Yearly Archives: 2018

Connecting FIDO Alliance with Canadian Solutions for Digital Identity

How FIDO Alliance, the World’s Largest Ecosystem for Standards-Based, Interoperable Authentication, Connects to the DIACC

The DIACC mandate is to identify and develop standards that prioritize and align with Canadian principles. Our Canadian focus and approach enables us to support members with locally-focused solutions and opportunities, while integrating with international frameworks and initiatives, and maintaining a pulse on worldwide trends.

The FIDO Alliance is one example of international standards driving progress in digital identity authentication. We connected with DIACC member Hypersecu, who is also a member of FIDO Alliance, to offer more insight into the authentication initiative.

 

Can you provide an overview of the FIDO Alliance for people who are unfamiliar?

The FIDO Alliance, Fast IDentity Online, is a non-profit organisation created with a mission to develop standards for strong authentication devices and to address the difficulties of managing multiple complex passwords. Password management can often result in high support costs for companies, while at the same time lacking effectiveness when it comes to preventing data breaches. The Alliance aims to ease these concerns by providing mechanisms that reduce reliance on passwords for strong authentication.

Currently, there are two main standards from the Alliance: U2F (Universal 2nd Factor) and UAF (Universal Authentication Framework). U2F uses a physical token, or security key, to add an extra layer of security, but does not require the user to enter an additional code the way one-time password tokens do. Instead, the user simply presses a button on their security key to log in. UAF uses biometrics, such as fingerprinting and other unique processes, to create an entirely password-less experience.

The Alliance is also developing a new standard called FIDO 2. FIDO 2 aims to provide simple and strong authentication on all devices. Its goal is to create a password-less experience with the strong security that 2-factor authentication offers.

 

How did this alliance start?

The Alliance was started by Ramesh Kesanupalli, at the time Chief Technology Officer of Validity Sensors, and Michael Barrett, then PayPal’s Chief Information Security Officer, who wanted to develop identification using biometrics for online authentication, that would be based on an open standard which could support multiple vendors. The FIDO Alliance was thus founded in 2012 by PayPal, Lenovo, Nok Nok Labs, Validity Sensors, Infineon, and Agnitio, and announced publicly in 2013.

In 2014, Hypersecu joined the FIDO Alliance. We are currently actively involved in promoting FIDO solutions.

 

Why is interoperability important to companies, users, and governments?

With so many different systems, applications, and devices that are now interconnected, interoperability is crucial for our current technological ecosystem. It allows different types of industries and enterprises to connect using the same technology without having to invest in new developments. At the same time, users have the reassurance that their devices will work on any platform supported by a particular technology – in this case, FIDO protocols. With online authentication, users, companies, and governments alike need to be able to connect from wherever they are through multiple devices, from smartphones to tablets to laptops.

Having standards also allows manufacturers, developers, and service providers to easily incorporate FIDO support into their products and services. As a result, strong authentication becomes accessible to more users and available through more services, reducing the cost and time required for implementation. Anyone can integrate FIDO technology into their day-to-day business with little disruption.

 

How will the FIDO Alliance impact Canadian organisations?

The FIDO Alliance will help advance the cause for trustworthy digital identity in Canada by making it simpler and less costly for Canadian organisations to implement the technology and introduce options for secure authentication. Many Canadian businesses and other organisations rely on digital transactions, such as banking and e-commerce, which makes easy-to-use but effective secure authentication that much more critical.

 

How will the FIDO Alliance impact Canadians?

From what we’ve observed, the average Canadian still requires more motivation to use strong authentication compared to those in other regions. Simple passwords are widely used in Canadians’ daily digital lives, from online banking to email accounts. One of the reasons for this may be due to the high cost and complexities involved in implementing strong authentication.

The FIDO Alliance will, as mentioned, make implementing strong authentication much easier and with minimal disruption. It opens new doors for Canadians to adopt cost-effective solutions for authentication that is widely supported around the world.

 

What is Hypersecu’s role in this initiative?

Hypersecu provides high quality and cost-efficient HyperFIDO™ U2F Security Keys. We’re constantly developing new products and initiatives using the FIDO U2F technology in order to make authentication as simple as possible. This includes mobile friendly FIDO security keys that can be used without additional attachments. We achieve this by taking advantage of features already natively available on most mobile devices such as Near-field Communication (NFC) or Bluetooth, which allow users to quickly connect their security key and log in from anywhere.

