New Authentication Mechanisms - Fact Sheet

Page last updated: 30 August 2017

AUSkey is the primary authentication mechanism for service providers and assessors to securely access and use the My Aged Care system.

Following feedback from the state and territory governments on AUSkey access issues, the Department is promoting two new secure authentication mechanisms – the VANguard Federated Authentication Service (FAS) and Manage ABN Connections.

VANguard FAS

Delivered by the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, FAS allows users logged onto their own network to seamlessly authenticate and use government web applications that are hosted on external networks. FAS users do not require additional credentials (such as AUSkey) or additional software on their computer.

Government and non-government organisations wanting to use the My Aged Care portals are able to use VANguard FAS.

FAS is suitable for any organisation with corporate network infrastructure that includes an Identity Management System (for example, Active Directory Federation Server). This is more common in larger organisations.

There are no fees payable to VANguard for using FAS. 

Key benefits of using VANguard FAS

Organisations may wish to consider using FAS as a replacement or in addition to AUSkey due to the following benefits:

  • Seamless access to the My Aged Care portals, allowing Assessors and Service Providers to perform key tasks that support clients and help to manage their workload.
  • Outlets will no longer have an administrative load to manage AUSkeys for staff accessing the My Aged Care portals.
  • Simple set-up without significant changes, providing minimal disruption to an outlet’s activities (assuming appropriate IT infrastructure exists).
  • Access to My Aged Care portals is managed through the outlet’s existing administrative processes as staff are employed or leave.
  • Unlike AUSkey, there is no reliability on Java software or it’s updates to operate FAS
  • Implementing FAS may enable access to other Government online services with little or no additional effort.

Manage ABN Connections

Manage ABN Connections allows business associates and/or their authorised representatives to connect one or more Australian business numbers (ABNs) to their myGov account. They can then securely access a range of government online business services. This is a secure login alternative to AUSkey.

Using Manage ABN Connections requires no IT set-up by organisations, and connections can be created in a few simple steps by users on their own device. For instructions on completing this process visit the Australian Business Register website.

Key benefits of using Manage ABN Connections

Organisations may wish to consider using Manage ABN Connections as a replacement or in addition to AUSkey due to the following benefits:

  • Provides a convenient, contemporary alternative to AUSkey with no IT support required to set-up or maintain the credential.
  • Provides users with a single username and password for personal and business online government services – less passwords to remember.
  • Provides greater flexibility to conduct business anytime, anywhere because it's compatible with all browsers and mobile devices.

Key differences between the authentication mechanisms

There are a number of key differences between the authentication mechanisms:

 

AUSkey

Manage ABN Connections

VANguard FAS

Obtaining and managing the credential

Each user individually registers for their own AUSkey, which is downloaded and stored on their local machine or a USB. Their registration must be approved by an authorised AUSkey holder.

If the password is forgotten, the user must register for a new AUSkey.

If the user leaves the organisation, their AUSkey must be cancelled manually.

Each user connects one or more ABNs to their new or existing myGov account.

If the password is forgotten, it can be reset through the myGov website.

If the user is no longer authorised e.g. leaves the organisation, their ABN connection must be cancelled manually.

Automatically given to all users on the corporate network, and accessible any time the user is logged in to the corporate network.

Forgotten corporate network passwords are managed by the organisation. No additional password required.

If the user leaves the organisation, their access to the portals will be automatically removed when their corporate network access is removed.

Access to My Aged Care portal

Each user has an individual AUSkey password for each portal, in addition to their organisation logon details. User selects their AUSkey and enters their password every time they access the portals.

Each user has their own myGov username and password, in addition to their organisation log in details. User selects myGov from the logon page and enters their username and password every time they access the portals.

Users do not require additional usernames or passwords for the portals. User selects their organisation during the first time they login. Subsequent log-ins are transparent to the user.

Access to the myAssessor application

Yes

Yes

Yes; there is no impact on access to the application if an organisation moves to FAS.

IT Network

Effective for organisations with one or multiple networks.

Effective for organisations with one or multiple networks.

Effective when all users are on one network.

Active Directory

Effective for organisations with one or multiple Active Directories.

Effective for organisations with one or multiple Active Directories.

Effective when all users are on one Active Directory.

Remote Access

Access via any internet connection, however staff can only access the portals from the computer on which their AUSkey is loaded or via USB if they have downloaded their AUSkey ..

Access via any internet connection from any device.

Users logged into their corporate network remotely (on any computer) will be able to access the portals using FAS.

Java software

Requires Java; organisations must ensure that their Java software is compatible with AUSkey, according to the AUSkey website, to continue portal use.

Not required

Not required

IT Set up

Users download and install their AUSkey to their local computer or a USB. This may require assistance from IT support depending on the security of the network.

No specific hardware or software required.

Depending on your organisation’s IT capability, may require IT set-up and additional costs. In most cases connecting with VANguard should be straight forward without significant or costly changes.

Setting up VANguard FAS

Once you have discussed with VANguard the suitability of FAS for your organisation and determined that you would like to progress, set-up will include:

  1. Installation of an Identity Management System (if one does not exist already)
  2. Provision of  support documentation by VANguard
  3. Configuration of access by VANguard including troubleshooting advice to assist your integration.

VANguard can provide access to FAS within 15 working days, subject to the organisation’s readiness to integrate. During the establishing stage, users will be able to use their AUSkey to access the My Aged Care portals. Depending on your anticipated implementation timeframes, you may wish to ask your users to create a Manage ABN Connections credential as an alternative to AUSkey.

There may be a cost associated with any IT upgrades required for implementation.

Use of AUSkey with VANguard FAS

AUSkey/Manage ABN Connections and FAS are separate methods for accessing the My Aged Care portals.

Organisations may choose to use both an AUSkey/Manage ABN Connections and FAS authentication based on their portal needs. If users require access to both the My Aged Care assessor and service provider portals simultaneously, both AUSkey/Manage ABN Connections and FAS are required (or two separate AUSkeys). In this scenario, it is recommended that FAS is used on the portal with the highest number of users. For more information, see the guidance document for VANguard dual portal users.

We are investigating upgrades to allow users to access more than one My Aged Care portal using FAS. This will remove the need to use AUSkeys in this scenario. This upgrade will also allow a single AUSkey access to both portals.

More information

For more information about Manage ABN Connections, please visit the ABR website.

For more information about VANguard FAS and the process for integrating, you can: