Medical staff and GPs at Kingston Primary Care Trust (PCT) on the outskirts of London will soon be given secure remote access to healthcare databases in a deal that pairs authentication provider Cryptocard with Virgin Media.

Virgin Media will provide the broadband infrastructure but the interesting element is the Cryptocard authentication technology that makes it possible to the 450 doctors and other staff in GP surgeries to authenticate themselves.

At the moment, such access would be possible from GP surgeries but this will allow access from anywhere as well as building a layer of two-factor authentication on top of this. The application is seen as fulfilling the need for out-of-hours services which are part of the new GP contract with the government.

Cryptocard’s MAS system is implemented through a secure one-time password sent in token form and works as a hosted service. The service design avoids the need to build new security infrastructure.

“Too frequently remote access to data is compromised by inadequate user identification solutions that are neither robust enough nor convenient to use,” said Cryptocard CEO, Neil Hollister. “MAS is unique in that it allows organisations to use two-factor authentication but does not require them to install equipment or manage the solution on a day-to-day basis,” he said.

The service will be made live in the coming weeks.

Last month, a Cryptocard-sponsored ‘wardriving’ survey found that as many as a quarter of WiFi access points in the UK remain unsecured, despite years of warnings about security risks.