Industry leader pushes for 'more robust' security
- By L. Scott Tillett, L. Scott Tillett
- Feb 24, 2000
The head of the International Biometric Industry Association this week urged
federal leaders to consider creating a "more robust" plan for securing government
The plea from the association came in the form of a letter
from IBIA executive director Richard Norton to Richard Clarke, national
coordinator for security, infrastructure protection and counterterrorism.
The letter intended as a response to the National Plan for Information
that the Clinton Administration unveiled on Jan. 7 takes aim at a cyberdefense
strategy that relies heavily on public-key infrastructure (PKI), a system
that uses mechanisms such as digital certificates to authenticate electronic
IBIA leaders propose adding to the plan a greater focus on biometrics such as electronic verification of a computer user's fingerprints to ensure
the security of computer systems.
"IBIA recognizes the benefits of a PKI that uses digital certificates to
authenticate the origin of electronic transactions and communications,"
Norton wrote in his letter to Clarke. "However, a PKI alone cannot provide
positive identification of the individual who initiates a transaction or
data access request.... Specifically, IBIA encourages the Administration
to adopt a more robust plan that incorporates biometric authentication products
as part of a multilayered security infrastructure that accurately identifies
people who access or send information."
Norton argues that adding biometrics to a computer security plan would not
replace other means of securing a system. Rather, he says biometrics would
operate in conjunction with other computer security methods such as PKI
and smart cards.