E-authentication gains ground in agencies

Agencies slowly are warming up to using electronic signatures and other forms of electronic verification as a part of their everyday business.

The Treasury Department is piloting a smart-card program for electronic and physical access, CIO Drew Ladner said last week at an e-government conference sponsored by Federal Sources Inc. of McLean, Va., and Potomac Forum Ltd. of Potomac, Md.

And the Environmental Protection Agency is working on a final rule to let state governments and private companies submit mandatory environmental reports electronically, said Wendy Cleland-Hamnett, who works in the agency’s CIO’s office and is responsible for EPA’s Government Paperwork Elimination Act reporting.

“We have been working on this for a number of years and hope to have it out by this fall,” Cleland-Hamnett said. “We are trying to ensure we can trace the signature back to the person in cases of civil or criminal liability.”

EPA is considering using a public-key infrastructure with a PIN and password to authenticate a user through the federal e-authentication gateway, she said.

Treasury’s test program is for a selected set of employees, and it also is integrated with the agency’s PKI deployment, Ladner said.

“We want to ensure convergence with the e-authentication gateway,” Ladner said. “We are aligning the level of risk with the security needed.”

The test will continue into the fall, and then Treasury will evaluate the results, Ladner said.

“We are interested in looking at different authentication services and what value they can provide,” he added.

About the Author

Connect with the GCN staff on Twitter @GCNtech.

Featured

  • Congress
    Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) at the Hack the Capitol conference Sept. 20, 2018

    Jim Langevin's view from the Hill

    As chairman of of the Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committe and a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rhode Island Democrat Jim Langevin is one of the most influential voices on cybersecurity in Congress.

  • Comment
    Pilot Class. The author and Barbie Flowers are first row third and second from right, respectively.

    How VA is disrupting tech delivery

    A former Digital Service specialist at the Department of Veterans Affairs explains efforts to transition government from a legacy "project" approach to a more user-centered "product" method.

  • Cloud
    cloud migration

    DHS cloud push comes with complications

    A pressing data center closure schedule and an ensuing scramble to move applications means that some Homeland Security components might need more than one hop to get to the cloud.

Stay Connected

FCW INSIDER

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.