NIST becomes government member of FIDO Alliance

July 14, 2015 - 

National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) announced it recently joined the FIDO Alliance under its newly-created government membership class.

Previously reported, the FIDO (Fast IDentity Online) Alliance introduced a new class of membership for government agencies in which they can actively participate in the development of FIDO standards.

FIDO-based credentials are designed to provide an anonymous key without any publicly available serial number or central authority.

The FIDO 1.0 specifications – which are designed to provide an anonymous key without the use of a publically available serial number or central authority — allow for strong, multifactor credentials.

NIST, which houses the National Program Office for implementing the National Strategy for Trusted Identities, is focused on bringing stronger authentication to individuals.

“We are thrilled that FIDO is welcoming government participation in this industry-led initiative, and we look forward to supporting the development of future specifications,” said Mike Garcia, acting director of the NSTIC NPO. “We see this as a great opportunity to advance work on both sides and to bring NIST’s capabilities to the FIDO table.”

The partnership of the two organizations marks a logical step toward achieving their respective and complimentary goals.

The partnership will also support the work of Identity Ecosystem Steering Group (IDESG), a private sector-led organization developing a framework of requirements and policies for interoperability across the identity ecosystem.

“Cross-sector collaboration is vital to wide adoption of FIDO specifications, and we consider NIST an ideal government member,” said Brett McDowell, executive director of the FIDO Alliance. “There is little doubt that the NSTIC, and the work of the NSTIC NPO, have had a direct and positive influence on several of the contributors in the FIDO Alliance, and I’m optimistic about the great things we can accomplish working together directly to promote stronger authentication.”

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About Justin Lee

Justin Lee has been a contributor with Biometric Update since 2014. Previously, he was a staff writer for web hosting magazine and website, theWHIR. For more than a decade, Justin has written for various publications on issues relating to technology, arts and culture, and entertainment. Follow him on Twitter @BiometricJustin.