police officer using wireless device (First Responder Network Authority/Flickr)

NIST updates guidance for authenticating responders

To help public safety organization navigate the expanding authentication options for applications used in emergencies, the National Institute of Standards and Technology has updated its guidance for single sign-on for public safety applications.

With the advances available through 5G and the FirstNet public safety wireless broadband network, current authentication services may not be sustainable, NIST said. Agencies are deploying increasing numbers of devices and applications -- some of which tap into personal health information or criminal justice data -- and responders must be  able to access that information quickly.

The Cybersecurity Practice Guide, Mobile Application Single Sign-On: Improving Authentication for Public Safety First Responders, describes how public safety organizations can use single sign-on and multi-factor authentication technologies to speed authentication of responders across organizational boundaries and improve interoperability among mobile platforms, applications and identity providers.

At request of the public safety community, the guide was updated to incorporate iOS version 12.

Comments on the draft are due June 28.

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