White House plans strategy for better cyber authentication

Obama administration to release draft of National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace

The Obama administration plans to release late this week a draft of a new national strategy for improving capabilities to identify and authenticate people, organizations and infrastructure in cyberspace, the White House’s top cyber official said today.

The National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace document lays out goals and objectives to allow for laws, policies and programs to improve the trustworthiness of digital identities in cyberspace, said Howard Schmidt, the White House’s cyber coordinator. Schmidt said the document, now in its second version, would be released June 25 for public comment.

Schmidt, speaking during at the Symantec Government Symposium held in Washington, said that the strategy was called for by the Obama administration’s review of cyber policy that was completed last year. The strategy builds on work the government has done in identity management under Homeland Security Presidential Directive-12. He also said it recognizes the need to educate users of computer systems.

The strategy cannot exist in isolation and it’s going to take a commitment to security, he added. “We can’t do this in isolation, we’ve got to work together to design this system,” Schmidt said emphasizing the need for government and industry to collaborate on the effort.


Related stories

Cybersecurity failings defy answers

DARPA: Calling all cyber geneticists


Schmidt said improving identification in cyberspace will involve working with industry to design an ecosystem for identities in cyberspace, build it, and then manage it. He said officials anticipate the strategy will lead to:

  • Improved identity solutions and reduced online identity theft
  • Better overall online experience
  • Online innovation and
  • Reduced costs.

Schmidt said identity solutions for cyberspace need to be:

  • Secure and desirable
  • Interoperable and federated
  • Privacy-enhancing and voluntary and
  • Cost-effective and easy to use.

The administration will use Web 2.0 technologies to gather feedback from people on the draft strategy, Schmidt said. After that process, President Barack Obama will review the strategy and make a final decision on it.

“As we prepare this we want to make sure that we have every view point possible in pulling this together,” Schmidt said, adding that the goal is to have Obama sign the document this fall.

 

About the Author

Ben Bain is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

The Fed 100

Read the profiles of all this year's winners.

Featured

  • Then-presidential candidate Donald Trump at a 2016 campaign event. Image: Shutterstock

    'Buy American' order puts procurement in the spotlight

    Some IT contractors are worried that the "buy American" executive order from President Trump could squeeze key innovators out of the market.

  • OMB chief Mick Mulvaney, shown here in as a member of Congress in 2013. (Photo credit Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

    White House taps old policies for new government makeover

    New guidance from OMB advises agencies to use shared services, GWACs and federal schedules for acquisition, and to leverage IT wherever possible in restructuring plans.

  • Shutterstock image (by Everett Historical): aerial of the Pentagon.

    What DOD's next CIO will have to deal with

    It could be months before the Defense Department has a new CIO, and he or she will face a host of organizational and operational challenges from Day One

  • USAF Gen. John Hyten

    General: Cyber Command needs new platform before NSA split

    U.S. Cyber Command should be elevated to a full combatant command as soon as possible, the head of Strategic Command told Congress, but it cannot be separated from the NSA until it has its own cyber platform.

  • Image from Shutterstock.

    DLA goes virtual

    The Defense Logistics Agency is in the midst of an ambitious campaign to eliminate its IT infrastructure and transition to using exclusively shared, hosted and virtual services.

  • Fed 100 logo

    The 2017 Federal 100

    The women and men who make up this year's Fed 100 are proof positive of what one person can make possibile in federal IT. Read on to learn more about each and every winner's accomplishments.

Reader comments

Mon, Jun 28, 2010 TheCBob Texas

For those of us that have worked in the computer security industry more than a couple of years, there are a host of good products and even better procedures to use for I&A. I'm not getting a warm fuzzy knowing the current administration is leading this.

Wed, Jun 23, 2010 Bad Bob Fort Huachuca, Arizona

Why should identity be limited to cyberspace? There is still the need for a National ID card married to a system for assured identity where no one can be issued official identity under false pretenses. This would eliminate the scourge if identity theft. The Fourteenth Amendment created a new class of citizen directly subject to the jurisdiction of the federal government. The feds have a responsibility to identify all those subject to the jurisdiction thereof.

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group