Locks and Security News: your weekly locks and security industry newsletter
18th September 2019 Issue no. 475
Your industry news - first
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Denmark to Enter eID Age
Businesses in Denmark are on the brink of a new digital horizon. Beginning January 1, 2014 the authorities of the Scandinavian country will change their correspondence to all digital. In order to receive a message from a public agency, a digital certificate will be necessary.
This new legal situation requires that every organization and citizen with a VAT number registered in Denmark will require a digital certificate. This certificate will be used for, among other things, communication with the financial authorities which includes digitally signed tax declarations. As a result of this transition, the demand for digital certificates in Denmark has risen considerably.
The main provider of digital certificates in Denmark is the national Certification Authority, DanID. More than 60,000 business users are already DanID customers. Currently, the private keys issued by DanID are typically stored as software files, although this is neither secure nor user-friendly.
"We therefore expect that more and more users will transfer to smart cards or security tokens", says Bjarke Alling, CEO of Liga Distribution ApS. The Copenhagen based company serves the smart card market with their own security solution named SmartSignatur. This consists of a smart card or smart USB token, smart card middleware, and special PDF signature software. The security token middleware used in this bundle is cv act sc/interface, which is developed by German IT security specialist cryptovision. Since cv act sc/interface supports all popular cards and tokens it enables Liga to offer cover Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X users.
One important target group of the both Danish certificate authority and card suppliers are small and medium sized enterprises. So far, digital signatures and certificate-based authentication are not very common in this market yet. "In some countries, like Germany and Belgium, electronic identity cards have considerably increased the usage of digital certificates", says Markus Hoffmeister, CEO of cryptovision.
"After all, every citizen now carries digital certificate technology in his pocket." However, in Denmark no electronic identity card has been issued to date. Therefore the digital certificates currently minted are expected to take the prime role in establishing digital identities. Many hope new developments with digital certificates will increase in popularity for applications that do not require them by law, for example as two factor password substitute for online transactions. Bjarke Alling is optimistic: "Especially for digital signatures I see a great future. Manual signatures used on contracts, vouchers, meeting minutes and many other documents can be replaced by digital signatures. Denmark was no early adopter of this technology, but now the eID age is about to start."
29th May 2013