We also partner with identity and access management services such as SAASPASS to provide a one-stop multi-factor authentication solution that’s flexible and simple to use, whether you’re a small company or a large enterprise. In addition, we’ve been working to introduce FIDO U2F to universities so that students and faculty alike can protect important information such as exams, grades, student loan details, and other sensitive data.

Why is it important for Canadian companies like Hypersecu to be involved?

Since the digital world is increasingly becoming borderless and Canadian companies have a greater global reach, it’s important that we take initiative to ensure that we are creating an effective security framework. Without a trustworthy digital identity, Canadian companies become vulnerable to costly and dangerous data breaches, especially given today’s heavy reliance on digital access and transactions. However, many Canadian businesses also operate on a smaller scale with limited resources available to dedicate to security and authentication. As a result, FIDO is an excellent way for companies in Canada to implement secure authentication with minimal cost and disruption.

 

The DIACC develops the Pan-Canadian Trust Framework to accelerate interoperability of business, policy, and technology processes for digital identity systems and solutions. Emerging standards and technologies including FIDO, and others, are sure to play a role in accelerating Canada’s digital economy participation.

Register: IdentityNORTH and DIACC’s AGM

Identity week in Canada is approaching. From beginners to experts, IdentityNORTH and DIACC’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) will provide a platform for those who seek to advance our Digital Identity landscape. It’s all happening in Toronto, Ontario. Will you be there?

June 19-20 – IdentityNORTH is Canada’s premier event where all persons and organizations are welcome to join the conversation. DIACC members contact us to get access to your discount code!

June 21 – DIACC’s AGM is the annual gathering where DIACC members shape the future of DIACC.  DIACC members as well as members of the Joint Councils Identity Management SubCommittee may attend the AGM. DIACC will review registrations for approval.

We look forward to seeing you there!

AGM Agenda

Time Topic
8:30 Networking Breakfast
9:00 Chair of BoD Welcome
9:10 Plenary Business – Reporting & Motions, Dave Nikolejsin, Province of BC, Chair of Board, DIACC
9:40 A Year of Growth – State of the DIACC

  • Presentation 20 minutes / Q&A 5 minutes
10:05 Connecting the Community – DIACC action on IdentityNORTH Trends

  • Facilitated discussion 20 minutes
10:25 Networking Break
10:40 Pan-Canadian Trust Framework Progress and Interactive Discussion

  • Trust Framework Expert Committee (TFEC)
  • Presentations 35 minutes / Q&A 10 minutes
11:25 Engaging Member Priorities for Real World Impact

  • Innovation Expert Committee (IEC)
  • Presentation 15 minutes / Q&A 5 minutes
11:45 Rapid On-Boarding for Networked Federations
12:00 Networking Lunch
1:00 Proof of Concept – Cross Border Digital ID Financial Sector Interoperability

  • Presentation 15 minutes / Q&A 5 minutes
1:20 International Applied Research
1:40 Trends in Mobile Authentication

  • Presentation 15 minutes / Q&A 5 minutes
2:00 Networking Break
2:15 Member Trends in Biometrics

  • Presentation 10 minutes / Q&A 5 minutes
2:30 Member Trends in Digital Transformation

  • Presentation 15 minutes / Q&A 5 minutes
2:50 Panel – The Economics of Identity and why the Pan-Canadian Trust Framework is needed now more than ever
3:20 Calls to Action
3:40 Thanks!
3:45 DIACC Networking Cocktail Hour

 

Setting Flexible Industry Standards for Canadian Leadership and Development

Demystifying Industry Standards

One of the DIACC’s mandates is to identify and develop industry standards around digital identity that prioritize Canadian values through frameworks that are easy to reproduce, export, and apply across a large variety of industries and use cases.

In this post, we explore what the DIACC means by industry standards, why they matter to every Canadian, and how our collaborative approach is designed to unlock strategic insights that drive the delivery of robust and impactful standards.

What is an Industry Standard?

Industry standards are understood as a set of criteria relating to the standard functioning and executing of operations in a respective field of production. Industry standards establish a generally accepted framework to be adopted and followed by members of any given industry.  

“Industry” refers to the field of practice not the sector. In any given industry people and organisations intersect with each other and share interdependencies. This is especially true when it comes to the digital world.

Examples of Industry Standards:

DIACC members work to identify and develop multi-sector and community-driven industry standards for digital identity practitioners that offer broad value to all Canadians, from the private and public sector and around the world. In order to deliver value, industry standards must prioritize flexibility and security to ensure continued effectiveness.

