Avast Invests in Digital Trust with SecureKey Acquisition

Charles Walton 24 Mar 2022

Avast expands its vision in delivering next generation identity solutions

Nearly every day online, we’re asked to provide some element of our personal information. Birth dates. Government ID numbers. Personal emails. We’re expected to give up this highly valuable information not only to do fun things online – like chatting with our friends or checking out social media – but also if we want to access critical services like government, banks, schools, healthcare providers, and more. 

Digital trust is a critical part of a next-generation consumer cybersecurity offering. Identity and Authentication and reusable digital identity services are expected to grow to $266bn by 2027 with a CAGR of 68.9%, according to the digital identity specialists Liminal (formerly OWI), with the private sector to capture the majority of this growth. At Avast, we envision a reusable and global digital identity system that will underpin a new trust layer for the internet.

Think about it: with our current computing capabilities, isn’t it archaic to require that someone enter the name of their first pet or the last four digits of their social security number in order to verify that they are who they say they are? Well, that’s about to become a thing of the past, as a new way of verifying identity is visible on the horizon. And today we announced that SecureKey has become part of Avast to help us realize the vision of a global and reusable digital identity framework, which will underpin a new trust layer for the internet.

Why SecureKey? To start, it’s a well-established digital identity and authentication company which has been at the forefront of simplifying access to online services through “reusable identities.” They’ve created a way for consumers to privately verify their identities with trusted entities – think governments, banks, or telecoms companies, for example – and then use that digital credential to access other services online. In other words, an ecommerce company could say, “Okay, we see that [bank] says you are who you say you are. That means we believe it, too.” This means that consumers don’t have to give everyone on the internet all of their personal information. Which maps exactly to Avast’s vision of enabling greater digital freedom for all internet users today and in the future through new application of innovative technology. 

Avast’s aim to change the balance of trust on the internet in favor of the individual, not the service provider. Digital identity is the critical enabler for many digital services, and SecureKey’s success reflects the growing demand for inclusive identity services.

SecureKey is already well-established in the Identity field and brings this proven expertise to Avast. Its digital identity solutions, currently known as Verified.Me and Government Sign-In by Verified.Me, enable over 200 million secure digital ID transactions per year globally. Their continued investments will support emerging digital identity standards and solutions, including DIDs (Decentralized Identifiers) and Verifiable Credentials, to further empower digital trust networks and ecosystems and enable true user-centric control.

Canada is one real-life example of the power of SecureKey's platform and enablement services, and a model that can be duplicated in other geographies across the globe. SecureKey’s solutions are now provided in Canada by Interac under an exclusive licensing arrangement. SecureKey’s innovations have the potential 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, they have established a track record of trusted and mature identity networks that provide consumers with the secure digital capabilities they deserve. 

As the European community continues to invest in public-private sector digital identity infrastructure, we need to find ways to expand our delivery digital trust services. We believe that the maturity of the SecureKey products and their history of strong operational delivery in Canada positions Avast for significant geographical expansion. Success for us is where digital identity becomes simple, user-centric, portable, and enables a more trustworthy digital experience and deeper online engagement that benefits both people and business.

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