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SURFconext Strong Authentication was released in production on 31July 2015. All documentation on SURFconext Strong Authentication has been moved to Please visit this wiki for the latest info.


This space covers all documentation that is related to the 'strong authentication via SURFconext' project.


As of 2015 SURFconext will offer strong authentication functionality to institutions and end-users in Dutch higher education and research.

Until now, passwords are used as primary authentication method, although they are generally considered not secure enough to prevent unauthorized access for applications like student information systems or e-HRM systems. Multi-factor authentication is deemed necessary, but institutions in Dutch higher education and research experience barriers that hinder the introduction of multi-factor authentication within their organization. If every institution would implement its own strong authentication solution, this would mean a major investment and complex integration with the existing identity provider software. Multiply this by 120 (= number of connected identity providers) and it becomes clear that it will be more efficient to develop a centralized infrastructure.

SURFnet – the IT innovation partner of Dutch higher education and research - strives to take away (some of) those barriers by adding a multi-factor authentication service to the SURFconext platform.

In a nutshell

The strong authentication functionality of SURFconext enables institutions to enforce strong authentication for their users when they access certain service providers.

Each user will go through an enrollment process that is handled by its home institution locally. After selecting and activating their second authentication factor; SMS, Tiqr (smartphone app) or Yubikey (hardware token), the user can re-use this token for every service provider that requires strong authentication.



Development production service SuaaSQ3 2014 - Q2 2015In progress
(Beta)release SuaaSQ1-2 2015Released
PilotsQ1-Q2 2015


Production releaseQ2-2015Version 1.0 of the Stepup software has been released
Live Service2015-08-01In progress


Eefje van der HarstPilots, Business case
Joost van DijkTechnical
Pieter van der MeulenTechnical, lead

Please contact us via: info [ at ]



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