Why do they Matter?

Industry standards establish a framework to ensure a repeatable level of expectation and certainty that benefits everyone involved. This is especially important in the digital world, when it comes to a concept as impactful and wide-reaching as digital identity.

Industry standards allow widespread technology and services adoption, improve user experience through interoperability, and ensure that safety and security are entrenched in solutions by design.

Industry standards for digital identity help:

  • Build customer confidence over time through consistent user experiences
  • Remove risk from a hardware perspective, as standards establish what needs to go into each element of a product, from design to delivery  
  • Ensure interoperability
  • Improve the customer experience and provide more strategic insight into consumer needs
  • Businesses and government understand what’s needed to ensure user confidence and interoperability of products
  • Establish design standards to ensure privacy and security of data
  • Develop a competitive edge through security, predictability, and confidence, resulting in a larger user base

Design standards to maintain the security and privacy of personal identifiable information have a  critical role in building public confidence for adoption of identity innovations. Digital identity industry standards are evolving, yet an inconsistent user experience remains, resulting in less confidence and slower progress.

Through industry standards development, there is an exciting opportunity for leaders of innovating organisations to collaborate and shape our digital lives. Collaboration across sectors and verticals provides key learnings, opportunities for new partnerships, business growth and development, and strategic insights that can’t be gained in isolation.

DIACC’s vision for digital identity is to make Canadians’ lives better. The time, energy, and effort it takes to remove complexity from users is not something Canadians should have to think about. If implemented properly, digital identity will be a simple, trusted and reliable part of how Canadians interact and conduct transactions everyday. 

After all, the hard work of good design is often invisible. Consider something as simple as this lamp:

Industry Standards Development: Why DIACC Uses a Call for Comments

The DIACC’s goal is to unlock public and private sector capabilities through impactful cross-industry collaboration to make the complex systems that underpin digital identity simple,  secure, and more trustworthy for both users and suppliers. One way we will accomplish this vision is through far-reaching and useful frameworks.

Digital identity that delivers impact to grow an economy requires broad collaboration and ultimately, success will be led by inclusion. The DIACC coalition of public and private sector leaders are making a sustained and significant investment in the future of digital identity. By connecting committed stakeholders and the broader Canadian community at-large around focused, inclusive, and beneficial standards, we ensure every Canadian has the opportunity to share their view.

 

Contact us to to share your ideas for collaborative and Canadian principled standards that can advance Canada’s digital economy.

 

 

Spotlight on Prodigy Ventures

Meet Prodigy Ventures

1. What is the mission and vision of Prodigy Ventures?  

Prodigy Ventures’ mission is to enable its clients with faster digital transformation through the design, development, testing, and deployment of emerging technologies that drive value. Our experienced professionals are building new innovative solutions in mobile, secure digital identity, voice/smart speaker, video, and more.

2. Why is trustworthy digital identity critical for existing and emerging markets?

All our clients have 3 things in common. First, they offer products and services to consumers. Second, they have one or more digital transformation projects underway; either moving their business online (e.g. selling insurance products directly to consumers), or wanting to leverage the efficiency benefits created through digital processes (e.g. reduce cost, increase convenience and security with online self-service applications, etc.). And third, they share the need for a trustworthy digital ID, either because of regulation, or financial risk. Facebook or Google IDs simply don’t meet their needs.

As part of that digital transformation, a number of classic digital identity use cases emerge. Prodigy is working on a series of “privacy-by-design” enabled solutions that facilitate the use of trustworthy digital identity to support account creation and updates, account recovery, eligibility checks, as well as service add-ons and changes.

3. How will digital identity transform the Canadian and global economy? How does Prodigy address challenges associated with this transformation?

Canada is one of the most connected countries of the world. We believe Canadian businesses and the economy in general will take a major leap forward when a solid, trustworthy digital identity service becomes available to all Canadians. It will create groundbreaking business opportunities.

Prodigy plays a critical role in helping companies go from “aspiring to change”, to “realizing the benefits” from digital transformation. Central to this is the need for a trustworthy digital identity. One that enables end-to-end digital business processes, which until now have been too often fractured, incorporating physical documents, requiring in-person interactions and/or using questionable data.

