NTUC to distribute 2FA tokens to 600K members

Singapore's National Trades Union Congress announces plans to issue the country's OneKey two-factor authentication device to its members, who can use the token to log into and transact on the NTUC portal.

Singapore's National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) will distribute the national two-factor authentication (2FA) token, OneKey, which its members can use to log into its portal and make various transactions. 

The initiative is part of the trade union's mass registration exercise to make it easier for members to access its online services more securely, the organization said in a media release Wednesday. Some 600,000 Singaporeans and Permanent Residents will receive the OneKey device this month, and will need to activate the token before they can use it to log into the NTUC U Portal

With online risks increasing, many service providers today prompt their users to change their passwords every three to six months. Some require passwords to comprise at least eight characters as well as a combination of lower and upper case, numbers, and special characters. As a result, it is common for users to forget their passwords and give up using online services, NTUC said. 

Its CIO Kwong Yuk Wah noted in the statement that while passwords are the first line of defense, they are still vulnerable to hacking attacks. By tapping Singapore's national authentication framework  (NAF), NTUC aims to help its members bypass the need to create and remember complex passwords, Kwong said. 

The national NAF was  launched in December 2011  and operated by government-owned subsidiary  Assurity Trusted Solutions , as part of country's goal to beef up the local IT security landscape. The OneKey  2FA token is part of the initiative and generates one-time passwords to secure online transactions. 

NTUC Income, the insurance arm of NTUC, last year deployed the 2FA system to secure all online transactions with its customers who also received the OneKey token. 

OneKey token

After activating the token, NTUC members can access a range of services via the portal, including checking loyalty points earned at participating LinkPoints merchants, applying for training grants, booking holiday facilities, and registering for NTUC events.

OneKey can also be used to access online services currently offered by the 15 service providers that have adopted the NAF , including RHB Bank and CIMB Securities.

NTUC supports 60 affiliated unions, an affiliated taxi association, 12 social enterprises, 5 related organizations and over 780,000 members.