White House plans strategy for better cyber authentication

Obama administration to release draft of National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace

The Obama administration plans to release late this week a draft of a new national strategy for improving capabilities to identify and authenticate people, organizations and infrastructure in cyberspace, the White House’s top cyber official said today.

The National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace document lays out goals and objectives to allow for laws, policies and programs to improve the trustworthiness of digital identities in cyberspace, said Howard Schmidt, the White House’s cyber coordinator. Schmidt said the document, now in its second version, would be released June 25 for public comment.

Schmidt, speaking during at the Symantec Government Symposium held in Washington, said that the strategy was called for by the Obama administration’s review of cyber policy that was completed last year. The strategy builds on work the government has done in identity management under Homeland Security Presidential Directive-12. He also said it recognizes the need to educate users of computer systems.

The strategy cannot exist in isolation and it’s going to take a commitment to security, he added. “We can’t do this in isolation, we’ve got to work together to design this system,” Schmidt said emphasizing the need for government and industry to collaborate on the effort.


Related stories

Cybersecurity failings defy answers

DARPA: Calling all cyber geneticists


Schmidt said improving identification in cyberspace will involve working with industry to design an ecosystem for identities in cyberspace, build it, and then manage it. He said officials anticipate the strategy will lead to:

  • Improved identity solutions and reduced online identity theft
  • Better overall online experience
  • Online innovation and
  • Reduced costs.

Schmidt said identity solutions for cyberspace need to be:

  • Secure and desirable
  • Interoperable and federated
  • Privacy-enhancing and voluntary and
  • Cost-effective and easy to use.

The administration will use Web 2.0 technologies to gather feedback from people on the draft strategy, Schmidt said. After that process, President Barack Obama will review the strategy and make a final decision on it.

“As we prepare this we want to make sure that we have every view point possible in pulling this together,” Schmidt said, adding that the goal is to have Obama sign the document this fall.

 

About the Author

Ben Bain is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

Featured

  • Records management: Look beyond the NARA mandates

    Records management is about to get harder

    New collaboration technologies ramped up in the wake of the pandemic have introduced some new challenges.

  • puzzled employee (fizkes/Shutterstock.com)

    Phish Scale: Weighing the threat from email scammers

    The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Phish Scale quantifies characteristics of phishing emails that are likely to trick users.

Stay Connected

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.