4. What role does Canada have to play as a leader in the space?

We can find in the country’s very own history the foundation for two important aspects that make for a strong and trustworthy digital identity service. First, the Canadian government and provinces all recognize and protect its citizens’ privacy. This is clearly demonstrated in a number of ways, from the appointment of privacy commissioners’ responsibilities, to the incorporation of privacy-by-design requirements when introducing the development of new consumer-facing services. Second, Canadians are used to cooperating. Around the world, telcos or banks are rarely the first to cooperate. In Canada however,  we have seen this a number of times. Since 2014, we have been witnessing banks, private and public sector institutions, and telcos, working together to build the foundation of a trustworthy Canadian digital identity.

What we are collectively building and the accumulated knowledge around an inclusive, strong, secure, private digital ID, is clearly something that should make Canadians proud. We believe this makes Canada uniquely positioned to lead, with plenty to offer to other countries.

5. What else should we know about Prodigy?

We are a public Canadian innovation company (TSX:PGV) with combined thriving enterprise services business (Prodigy Labs) and a venture builder (Prodigy Ventures). Highly complementary, these businesses work together to drive growth with the latest technologies.

Prodigy is helping to accelerate the adoption of Canada’s first digital identity network by enabling enterprise clients to rapidly test, deploy and demonstrate business value with Verified.Me.

 

Canada’s Digital Economy Relies on a Foundation of Digital Identity

Canada’s Digital Economy Relies on a Foundation of Digital Identity

The Digital ID & Authentication Council of Canada (DIACC) publishes white paper that underscores the economic impacts of digital identity on Canadian citizens and Canadian economy

Read the Paper

TORONTO May 16, 2018 – The Digital ID & Authentication Council of Canada (DIACC) released a new white paper about the economic impacts digital identity has on Canadian businesses and the national GDP.  The paper highlights the critical foundation that digital identity establishes for every industry in protecting consumers and making Canada competitive on a global scale.

Almost every Canadian has some kind of digital identity, with the average person having 92 accounts registered to one email. The white paper, released today, outlines how digital ID is critical to the Canadian digital economy and greatly impacts everyone, notably citizens, small businesses, financial services, healthcare and government.  Given this, reliable digital identity is key to increasing efficiencies for Canadian citizens and business, and making digital services safe, secure, and accessible.

Digital ID isn’t being used to its full potential, given a general lack of trust in the validity of digital identification when used for transactions or services. The white paper, called “The Economic Impact of digital identity in Canada: understanding the potential economic benefits and the cost of inaction,” explains methods to build the trust that will allow Canadians to fully adopt digital identity, which create new opportunities for both individuals and businesses, with significant benefits to the economy.

“All of us increasingly manage our daily lives on mobile devices and online,” said CJ Ritchie, Associate Deputy Minister and BC Government Chief Information Officer. “We want to choose when, where and how we access services and don’t care if the service is provided by the public or the private sector. Trusted digital identities are absolutely required to make that possible.”

Currently, many processes that require identity authentication and validation used in government, health care, financial services remain manual, which lead to increased costs and slow access to services that directly impact taxpayers. An estimated $482 million CAD is lost each year from manual government processes at both provincial and federal levels.

“Canada has an incredible opportunity to lead in digital identity, setting the groundwork that is required for an integrated, interoperable, and reliable digital economy,” said Franklin Garrigues, Vice President of Digital Channels at TD Bank. “We were happy to contribute as a DIACC member and help demonstrate the scale and impact of digital identity across industries.”

Countries like Estonia have already experienced the benefits of implementing digital identity tools, including electronic ID cards for all residents over the age of 15, which are used in healthcare, electronic banking, online shopping, signing digital contracts, encrypting email, tram tickets, and more. This has created efficiencies for citizens, while adding 2% to the country’s GDP and saving an additional 2% through the use of electronic signatures.

As stated in the whitepaper, “there is no better time for consumers, businesses and government entities work together to achieve the common goal of enabling a safe, secure and trusted ecosystem for Canadian digital identity.”

Read the full whitepaper to find out more about how digital identity will set the foundation for Canada’s digital economy.

About DIACC

The DIACC is a non-profit coalition of public and private sector leaders committed to developing a Canadian digital identification and authentication framework to enable Canada’s full and secure participation in the global digital economy. The DIACC was created as a result of the federal government’s Task Force for the Payments System Review and members include representatives from both the federal and provincial levels of government as well as private sector leaders.

DIACC members work together by sharing resources and perspectives to address the needs of digital transformation through the development of the Pan-Canadian Trust Framework (PCTF). The PCTF is a set of Canadian standards that support open government principles and enable Canada’s full and secure participation in the global digital economy. DIACC members collaboratively develop market educating innovation white papers, proof of concepts, and applied research to secure Canada’s full and beneficial participation in the digital economy.

