Founded in 1999, CMS is an organisation of independent law firms around the world providing legal and tax solutions across a wide range of industries including banking, finance, energy, hotels, infrastructure, insurance, and real estate. Ranked as a Top 10 global law firm, CMS has operations in 40+ countries and 70+ offices worldwide. Its 4,500+ lawyers offer business-focused advice tailored to client needs, whether in a local market or across multiple jurisdictions.
When the coronavirus required that everyone start working from home, the organisation’s central service unit CMS Legal Services was able to ensure remote access to critical applications using its existing OneLogin deployment.
Providing secure global access to applications
CMS Legal Services had deployed OneLogin to replace its custom single sign-on (SSO) app that had to work in concert with the distinct identity and access management (IAM) platforms used by the company’s 17 different member firms. Like many organizations that expanded organically over the years, CMS found itself with an array of custom applications that introduced problems as operations grew more complex.
Plus, its 17 member firms need to address local requirements around compliance and regulations – including use of their own identity providers – while operating as part of a global organization. This mix of local and global infrastructure along with unwieldy custom applications made it challenging for CMS Legal Services to quickly deploy new tools and products.
With OneLogin, CMS Legal Services overcame these challenges along with sluggish SSO app responses, time-consuming SSO app maintenance, and the inability to support workers outside the office. It also obviated the security risks associated with trying to continually update its SSO app to address the newest security threats.
Smoothly transitioning to work from home
As CMS employees moved to working from home, they experienced no change in how they accessed critical applications. “Our member firms continue using their local identity providers but we can be confident about secure access to commonly used resources,” explains Hélder Santos, Director of Digital & Information Technology at CMS Legal Services.
Through OneLogin, employees can securely access central services while addressing their unique compliance and regulatory needs. These services include Office 365, and JIRA, to name a few.
“OneLogin helped us ensure easy, secure access to global resources, even as our employees started working from home. We could not have enabled this with our custom SSO application,” says Santos.
Boldly moving forward
Currently, CMS Legal Services is expanding trust between OneLogin and its member firms’ local identity providers so each firm can use their own multi-factor authentication to access global resources. “OneLogin will act like a broker so that it appears to users as if they’re accessing a local resource,” explains Santos.
While some member firms previously supported employees working from home, the coronavirus situation has presented an opportunity for all member firms to rethink their work-from-home policies. “Now firms are embracing the home office concept even in countries where this option wasn’t even discussed before. Clearly this is becoming the new normal so we are taking steps to provide more guidance and structure, such as policies about working from home and even funding to help employees set up their home offices,” concludes Santos.
Read more OneLogin customer stories.