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Avast acquires SecureKey, extends digital identity security

Avast has announced the acquisition of SecureKey Technologies, a global provider of digital identity and authentication solutions headquartered in Canada.

SecureKey's next generation privacy-enhancing services are focused on simplifying access to online services while giving control back to consumers, by ensuring the information they share with others is only ever with their explicit consent.

Identity and Authentication and reusable digital identity services are expected to grow to $266 billion by 2027 with a CAGR of 68.9%, according to Liminal (formerly OWI), the digital identity specialists, with the private sector to capture the majority of this growth.

SecureKey's mission has been to simplify consumer access to secure online services and applications, such as government, healthcare, and financial account opening, utilising secure digital versions of the credentials they already have and trust.

Avast CEO Ondrej Vlcek comments, “We envisage a global and reusable digital identity framework which will underpin a new trust layer for the internet. 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.

Services developed by SecureKey include those currently known as Verified.Me, a distributed digital identity verification network, and Government Sign-In by Verified.Me for login to hundreds of government online services and applications.

Both services are provided by Interac Corp. under an exclusive Canadian licensing arrangement.

SecureKey's digital identity solutions currently enable more than 200 million secure digital ID transactions per year globally, the company states.

The company's continued investments intend to support emerging digital identity standards and solutions, including DIDs (Decentralised Identifiers) and Verifiable Credentials, to further enable digital trust networks and ecosystems with user centric control, the company states.

SecureKey CEO Greg Wolfond says, “SecureKey's vision has been to revolutionise the way consumers and organisations 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.

"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.

Avast general manager and SVP identity Charles Walton says, “The maturity of the SecureKey hybrid federation, bank ID and decentralised technology suite and history of strong operational delivery in Canada for discerning financial services and government customers - partners positions Avast for geographic expansion."

Walton continues, "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.

The deal is expected to close in early April 2022 with the general availability of SecureKey's products following in Q2.

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