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Washington updates digital ID authentication options and hunts for IoT bottleneck spotters

Washington updates digital ID authentication options and hunts for IoT bottleneck spotters

The U.S. federal government is lurching forward on two biometrics fronts — digital ID verification and the Internet of Things.

NIST, or the National Institute of Standards and Technology, updated the kinds of accepted digital identification that can be used by employees and contractors to access government assets.

And, separately, the Department of Commerce began looking for 16 members of a new advisory board created to accelerate the development of federal IoT systems and policies.

NIST’s announcement on the Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 201 comes as part of a periodic review of ID policies. Personal identification verification (PIV) cards had been the only approved encrypted, digital ID capable of holding a face image, finger and iris prints and other biometric data.

The PIV card is now being joined by multiple new formats and technologies that reflect the proliferation of mobile devices, cloud services and remote-provisioning needs. Two methods mentioned in NIST’s announcement are Fast ID Online, or FIDO, tokens and one-time passwords.

New federal ID options are spelled out here.

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are working in a related, tactical area, fitting biometrics onto edge devices that have modest resources.

The Commerce Department, on the other hand, is planning a strategic move.

Officials want nominees for their IoT advisory board, which will counsel the IoT Federal Working Group, which also is newly defined.

Of particular interest is help spotting any policies, programs and regulation that either slow or accelerate IoT development among federal agencies. The desire to expand IoT use while adhering to federal cybersecurity priorities could lead to guidance involving biometrics and multi-factor authentication.

It appears that they want to bring only relevant experts from outside the government, including people from business, non-profit organizations and academic institutions.

Seats come with a two-year commitment. The Federal Register has published full details about expectations for the board.

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