software, as part of the NIST National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence’s lab set up for best practice personal identity verification (PIV) solution, was further testament to the solution meeting the security and management needs of the energy provider.

User-friendly

High security doesn’t have to mean poor user experience. All employees have a single smart card that they are able to use for both physical and logical access. For buildings a simple insertion or touch of the card using external card readers, and for computer systems it’s just the matter of inserting the card into an in-built card reader and entering a PIN for two-factor authentication.

Simple to Deploy

Vendor neutral, MyID integrates with a wide variety of certificate authorities, hardware security modules, smart cards and other devices. The flexibility of MyID ensured the energy provider didn’t have to make changes to their existing IT infrastructure, making the deployment simpler and quicker.

Futureproof

MyID is continuously updated on a quarterly release cycle, ensuring the system integrates with the technologies the energy provider wants to use. The energy provider has the technology to embrace alternative end user devices, from iOS and Android OS devices, to alternative smart cards and USB tokens. MyID also supports FIDO alongside PKI based authentication.

Easy to manage

MyID centralises the management of the energy provider’s 12,000 employees and provides the framework for system administrators and system operators to manage the deployment across their workforce in a simple, manageable way.

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In this case study discover how a US energy provider uses MyID to manage strong authentication across their workforce.

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