Washington County, Arkansas

Authentication Case Study

DigitalPersona® identity-based security with convenient biometric access

Washington County, Arkansas uses DigitalPersona biometric authentication solution.
225000

residents

600

county employees

5

locations

An overview of Washington County

Located in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas, Washington County has over 225,000 residents. The County’s more than 600 employees work from two campuses and three remote locations. Washington County deployed the DigitalPersona authentication solution to meet their need to definitively know who accesses what, and when. Using the fingerprint biometric factor offered in the broad array of authentication options in DigitalPersona software, County administrators are able to prevent the possibility of misuse or sharing of employee usernames and passwords. The solution provides County employees with quick, secure access to their computer, network and applications.

More robust security needed

Prior to implementing the DigitalPersona solution, Washington County only required a username and password to access their network and applications. Since these credentials can be easily shared or guessed, the County could not definitively prove who accessed the network or what applications, and when. Officials needed a solution that would clean up their audit logs, enabling them to pass required security audits. Remote employees were another challenge for Washington County. The use of laptops created the potential for loss or theft. County officials needed a solution that provided a more robust security approach than a simple username and password to secure access to their remote users’ laptops.

A solution with compliant, multifactor authentication and fingerprint biometrics

DigitalPersona provides strong, multi-factor authentication that secures access to Washington County’s network and applications. The solution provides County officials with a compliant audit trail that is irrefutable. Opting to use fingerprint biometrics, offered among a broad range of authentication factors with DigitalPersona, County employees need only to place their finger on the reader to authenticate their identity and gain access. A recent phishing attack that sought to breach Washington County’s network environment through the exploitation of usernames and passwords was recently averted. This was due to the County’s selection of a biometric factor when setting up user authentication policies in DigitalPersona. County officials estimate that this saved taxpayers a minimum of 17 million dollars.

Needs

  • Secure access for remote users
  • Ability to definitively know who accesses what, when

Crossmatch Products

  • DigitalPersona authentication solution
  • U.are.U® fingerprint readers

“The DigitalPersona solution with fingerprint biometrics saved us from a $17 million phishing attack.”

John Adams, IT Director

Moving forward without the human-factor challenge

Washington County employees no longer are required to remember usernames and passwords, removing the human-factor challenge from authentication. With the DigitalPersona, they merely touch the fingerprint reader to authenticate their identity and provide proof of presence to gain access to their computer, network or applications. This has increased network access security and significantly reduced account lockout calls to the help desk.

Audit trails now definitively show who accessed what computer, network or application and at what time, assisting the County with passing required security audits. And, the use of fingerprint biometrics eliminates employee credential sharing.

“We are very happy with the solution and consider Crossmatch a partner in solving our identity management challenges,” said John Adams, Information Technology Director at Washington County. “The DigitalPersona solution has been a “win-win” for the County and our employees.”

Benefits

  • Compliance: Audit trail shows who accessed what, when.
  • Secure access: Multi-factor authentication secures access to computers, networks and applications.
  • Cost reduction: Substantially reduces account lock out calls to the help desk and their associated costs.

Ready to get started with DigitalPersona?