Hampshire County Council has rolled out two-factor authentication for secure data access for education staff across participating schools.

Using CRYPTOCard technology, the county's teachers will be able to access education services, such as SIMS.net, which holds comprehensive information on staff and pupils, easily and securely. The council will initially run the service among 370 schools over the next six to 12 months and then potentially across all schools in 2011.

Simon Blake, principal IT consultant at Hampshire County Council, said: “Securing the data we have on our employees, teachers and students is paramount. Our history with CRYPTOCard has proven to us that two-factor authentication not only provides this extra layer of security but that it is reliable, easy-to-use and cost-effective.

“Teachers don't have the time to go through complicated steps to access data on their students or education services, so usability, without compromising security, was a key consideration for this roll-out.”

CRYPTOCard has worked with the council since 2005 to provide authentication services across its head office and satellite office employees and also among county-controlled services, including the fire service. Over this time, usage has grown to 5,000 people, with today's announcement forecasting significant further growth.

Neil Hollister, president and CEO of CRYPTOCard, said: “Hampshire County Council has recognised the value that robust access security provides, especially as many of its employees and offices require remote access to data, which can all too easily be compromised with passwords alone.”