S'pore seeks proposals from 2FA operators

The country's infocomm regulator issues call for bids to enable two-factor authentication to secure Singapore's online services.
Written by Sol E. Solomon, Contributor

SINGAPORE--The government has invited proposals from companies keen to provide two-factor authentication (2FA) tools, to support the country's secure infrastructure for online services offered by the public and private sectors.

Singapore's Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) on Monday launched a Call For Collaboration (CFC) for the nation's National Authentication Framework (NAF), seeking Authentication Operators (AOs) to provide 2FA capabilities to service providers such as those in government, finance and healthcare.

The country's infocomm regulator expects to award the tender in the first half of 2009. When appointed, the IDA said, selected AOs will implement a nationwide service offering consumers enhanced security via 2FA, without having to carry multiple devices to access various e-services.

AOs can offer multiple authentication devices and methods, depending on market needs, and consumers may hold more than one authentication device, such as a security token or an SMS One-Time-Password. However, the proposal calls for the device--regardless of its form factor--to enable consumers to access multiple online e-services that require strong authentication.

The NAF is a key program under IDA's 10-year Intelligent Nation Masterplan (iN2015).

IDA CEO Ronnie Tay said in a press statement: "Strong authentication is increasingly necessary as more e-services become available. For instance, with the NAF, users can look forward to secure and trusted access to next-generation services, which could be available on the new all-fiber next-generation National Broadband Network as early as 2010."

In June 2008, Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts Lee Boon Yang announced plans to develop the NAF, noting that the Singapore government was prepared to invest up to S$20 million (US$13.5 million) in the initiative.

Editorial standards