DigitalPersona® strong two-factor authentication with CJIS compliance
Charleston County is South Carolina’s third most populated county with more than 350,000 residents. The Charleston County Sheriff’s Office has more than 927 support personnel responsible for 1,358 square miles of territory. The Sheriff’s Office deployed Crossmatch’s advanced authentication solution to meet the FBI Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS) mandate for two-factor authentication and ensure more secure access to sensitive information from its mobile devices in the field. The solution provides the Sheriff’s Office with quick, secure access to information during investigations and patrols.
The Charleston County Sheriff’s Office has over 100 mobile units deployed in the field that its deputies use in investigations and patrols by car and boat. Strong, two-factor authentication technology was needed—not only to meet CJIS mandates—but also to provide internal assurance that only authorized users can access data from computer-aided dispatch (CAD) and Naval Criminal Investigative Services (NCIS).
The Sheriff’s Office also needed a secure access solution that was easy to deploy, manage and integrate with its Active Directory functions. In addition, password authentication used by the Sheriff’s Office had become cumbersome, requiring deputies to remember up to 20 passwords.
The Crossmatch DigitalPersona solution provides strong, multi-factor authentication that is managed via Active Directory, allowing the Sheriff’s Office to leverage its existing infrastructure without a major server reconfiguration. The Sheriff’s Office uses Group Policy tools to push out changes to its fleet of laptops and tailor settings for user groups, providing access to only the information needed to perform specific duties.
All of the Sheriff’s Office laptops—Dell, GETAC and HP—are equipped with Crossmatch fingerprint readers, which eliminates the need for deputies to remember lengthy passwords and allows single sign-on. DigitalPersona can seamlessly scale up to handle more users and more applications as requirements grow.
Sheriff’s Office deputies now use two-factor authentication that includes biometric data (fingerprints) remotely in the field, ensuring only authorized personnel have access to information and complying with CJIS mandates. The technology also eliminates the burden on deputies to remember passwords. Furthermore, installation and training on the DigitalPersona technology was seamless.
“The implementation took about an hour and even less time to add the secondary DigitalPersona server on our domain,” said Joshua Hazelton, information technology manager, Charleston County Sheriff’s Office. “Training was also very efficient—we had the deputies come in and enroll their fingerprints and training was conducted at the same time.”
The key factors in deciding to implement the Crossmatch solution to enhance its security and comply with CJIS mandates were ease of use and seamless integration with Active Directory. Also, it is offered as a standard option on the Sheriff’s Office HP laptops, so the technology was already familiar to many of the deputies.
As the Sheriff’s Office proceeds to add computers to substations, the ease at which the Crossmatch enterprise solution can be scaled up has proven to be a key asset in the expansion. After seeing the positive results of single sign-on in the field with its detectives, the Sheriff’s Office also plans to extend the DigitalPersona technology to some of its in-house desktop systems to take advantage of this time-saving feature.