Skip to the content

Two factor authentication device finds place on Verify



Digidentity partnership with Yubico provides new element on eve of 'go live' of Government identity assurance platform

The first hardware option for use with the GOV.UK Verify platform has been made public, with Digidentity providing a two-factor authentication device named YubiKey as part of its offering.

It has entered a partnership with the device's manufacturer, US-based Yubico, to make it available for the UK Government's online identity assurance platform.

Digidentity is one of the companies certified to provide authentication for users of online services to prove their identities. In partnering with Yubico it has picked up use of a device that works on the Universal 2nd Factor (U2F) standard, developed by the industry FIDO Alliance and used by cloud service providers including Google and Dropbox.

The device comes as a keychain or small card that includes the individual's authentication code. After inputting their name and password for a service, the user inserts the device into a computer's USB port then presses it to inject the code into the system to log in.

Yubico said the data on the device is encrypted, it does not require any drivers or client software, and that later this year it will be available with new field communication and Bluetooth for log-in from mobile devices.

GDS compliance

Dick Dekkers, general manager of Digidentity, said the Yubikey has gone through the Government Digital Service's compliance process for Verify, involving user experience testing and application of the good practice guide and operations manual.

It is has been made available through the Yubico store and Amazon, with a starting price of £13.

Marcel Wendt, chief technology officer and co-founder of Digidentity, said: “With a quick online process, the user's identity is verified and tied to the U2F device, and the data is encrypted to safeguard a user's privacy. We are pleased to partner with Yubico, a driving contributor of the FIDO U2F standard, to make this happen.”

Digidentity has also developed authentication processes through a mobile app and text messaging for the platform.

The move is a significant early step in the development of options from the certified companies involved in Verify. They are responsible for confirming the authenticity of a user's identity, but so far few details have emerged about the approaches they plan to take.

The programme is due to go live for about 15 central government services at the beginning of April. These are expected to include HM Revenue & Customs' personal tax account sign-in, the Department for Work & Pensions' applications for Universal Credit, and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency's view or share licence information service.

Image from Yubico

Register For Alerts

Keep informed - Get the latest news about the use of technology, digital & data for the public good in your inbox from UKAuthority.