Avast stakes SSI position with Evernym acquisition
Consumer cybersecurity giant Avast is acquiring self-sovereign identity pioneer Evernym, and plans to integrate its user-controlled digital identity technology and decentralized digital credentials.
Evernym was declared ‘Technology Pioneer 2021’ by the World Economic Forum for its work with verifiable credentials, and powers the digital ID component of IATA’s Travel Pass.
The company’s decentralized approach to digital ID utilizes on-device storage and biometrics to provide passwordless access control that eliminates the risk of phishing, breaches from centralized databases, and interception, according to the announcement.
“Our identity vision is for a truly inclusive, global digital society,” explains Avast SVP and General Manager of Identity Charles Walton. “Our services will bridge from the existing digital world, where identities and data are stored in a centralized or federated model, to the new digital world where people are in control of their data and set the rules of engagement for online providers. We think of this as decentralizing identity, meaning individuals retain their personal information while being able to digitally interact with each other in a trustworthy manner. This reusable digital identity approach removes the friction and frustration of online transactions, guarantees safety and privacy for users, and empowers people to engage more deeply in today’s rapidly developing digital economy. Evernym is a recognized leader and innovator in this area and will complement our more than thirty years’ experience in security and privacy as we focus on delivering our breakthrough identity products.”
Avast is an FTSE 100 company, and reported revenues of $892.9 million in 2020.
In a blog post, Evernym suggests the acquisition will accelerate its trajectory, and the of SSI adoption, which some see as a looming ‘big wave’ in the market.
“Since its founding, Evernym has been a major catalyst in the global movement towards decentralized identity,” states Evernym CEO Steve Havas. “We have led the development of new identity standards, built the world’s first decentralized identity network, and launched a globally leading platform for enabling individuals to securely share their personal information. Combining our decentralized identity leadership with Avast’s globally trusted reputation for protecting individuals is a perfect combination to help bring back privacy and trust in everyone’s digital interactions everywhere, every time.”
The deal provides a ready path for consumer SSI adoption through Avast’s 435 million online users.
The acquisition is expected to close in mid-December, with Avast bringing products based on Evernym’s technology to general availability during 2022. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
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