To learn more about the DIACC visit www.DIACC.ca

About Consult Hyperion

Consult Hyperion is an independent strategic and technical consultancy, based in the US and UK, specialising in secure electronic transactions. With over 30 years of experience, we help organisations around the world exploit new technologies to secure electronic payments and identity transaction services. From mobile payments and chip & PIN, to contactless ticketing and smart identity cards, we deliver value to our clients by supporting them in delivering their strategy. We use a practical approach and expert knowledge of relevant technologies. Hyperlab, our in-house software development team, further support our globally recognised expertise at every step in the electronic transaction value chain, from authentication, access and networks, to transactional systems and applications. We define, develop, design and deliver.

For more information contact pressoffice@chyp.com

 

Media Enquiries

Krista Pawley

krista@imperativeimpact.com

416-270-9987

Quebec Leading in Digital Identity: Top Takeaways from IdentityNORTH Montreal Executive Forum

The first IdentityNORTH Montreal Executive Forum took place last week at Deloitte Tower in downtown Montreal and set the tone for broader conversations in Canada’s leading digital identity landscape.

It was a fantastic full day event that provided DIACC with a great opportunity to connect with members, including event sponsors ForgeRock, Interac, SecureKey, and Notarius, and connect with the community in another province. There were a lot of unique perspectives in the programming and the DIACC is excited to continue to help bridge these approaches and views for collective action across Canada. 

Quebec is a vibrant province where a lot is happening and there is a still a ton of potential in emerging markets and innovation in the digital economy. The packed room at the first IdentityNORTH Montreal Executive Forum reaffirmed the incredible energy, enthusiasm and excitement that is happening in Quebec. It also demonstrated a keen interest from locals and Canadian and global businesses who are looking to get into the Quebec market.

The incredible talent pool in Quebec reflects capabilities that are in high demand across Canada and demonstrates how the province has a strong position to lead in the next phase of the development in standards, technology, and organizations.

Quebec is a strong example of Canada’s unique cultural makeup. Diversity is critical for Canada’s digital economy, especially at this point in time. Diversity ensures that we have a robust approach going forward that makes us resilient against sudden changes, different technological developments, and cross-industry concerns.

Some areas where Quebec is excelling include consumer protection, artificial intelligence, and other principles and technologies that are critical for our shared success. IdentityNORTH was a perfect opportunity to connect those perspectives across provincial borders.

One of the biggest indicators of its success, and the importance of these opportunities, was the fact that more people wanted to join in. Even when tickets were sold out, even when the room was at capacity, people flooded the space in hopes of joining the conversation. There is a lot of demand for these opportunities to connect and collaborate across sectors, industries, and provinces.

We look forward to continuing to support and grow Canada’s digital identity community. Join us at the annual IdentityNORTH conference in Toronto on June 19-20, the DIACC AGM June 21 for members, and other upcoming events.

Cambridge Analytica Revelation: Reaffirming the Importance of Digital Identity

The revelation surrounding Facebook and Cambridge Analytica’s use of data and data access breach may have been surprising to many users of the platform. For those of us in the digital identity industry and landscape, the news came as less of a shock.

When word got out about the consent issues – including insufficient permissions to access to multiple profiles and a lack of notice from Facebook – I saw it as a confirmation of the need for Privacy by Design (PbD). PbD principles posit that security and privacy controls need to be built into platforms and tools from the start and not as an afterthought. Implementation of PbD is critical in today’s digital-first world.

Speaking with other members of the digital identity community, surprise was also low on the list of reactions. “This is something we could have seen – and did see – coming ten years ago,” they refrained, pointing to their privacy and security work as existing solutions.  

“Privacy is all about personal control: Individuals must be able to decide who is permitted to gain access to their personal data and to whom it may be disclosed. Privacy by Design embodies personal control as an essential feature of embedding privacy into one’s operations – proactively baking privacy into a company’s policies and systems, in order to prevent privacy harms from arising,” said Dr. Ann Cavoukian, Distinguished Expert-in-Residence, Privacy by Design Centre of Excellence at Ryerson University. “Privacy as the default is one of the 7 Foundational Principles of PbD, which states that you shouldn’t have to ask for privacy, it should be automatically given, as the default setting. Facebook offered none of these features in their dealings with Cambridge Analytica.”

