UK residents enjoy secure online access to government services

Strong two factor authentication solution that scales to millions of users.

Industry

Government

Protocols

U2F

Products

Yubico Security Key

Deployment

UK Citizens & Residents

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About GOV.UK

GOV.UK is the website for the UK government and is the primary place online to find government services and information.  It was created to replace multiple individual websites of hundreds of government departments and public bodies and to become the efficient, single destination hub for multiple ministerial departments and related organisations that serve millions of UK residents and citizens.



GOV.UK goal to securely deliver a wide range of services online

In order to make delivering a wide range of services more efficient and cost effective to citizens and residents, the UK government was interested in exploring innovative ways to bring services online.  In keeping with this goal, GOV.UK Verify was introduced to provide a simple way for UK citizens and residents to access an increasing range of UK government services online. A key requirement of this initiative was to ensure that every person could first securely prove their identity so that they could then access government services like filing taxes or checking the information on a driver’s licence in a safe, quick and easy way. Ultimately, the vision was that when visitors to the website used GOV.UK Verify, they could efficiently bypass proving their identity in person or waiting for something to arrive in the mail.  



Weak passwords leave UK government agencies and their residents exposed

The key challenge was to put a simple, yet strong authentication and identity verification process in place that would help the UK government deliver a highly satisfying experience for UK citizens and residents.  Simply using usernames and passwords was not going to be sufficient to safeguard the information and online services of UK citizens interacting on GOV.UK. The agency needed a strong two factor authentication solution that was both cost effective and scalable to millions of users.


“UK citizens can easily purchase a FIDO U2F device online and register it with Digidentity. 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.”

—Marcel Wendy, Digidentity CTO and co-founder1


Next generation secure authentication brings vision to life as a cost-effective game changer

The original vision that GOV.UK had of visitors authenticating their identities easily online has been brought to life with Yubico strong authentication, allowing GOV.UK to be the first government service in the world to make support for hardware-based authenticators using the FIDO U2F authentication standard. The GOV.UK service works using Digidentity, one of UK government’s certified identity providers, who check and confirm a user’s identity before they can access a government service.  When combined with the power yet simplicity of the YubiKey, Digidentity and Yubico provided a strong authentication solution that addresses the risks associated with weak passwords and provides quick and safe access to GOV.UK.

“UK citizens can easily purchase online a FIDO U2F security key and register it with Digidentity,” says Marcel Wendt, Digidentity CTO and co-founder. “With a quick online process, the user’s identity is verified and tied to the U2F security key, 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.”



The result and looking into the future

Digidentity and Yubico have now put an industry-leading two factor authentication solution in place, that’s setting a new standard for governmental services delivery and an easy way for residents to interact with various government organizations online.  To authenticate to GOV.UK Verify using Digidentity with FIDO U2F, the user simply enters their username and password, and then inserts and taps the YubiKey. There are no drivers or client software to install. With Yubico, GOV.UK can now efficiently deliver world class services to millions of users securely, with a simple and intuitive user experience.