Yell to introduce biometric sign-on for internal systems

International directories company Yell plans to meet compliance regulations by using fingerprint recognition devices to authenticate thousands of staff logging on to its computer systems.

International directories company Yell plans to meet compliance regulations by using fingerprint recognition devices to authenticate thousands of staff logging on to its computer systems.

The biometric devices form part of a programme to introduce an enterprise-wide single sign-on system, which will give staff access to 10 applications via a single log-in.

The company believes that the single-sign on system, supplied by Imprivata, is an important step in helping it meet compliance with the BS7799 and Sarbanes-Oxley standards.

The appliance keeps a record of the applications staff have accessed, the times they accessed them, and the computers staff were using, allowing managers to print out reports to meet the needs of compliance regulations.

“Gaining greater efficiency for our people, while at the same time maintaining our compliance with industry legislation, were the two biggest drivers for moving to the single sign-on model of password management,” said Phil Ives, head of information services at Yell.

The company has rolled the single sign-on system out to 1,500 mobile staff equipped with IBM laptops. They can log on to applications including Lotus Notes, SAP and sales applications by passing their fingers across a scanner built into the laptop.

Yell is also trialling fingerprint access for desktop computers. It plans to deploy it to staff accessing sensitive data, such as IT administrators and finance staff, before rolling it out throughout the business.

The system can detect unusual behaviour, such as staff sharing the same passwords and user names, people logging in outside office hours, or from an unusual location.

Yell began rolling out the system at the end of last year, following a short trial.

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