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NZ Authentication Standards launched

NZ Authentication Standards launched

21 August 2006

State Services Minister Annette King and Internal Affairs Minister Rick Barker today launched the suite of standards for Authentication. Authentication is the process of establishing, to the required level of confidence, the identity of one or more parties to a transaction.

The standards, published by the State Services Commission, are designed to provide New Zealanders with a uniform and consistent experience of secure transactions with government agencies. These transactions can be online or in-person.

"Recent media coverage has highlighted an increase in both the frequency and sophistication of attacks on online services. There is growing evidence that the use of passwords or other forms of 'shared secrets' alone is becoming increasingly vulnerable to attack from both local and global sources," Annette King said.

The authentication standards are based on an assessment of the identity-related risks associated with the delivery of services. They will enable government agencies to deliver a wider range of online services with greater confidence in the identity of individuals they transact with. This will, in turn, assist agencies to achieve the Networked State Services Development Goal of transforming the operation of government through the use of the Internet

"New Zealand government agencies have put an impressive array of public information online, but are increasingly looking to bring more services online that offer New Zealanders the convenience, privacy and security they expect.

"Authentication ensures services are delivered securely to the right person. To give people confidence in secure online government services, a consistent approach is needed for online authentication across government", Annette King said.

The suite of authentication standards contains business process, technology, and data standards aimed at maintaining and improving authentication processes and services for government agencies delivering services to people, particularly those delivered using the Internet.

Working groups comprising representatives from a range of government and non-government stakeholder groups developed these standards over the last eighteen months, with public consultation on draft standards undertaken between December 2005 and February 2006.

The authentication standards have been developed and published as a part of the current phase of the All-of-government Authentication Programme, a key component of the Government's E-government Strategy. In addition to providing assistance to agencies when they implement these standards, the Authentication Programme will develop further standards as required to support agency needs.

For further information on the Authentication Programme, including electronic copies of the authentication standards, please visit the ‘government website http://www.e.govt.nz/standards/e-gif/authentication/ .


ENDS


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