NIST to measure benefits of five identity management pilots

March 23, 2017 - 

The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Trusted Identities Group (TIG) revealed in a blog post that it will invest $750,000 to assess the benefits of five state and local government identity management pilot projects it funded in 2016.

In an effort to find a more effective authentication method, the measurement agency plans to award $750,000 to one vendor that can measure the benefits of NIST-funded pilot projects and find new opportunities for further widespread adoption.

Founded in 2015 as part of NIST’s Applied Cybersecurity Division, TIG works towards advancing measurement science, technology, and standards adoption to improve digital identity for both individuals and organizations.

The organization will quantify the benefits these solutions provide to the organization and end users, as well as communicate the lessons learned and insight into how successfully similar solutions can be adopted in public sector programs and government services.

The pilot projects can play an integral role in advancing digital identity for large populations, while the findings and lessons learned from this latest funding project will help guide NIST to better inform and improve upon extensive cybersecurity solutions in the future.

“NIST is the federal government’s measurement agency,” said Trusted Identities Group director Mike Garcia. “While our office focuses on innovation and adoption in the market, measurement is critical to understanding what solutions work and how effectively we’re spending taxpayer dollars. Ultimately, we expect that these independent assessments of pilot projects will help us—the identity community—understand the most successful technologies and approaches and improve decision making for anyone looking to invest in identity solutions.”

The five 2016 state pilots to be assessed include a Florida Department of Revenue child support program designed to increase service availability through a unified login system; a Yubico-led pilot in Colorado and Wisconsin that aims to create an “identify toolkit” to ease future deployments around the country; and an Ohio Department of Administrative Services pilot of a multi-factor authentication system to build stronger security around online services.

Other pilots include a digital drivers’ license pilot led by Gemalto and the departments of motor vehicles in Idaho, Maryland, Washington, Colorado, and Washington D.C.; and the ID.me pilot designed to provide consumers an all-in-one solution for identity management and authentication with the help of retailers in Austin, Texas and the State of Maine.

TIG will work with each pilot team to establish baseline metrics and collect ongoing data during implementation, with different timelines for each pilot.

The agency said it expects that the awarded organization will release a report for each pilot and a final report summarizing and comparing the five at the end.

The project will also actively share these reports in an effort to increase adoption of these solutions by sharing knowledge and lessons learned.

Millions of individuals have already been impacted by the 24 TIG pilots implemented throughout the years. In 2016 alone, TIG ran 24 pilot projects which has affected more than 7.4 million people.

TIG will host an applicants’ conference webinar on March 28 at 1:00 p.m. EST, where participants will have the opportunity to ask questions.

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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.