The scale and publicity of this data access breach demonstrates an adage the community has clung to that has remained true across industries and platforms for years: If you are not paying to use a service, you are the product. An invisible trade-off has been happening for years and the Digital Identity industry has been working to develop better approaches and solutions that prioritize user-centred design, transparency, and tools to help people manage access to personal data.

Recognizing the Role of Regulation

Personally, the most surprising part of the story was how quickly a tool designed for advertising could be repurposed to influence people’s political activity. While we have rules and regulatory schemes for anti-money laundering and purchasing political ads, no strong regulations exist that apply to the rapidly changing and globally connected digital advertising space.

Privacy regulatory schemes must not be only focused on building walls around data for protection. These schemes must also empower Canadians to have control and make informed choices about their data. Regulations must be aligned with access to tools and frameworks that empower citizens, businesses, and government to make better choices.

 

Facebook recently noted, on April 4, 2018, that half a million Canadians might have also had their data swept up by Cambridge Analytica. Despite protections in place in Canada, when we are working online the rules become less clear. Borders aren’t distinct online and there is no ubiquitous data policy or protections in place. Being in Canada or a Canadian citizen does not guarantee protection or exempt us from access and privacy issues on global platforms.

Converging Challenges

The events only serve to reinforce why, beyond privacy and consent controls, we would also benefit from assurance that an anonymous person is in fact a human and not a bot – and more transparency surrounding the origin of content online. Particularly when considering government consultations and Canadian civic engagement, digital ID that lets a person authenticate while protecting their anonymity is an essential piece of creating more secure, reliable, and trustworthy digital networks. Our Digital Citizen Engagement Whitepaper with PlaceSpeak outlines additional reasons this verification is essential for better consultation and inclusive, representational digital democracy.

The Cambridge Analytica news, combined with Russian bots, illuminates a climate where misinformation is rampant and having the option for anonymity and assurance of identification are both critical. Not only are users’ data being accessed by third parties, but these third parties are advancing discourse in regional and national conversations that do not necessarily reflect the views of constituents. Data scraping and fake bots have created a multi-pronged challenge that must be addressed in order to protect diverse voices and authentic conversations in a democratic public sphere.

Moving Forward

In the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica events, we are left with a timely and widely resonating illustration of how important is it to:

  • Establish Robust Frameworks: Prioritize an evolving Pan-Canadian Trust Framework for interoperability that puts Canadians at the centre of the design
  • Position Canada for Open Data Success: Build upon Canadians’ ability to have transparency around data, access data, and use it in ways they feel most important
  • Advance Privacy and Security by Design: From the foundational frameworks to the solutions within it, privacy and security must come first

The data access breach has brought wide-scale attention and media coverage, advancing the role of personally identifiable information, consent, and privacy in the minds of the public. Our community has the opportunity to use these unfortunate circumstances to continue the conversation and educate Canadians more about their data and digital information.

Collaboration in our diverse community is critical for a higher standard, to ensure that Canadian principles are prioritized in global solutions. Canada’s cooperative approach, talent, and diversity can provide a model for our peers around the world. Together, we can ensure all stakeholders have access to the necessary tools to meet and exceed regulations in a way that prioritizes Canadians while meeting the needs of businesses and governments. With a united approach, the Canadian ecosystem can truly reflect the best of what the public and private sectors have to offer to grow economic and societal opportunities.

The DIACC strives to create opportunities for these issues to be addressed, in authentic and cooperative multi-stakeholder conversations. Collaborating on the interoperability framework is critical to avoid finding ourselves in a position where we have to adopt tools that were built without our priorities included. Get in touch to get involved with our community and share your input on our Pan-Canadian Trust Framework.

Spotlight on Biometric Signature ID

1. What is the mission and vision of Biometric Signature ID?  

Our mission is to be the leading out-of-the-box multi-factor authentication solution that provides users with proven results where it counts and security when it matters most. Whether it’s verifying personal identity, securing banking transactions, safeguarding healthcare records, gating exams or CE, or online purchases, BSI’s mission is to help individuals and organizations control risk, reduce fraud, and maintain security compliance.

Using our revolutionary software-only biometric – BioSig-ID™, we can authenticate users anytime, anywhere, simply using a mouse, finger, or stylus.

