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There are several international standards for identity assurance, like NIST (US), STORK  eIDAS (Europe, previously STORK) and ISO29115. SURFsecureID is based on ISO29115. The four levels of identity assurance commonly used are:

LoA 1Little or no confidence in the asserted identity
LoA 2Some confidence in the asserted identity
LoA 3High confidence in the asserted identity
LoA 4Very high confidence in the asserted identity


The different specifications elaborate on the meaning of these labels by specifying requirements for:


Several attributes provided by the IdP (e.g. first and last name, e-mail address) will be validated during registration and identification. In theory a LoA could be assigned to these attributes, which in attribute-based access control scenario’s could make authorization more reliable. There are however some arguments against doing this:

  • Mixing attributes with different LoA’s is complex
  • There is no suitable way to express differing LoA’s for attributes in SAML assertions
  • The registration process will be more complex

Because of these arguments SURFsecureID solely focuses on authentication LoA.