Washington State Attorney General's IT Innovation Is No Token Green EffortAugust 8, 2012
This week’s guest author is Melanie Palmer of the Washington State Office of the Attorney General. Melanie works in the IT department with my colleague Jon White, the chief of IT. Attorney General Rob McKenna has been a progressive leader in adopting information technology tools and supporting ‘green office’ sustainability measures. This latest advance demonstrates how green technology benefits both the bottom line and the environment.
Recently, the Washington State Attorney General’s Office (AGO) initiated a pilot project with Consolidated Technology Services (CTS) to offer “mobile” SecurID tokens.
Currently, the primary method of obtaining secure access credentials to remotely connect to the AGO network is to use a hardware token or “keyfob”. The same is true for other state agencies using this remote access service. The keyfob is a small hard plastic fob with a long life battery that generates a code for use when logging in remotely to a secure network. The usage is simple, however managing the devices requires handling and shipping across the state for each new, terminated or exchanged device. When a keyfob expires it must be destroyed appropriately, resulting in additional waste.
One of the distinct advantages to using the “mobile” token is that there is nothing to handle. The token itself is delivered via an email to the end user and used on their existing personal or agency-provided smartphone. No more physical waste, no more cost to ship them to and from dispersed offices. The AGO currently has over 400 active SecurID users and processes an average of 50 keyfobs per month whether new, cancellations, or replacements. Moving to mobile tokens delivered via email has the potential to save staff time and hard costs related to shipping the key fobs.
In cooperation with CTS, the AGO is the first agency to deliver mobile tokens as an option for new customers and is in the process of converting existing customers to using the mobile version.
This service will be offered by CTS to all state agencies as an option to the high-maintenance hardware token, adding both convenience and a much greener opportunity.
For more information about CTS, go to http://cts.wa.gov/default.aspx.
For more information about the Washington State Office of the Attorney General, go to http://www.atg.wa.gov/