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Three Pilot Projects Receive Grants to Improve Online Security and Privacy
For Immediate Release: September 17, 2014
The U.S. Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) today announced nearly $3 million in grants that will support projects for online identity protection to improve privacy, security and convenience. The three recipients of the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC) grants will pilot solutions that make it easier to use mobile devices instead of passwords for online authentication, minimize loss from fraud and improve access to state services.
This is the third round of grants awarded through NSTIC, which was launched by the Obama administration in 2011 and is managed by NIST. The initiative supports collaboration between the private sector, advocacy groups and public-sector agencies to encourage the adoption of secure, efficient, easy-to-use and interoperable identity credentials to access online services in a way that promotes confidence, privacy, choice and innovation.
“The Commerce Department is committed to protecting a free and open Internet, while also working with the private sector to ensure consumers’ security and privacy,” said U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews. “The grants announced will help spur development of new initiatives that aim to protect people and businesses from online identity theft and fraud.”
The NSTIC pilots have made progress both in advancing the strategy and fostering collaborations that would not otherwise have happened. One consortium of firms that are normally rivals wrote in its proposal, “Even if individual vendors in the identity space could develop a framework, it would be very difficult to get buy-in from other vendors who are competitors. With the recognition and funding from NSTIC, the pilot activities gain the vendor neutrality, visibility and credibility needed to get the various identity vendors to work together to develop a common framework that they can adopt.”
“The pilots take the vision and principles embodied in NSTIC and translate them into real solutions,” said NIST's Jeremy Grant, senior executive advisor for identity management and head of the NSTIC National Program Office. “At a time when concerns about data breaches and identity theft are growing, these new NSTIC pilots can play an important role in fostering a marketplace of online identity solutions.”
The pilots will also inform the work of the Identity Ecosystem Steering Group (IDESG), a private sector-led organization created to help coordinate development of standards that enable more secure, user-friendly ways to give individuals and organizations confidence in their online interactions.
The grantees announced today are:
GSMA (Atlanta, Ga.: $821,948)
Confyrm (San Francisco, Calif.: $1,235,376)
MorphoTrust USA (Billerica, Mass. $736,185)
As a non-regulatory agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, NIST promotes U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life. To learn more about NIST, visit www.nist.gov.