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Avast makes another major decentralized digital ID acquisition with SecureKey deal

Categories Biometrics News  |  Trade Notes
Avast makes another major decentralized digital ID acquisition with SecureKey deal

Avast has followed up its acquisition of Evernym by picking up Canada-based digital identity and authentication provider SecureKey Technologies.

SecureKey specializes in providing verifiable credentials for enhanced privacy when accessing online services through explicit end-user consent. The company’s Verified.Me distributed digital identity network and the login service Government Sign-In by Verified.Me.

The companies cite research from Liminal indicating the market for identity and authentication and reusable digital identity services will be worth $266 billion by 2027.

“We envisage a global and reusable digital identity framework which will underpin a new trust layer for the internet,” comments Ondrej Vlcek, CEO, Avast. “It’s clear that digital identity is the critical enabler for many digital services and SecureKey’s success reflects the growing demand for this from consumers. SecureKey is highly complementary to Avast’s prior work in Identity and together we will take our offer to the next level, accelerating innovation and working to establish a user-focused, global approach that aligns user, business, and government propositions. We are committed to developing offerings that will be fully inclusive for everyone, regardless of their own circumstances.”

SecureKey says its digital identity services are used to secure more than 200 million global digital ID transactions annually. The company’s Chief Identity Officer Andrew Boysen recently discussed how to reduce fraud in government services with Biometric Update.

The emphasis for SecureKey is on user control, and the company invests significantly in emerging technologies like DIDs (Decentralized Identifiers) and verifiable credentials.

“SecureKey’s vision has been to revolutionize the way consumers and organizations approach identity and the sharing of personal information in the digital age. By working closely with governments, financial institutions and businesses, we have an established track record of trusted and mature identity networks that provide consumers with the secure digital capabilities they deserve,” states Greg Wolfond, CEO, SecureKey. “Combining forces with Avast enables us to innovate further and faster with our technology as we together look to build a more trustworthy future for all internet users.”

“The maturity of the SecureKey hybrid federation, bank ID, and decentralized technology suite and history of strong operational delivery in Canada for discerning financial services and government customers & partners positions Avast for geographic expansion. As the European community is investing in public-private sector digital identity infrastructure in 2022 and beyond, we see Avast well positioned as a collaborative provider of digital trust services for people, digital businesses and government,” says Charles Walton, general manager and SVP Identity, Avast. “Success for us is where digital identity becomes simple, user-centric and portable, and can enable a more trustworthy digital experience and deeper online engagement benefiting both people and business.”

Walton joined Avast in mid-2021, having previously served as SVP of Digital Identity at Mastercard, and before that as VP of Business Development at Idemia.

Avast’s move into digital identity has already reoriented the axis of decentralized ID and self-sovereign identity (SSI) towards Europe, and the acquisition of SecureKey gives the cybersecurity giant’s new digital identity division more tools to pursue that approach.

The SecureKey deal, for which financial terms were not disclosed, is expected to close in early April, with SecureKey products reaching general availability in the second quarter of 2022.

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