2. Why is trustworthy digital identity critical for existing and emerging markets?

As a society, we’ve arrived at this notion that securing one’s identity is a problem someone else should take care of. This is in spite of the fact that the number of data breaches has hit record highs and shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. One could argue that hackers and fraudsters are becoming more sophisticated, but many companies and institutions are simply relying on the same outdated technology that left them just as vulnerable 20 years ago. With calls for new regulations, MFA solutions and better encryption methods being made daily, it’s clear that companies and consumers are looking for solutions that not only help protect their digital identity, but also keep them from being the victim of another breach and identity theft.

Trustworthy digital identity is crucial because it does and will continue to serve as one of the key pillars of security in today’s existing and emerging markets.

3. How will digital identity transform the Canadian and global economy? How does Biometric Signature ID address challenges associated with this transformation?

As a globalized society, we rely heavily on digital technology to establish trans-national partnerships, trade on the world market, conduct global transactions and operate in our daily lives. As such, digital identity is a crucial platform for not only Canada, but the world as well. Virtually every facet of today’s global economy is affected somehow by digital technologies. Unfortunately, there are 100’s of thousands of hackers and bad actors who are looking to exploit these channels at any given time.

Our digital identities drive the very foundation of our lives which is why it’s crucial now more than ever, that we look for ways to safeguard our personal and corporate online identity. Biometric Signature ID addresses these very challenges by providing a unique twist to two highly-used security methods. By combining the ease of a password with the security of biometrics, BSI has developed the world’s first written password, that’s as accurate as a traditional biometric without any of the risk if compromised.

4. What role does Canada have to play as a leader in the space?

As a world leader, Canada can take a hard look at the current digital environment and look for ways to make it better. There’s no question as to whether or not an issue exists with data breaches and fraud. The real question becomes, how will our leaders respond? Luckily, Canada is able to take charge and serve as an example of what good stewards in the digital identity space look like, as well as how they should act. Whether it’s through regulations, policies, or new initiatives, Canada can make the safe guarding of online identity and access management a top priority.

5. What else should we know about Biometric Signature ID?

Biometric Signature ID, based in Dallas, Texas, is the leading developer of biometric ID verification software solutions using multi-factor authentication (MFA). Recently, BSI was selected as a Top 10 Multifactor Authentication Solution for 2018 by Enterprise Security Magazine. The solution was independent third party tested at 99.97% accuracy and was selected 20 Most Promising Ed Tech companies by CIO REVIEW. Reports show a 98% user satisfaction rate and BioSig-ID is used by a worldwide family of users from 95 countries who have protected their identity over 12M times. BSI’s technology provides secure banking transactions, safeguards healthcare records, gates exams, protects against online theft and helps organizations to control risk, reduce fraud, manage security and maintain compliance.

 

Spotlight on ATB Financial

Meet ATB

1. What is the mission and vision of ATB Financial?  

Our mission and vision are summarized in our 94 word story that took us over a year to craft. The gist? We believe we can make banking work for people again, by transforming how a bank could deliver value to its customers. We believe that if we succeed, we will ultimately be able to contribute to people’s happiness, setting a precedent that will cause the industry to rapidly evolve.

2. Why is trustworthy digital identity critical for existing and emerging markets?

The expectations of our customers on the experiences we need to deliver to them are changing, as access to what they want and need is more readily available on demand in most facets of their lives. To meet these demands, our business model (like many) is shifting away from a centralized, product-driven value proposition, to a distributed platform where value is created for customers across a network of partners. Digital identity is a key component of that model, as we may not hold the credentials for each participant in our business in the future. Being able to collaboratively manage trust across this type of platform will be a primary enabler. We also believe that this model will pave the way for people to ultimately “own” their identity as they never have before. Our stewardship with Sovrin ID network is another great example of this vision.

3. How will digital identity transform the Canadian and global economy? How does ATB Financial address challenges associated with this transformation?

Digital Identity can impact the economy in a number of ways; from removing the overhead of Know Your Customer (KYC) processes, to providing credentials to people who otherwise couldn’t access them (like the underbanked, as we were able to prove out with our Four Directions initiative). Delivering this type of value to consumers will also enable ATB to exceed the “last-best” experience expectations set forth by innovative brands, irregardless of industry segment.

At ATB, we are embracing the impact that digital identity will have on our business by setting up dedicated capabilities across the organization, from our Innovation Team who watch and test for disruptive trends at the Horizon 3 level, to our Customer Experience team who work to understand how digital identity will impact our customers and the interactions we have with them with a view to rapidly scale proven innovation. We are looking at the different models for managing digital identities (ex: the blockchain), as well as some of the specific challenges that might impact banks (ex: How do we ensure we are meeting our regulatory requirements under a customer-controlled identity model?). Joining DIACC is a key way that we are enabling our organization to connect with like minds to continue to build upon expertise in this subject matter!

