Jeremy Grant is leaving the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace in capable hands as he departs the program office, but before he exits he shared some of his thoughts on how the strategy has progressed over the last four years.
Grant says the U.S. is in good shape and seen a lot of advances made in the identity ecosystem. He points to efforts by the FIDO Alliance and OpenID Connect, which are offering standards-based two-factor authentication.
The national strategy has funded 15 pilots effecting students, senior citizens, veterans, and consumers of all types. “The pilots are collectively laying the groundwork for a vibrant new market; they are developing and deploying solutions, models, and frameworks for online identity that didn’t previously exist. And, they are informing the development of the Identity Ecosystem Framework being developed by the Identity Ecosystem Steering Group,” Grant writes.
Connect.gov will launch with a vision of the identity ecosystem. Several agencies will rollout the system that enabled citizens to use credentials they already gave for access to government sites. “It ensures that a veteran who wants to not only get access to digital services at the VA – but also access digital government applications at the State Department, GSA, and NIST – can use the same strong credential across all of those sites, without having to create a new account at each,” Grant states.
More importantly with Connect.gov, the government won’t issue that credential – because the system is built to enable people to use a credential they already have. Because of President Obama’s Executive Order last year, other U.S, agencies will also be integrating their digital applications with Connect.gov.
The also is the progress of the IDESG. The group is an independent, non-profit corporation, and is making progress toward delivering version one of an Identity Ecosystem Framework this year, Grant states. “This framework will deliver a baseline set of standards and policies that enables individuals and organizations to start using a new generation of more secure, convenient, privacy-enhancing credentials that are interoperable across the Internet,” he added.
In honor of NSTIC’s fourth anniversary, the National Program Office will be publishing a series of blogs on standards, pilots, Connect.gov and the IDESG. These posts will be reviewing the progress that has been made, as well as laying out the work still to be done. “And to be clear, there is still a lot to do, and many ways for people to still get involved. But the progress that this effort has made these last few years is notable,” Grants stated. “At a time when concerns about security and privacy continue to keep the Internet from reaching its full potential, the philosophy underpinning the NSTIC is more vital than ever.”
Mike Garcia, the program office’s deputy director, will be stepping into the director role with Grant’s departure.