The county of Kent, with just over 1.5 million people, has the largest population of any county in the UK. Known as the garden of England with 85% of its land area classed as greenspace and less than 2% of the land covered by buildings. Kent County Council (KCC) employs over 10,000 full time staff and given the geography of the county, digital services need to be flexible. In order to meet security requirements mandated by central government, KCC must enforce strong authentication for resources outside of the corporate environment.

The challenge

KCC have been a Verisec customer for a number of years and now have over 7 800 Freja users, primarily securing remote access with a variety of physical one time password (OTP) tokens. Hardware OTP tokens can be both expensive to procure and hold significant administration overhead. As such, options that reduce the number of physical tokens and diversify the available mechanisms for OTP delivery to reduce costs and improve user experience have to be considered.

The solution

KCC’s solution to move away from the challenge of managing physical tokens, placing a heavy burden on the already stretched ICT Helpdesk, was to move to authentication technology available via Freja Mobile on smartphones. This coincided with the deployment of Freja Self-Service Portal which allowed users of all token types to manage and provision tokens themselves, further streamlining the end-to-end user experience.

The results

It is estimated that KCC stands to save approximately £60,000 over a three year period by migrating from physical to software tokens on smartphones. With future plans to expand authentication to citizens, Kent County Council will see significant further savings.

About Kent County Council

Kent County Council is a county council that governs most of the county of Kent in England. It is the upper tier of elected local government, below which are 12 district councils, and around 300 town and parish councils. The county council has 84 elected councilors. The chief executive and chief officers are responsible for the day-to-day running of the council. It is one of the largest local authorities in England in terms of population served, and the largest local authority of its type.