4. What role does Canada have to play as a leader in the space?

In banking, Canada is just the right size to be a leader in Digital Identity Transformation. We have the right amount of infrastructure without too many participants to overcomplicate governance. The Canadian Payments Association is a great example where the banks are already sharing technology infrastructure for the exchange of bulk payments between financial institutions. SecureKey Concierge is another example where the banks are used as trusted identity providers to the Government of Canada. We have the opportunity to extend and build on these models of collaboration and be a leader, as we already have a history of working together to solve common problems.

5. What else should we know about ATB Financial?

We’d be remiss not to mention that we’re one of Canada’s top 50 employers with a dedicated vision to reimagine banking, make it work for people. We’re fervent in our approach to transform banking and deliver new value to the customers we serve, through the 5,000+ talented team members that form our organization. Our size makes us perfect to be nimble and quick in the testing and scale of new innovation, with our relentlessly inventive nature powering us along that path. We’re also happy to share what we learn as we go, which you can find on www.atbalphabeta.com. We’re also always on the lookout for talented team members in innovation and tech, that can connect with us on our LinkedIn talent community at www.bit.ly/ATBTransforms .

 

Spotlight on Hypersecu

Watch the video interview with CEO James Li:

1. What is the mission and vision of Hypersecu?  

Hypersecu Information Systems is a Canadian Controlled Private Corporation, founded in 2009. Our mission and vision are to provide top-of-the-line information security hardware products for digital identity and authentication. Our products are built on international standards-based protocols, are cost effective, and are open to competitive market forces in order to meet a broad range of users’ needs. At Hypersecu, we strive to ensure trust in the digital world.

2. Why is trustworthy digital identity critical for existing and emerging markets?

Global businesses today are highly reliant on digital transactions for both existing and emerging markets. For example, traditional payment methods are quickly being replaced by mobile payments and online payment services, which increases the need for proper identity authentication. Indeed, some businesses may rely exclusively on digital access alone. No digital transaction, including e-commerce, will be safe without a trustworthy digital identity. As a result, it’s extremely important that every user can be assured that their valuable digital identities are secure and managed responsibly.

3. How will digital identity transform the Canadian and global economy? How does Hypersecu address challenges associated with this transformation?

Digital identity is the cornerstone of the digital economy. Authentication ensures digital identity can be validated properly and is essential for all digital transactions, which greatly affects the Canadian and global economy.

The biggest challenge when implementing digital identity and authentication is ease of use and cost-effectiveness. We directly address these challenges by offering international standards-based identity and authentication products at a lower total cost of ownership and with user-friendly interfaces. Those in the digital economy can then easily integrate these technologies into their day-to-day business with little disruption.

In 2017, we delivered 4 million smart card-based HyperPKI tokens to India for local businesses to digitally file and sign their tax returns. The large number of users demonstrates how a framework using digital authentication can be effectively implemented and how that can translate to implementing a similar framework in Canada. In fact, we became the first Canadian hardware authentication vendor to credit unions across Canada. Helping credit unions secure their online wire payments is just the start. Our goal is to provide further tools and resources to address the challenges associated with digital identity, both locally and globally.

4. Why did Hypersecu join the DIACC?

Building a secure digital Canada requires knowledge and input from all those in the industry, regardless of their role, size, or sector of business. The DIACC builds a great platform for everyone to work together towards a safer digital world. As one of the top information security hardware vendors for digital identity and authentication and with many years working with global clients, we believe we can offer valuable input to help the DIACC achieve its goals.

5. What else should we know about Hypersecu?

Focusing on information security hardware products, we’ve delivered more than 5 million HyperPKI smart card-based USB token, HyperOTP one-time password tokens, HyperFIDO U2F security keys, and other products to multiple sectors around the world including enterprises, government agencies, small to medium businesses, K-12 schools, universities, and individuals.

We firmly believe in the value of hardware-based authentication products. Smart card-based products are currently recognized as the best technology for identity applications that must meet advanced security requirements such as those used by government agencies. As a result, we’re dedicated to working on finding that a critical balance between high-level security and user-friendliness, as well as the total cost of ownership, to ensure that every individual can benefit from these technologies in the digital world.

 

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