Verizon first to earn Level 3 ID certification

Verizon's certification as a Level 3 identity protection provider could open up a lot of potential business with the federal government, Nextgov reports.

The certification under the Identity, Credential and Access Management framework — the second highest on a four-level scale — requires a provider to do multifactor authentication of a user's identity by checking a second piece of data to verify a user's identity, in addition to the username and password. This could include smart cards or biometric data such as fingerprints.

Verizon is the first company to attain Level 3 certification, which could give it an edge in securing contracts with federal agencies that demand a high degree of ID trustworthiness because of the volume of transactions they conduct online. NextGov cites the IRS as one such agency, given the number of tax returns Americans file electronically each year.

Deborah Gallagher, acting director of the identity assurance and trusted access division at the General Services Administration, applauded Verizon for taking the lead in ID management.

"We are encouraged to see the U.S. government's vision take shape through the private sector as we advance our strategy to develop a trusted Internet framework that would better protect users through strong identity programs," Gallagher said.

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