20 January 2011 - The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore today announced that it has set up a wholly-owned subsidiary, Assurity Trusted Solutions Pte Ltd, to be the National Authentication Framework operator for Second Factor Authentication.
Singapore, 20 January 2011 | For Immediate Release
The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) today announced that it has set up a wholly-owned subsidiary, Assurity Trusted Solutions Pte Ltd (Assurity), to be the National Authentication Framework (NAF) operator for Second Factor Authentication (2FA). Assurity will own the NAF infrastructure and offer NAF 2FA services to Service Providers (SPs) and consumers at a national level. Assurity is expected to start rolling out its service to Service Providers in the second half of 2011. ST Electronics (Info-Security) has been appointed to design, build, operate and maintain the NAF infrastructure for Assurity.
An NAF Advisory Council, comprising senior representatives from Ministry of Information, Communication and the Arts (MICA), Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Ministry of Finance (MOF), Ministry of Health (MOH), and Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), has also been set up to provide strategic guidance for Assurity to align itself with the strong authentication developments across sectors.
With the increased availability of online services offered by key sectors such as banking & finance, Government and healthcare, NAF can safeguard against unauthorised access to sensitive information, such as bank account or electronic health records. A system is said to use strong authentication when it requires at least two factors before access to the system is granted. This contrasts with traditional single-factor authentication which requires only one authentication factor, usually the knowledge of a password, in order to gain access to a system. A popular second-factor authentication method that many banks are offering to their online consumers today is One-Time Password or OTP. When a user accesses an online service, in addition to User-ID and Password, the user would be required to enter an additional "second factor password", which is generated on demand. The dynamically-generated "second factor password" could be delivered through a token (hardware or software) or via SMS.
Assurity will provide a first token free to qualified Singapore citizens and Permanent Residents who perform online transactions via 2FA, upon their request. This free token will be available when SPs take up 2FA services on the NAF through Assurity, likely in the second half of this year. To lower the barrier for SPs to come onboard the NAF or adopt 2FA services, Assurity will also offer its service to SPs for free during the initial two years upon commercial availability. These offers will commence from the second half of this year. Currently, Assurity has started discussions with several SPs, including entities in the government, health and financial sectors.
RADM(NS) Ronnie Tay, CEO, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, said, "The availability of online services in Singapore has been increasing and more people are transacting online today. For instance, the percentage of online shoppers has increased from 17% in 2003 to 40% in 2009. When the NAF service is rolled out, it will provide the public and businesses with a convenient, trusted and cost effective means to better secure online transactions."
Lim Hup Seng, Executive Chairman, Assurity Trusted Solutions, said, "For Service Providers, Assurity offers customised services on the common NAF infrastructure, to maintain and enhance their unique and strategic advantage. For end-users, Assurity provides security and convenience for all their diverse online transactions with a single simple trusted solution."
Convenience and Added Security for Consumers
The NAF programme benefits consumers as they will be able to conduct secure online transactions that require 2FA, without having to carry multiple devices, as they do today. Instead of having to carry a different authentication device for each SP (for e.g. one for each bank), consumers can use the same single NAF device to access multiple online e-services. NAF enhances protection against fraudulent access to online services for both consumers and SPs, thereby strengthening Singapore as a trusted hub.
Cost-Effective and Reliable Infrastructure for Businesses
The NAF programme will not only boost online trust and confidence for individuals assessing online services, as it will also generate growth opportunities for businesses that can utilise strong authentication to roll out new and innovative high-value online services that may ride on the Next Gen NBN that IDA is also rolling out.
SPs such as banks, online security brokerage firms, government organisations, and any other organisations that require 2FA can leverage on this common strong nationwide platform for cost-effective strong authentication. In-house strong authentication implementations need to be refreshed every few years. SPs can take the refresh cycle to seamlessly and progressively transit to NAF entirely in order to take full advantage of the cost savings on the NAF platform. SPs who have no existing 2FA deployments can integrate their systems with the NAF systems to enjoy significant cost savings instead of building their own in-house 2FA implementations.
ISSUED BY CORPORATE & MARKETING COMMUNICATION DIVISION
INFOCOMM DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE
- Factsheet on Assurity Trusted Solutions (123.00KB)
- Factsheet on National Authentication Framework (140.33KB)
About Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) is committed to growing Singapore into a dynamic global infocomm hub. IDA uses an integrated approach to developing infocommunications in Singapore. This involves nurturing a competitive telecoms market as well as a conducive business environment with programmes and schemes for both local and international companies. For more news and information, visit www.ida.gov.sg.
The NAF is a key programme under IDA's 10-year Intelligent Nation Masterplan (iN2015) and aims to implement a secure and trusted enabling infrastructure needed to facilitate the delivery of online services offered by the public and private sectors.
About Assurity Trusted Solutions
Assurity Trusted Solutions Pte Ltd (Assurity) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA). Assurity is the National Authentication Framework operator for 2nd Factor Authentication set up to offer NAF 2FA Services to Service Providers (SPs) and consumers at a national level.
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