Courion Automates Computer Access To Keep Data Where It’s Supposed to Be

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granted automatic access to the company’s accounts receivable system and its general Outlook Exchange e-mail system, but not to its accounts payable or enterprise resource planning systems.

Kurt Johnson, Courion vice president of corporate developmentJohnson says Boston’s Children’s Hospital uses Courion’s software to make sure that people like surgeons, radiologists, nurses, residents, and medical students all have access to the data appropriate to their roles. “As a teaching hospital affiliated with Harvard, there’s one day each year when Children’s has an influx of ‘baby docs,'” meaning first-year residents, Johnson says. “On that one day, hundreds of provisioning actions have to take place—the accounts for first-years have to be enabled while those for second-years who have moved on to other departments are disabled,” and so on.

Using the hospital’s old system, in which administrators had to grant access user by user, the provisioning process actually dragged on for two weeks. With Courion’s system, Johnson says, “The service level went from two weeks to minutes, and the hospital reduced its IT operations staff from 20 people down to one.” And the biggest drain on administrators’ time—phone calls from doctors who had forgotten their passwords—declined by 80 percent.

With one in six of all corporate data breaches traceable to insiders, according to a June study by the Identity Theft Resource Center in San Diego, there’s likely to be a continuing demand for systems that lock down access to a organization’s digital assets without locking out those who really need the data—and without increasing the administrative burden. Courion’s software appeals most to organizations with 1,000 employees or more, according to Johnson, but it can also be a useful way for medium-sized companies to meet federal accounting and privacy standards. “We’ve seen 20-person local banks getting beaten down by regulators who could really use our system,” says Johnson.

Courion has raised some $32 million in venture funding over five rounds, with Paladin Capital, Questmark Partners, JMI, Riggs Capital, Citizens Capital, and the Massachusetts Technology Development Corporation as the main participants. The company’s diverse group of customers includes AIG, Barclays, Boeing, CapitalOne, Cox, Dell, GlaxoSmithKline, Harvard Pilgrim HealthCare, the IRS, Office Depot, Partners Healthcare, and REI. That’s a lot of entities to keep track of—but luckily, Courion is really good at that.

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Wade Roush is a freelance science and technology journalist and the producer and host of the podcast Soonish. Follow @soonishpodcast

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