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Best Practices for Privileged User PIV Authentication



Hildegard Ferraiolo, David Cooper, Andrew R. Regenscheid, Karen Scarfone, Murugiah P. Souppaya


The Cybersecurity Strategy and Implementation Plan (CSIP), published by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on October 30, 2015, requires that federal agencies use Personal Identity Verification (PIV) credentials for authenticating privileged users. This will greatly reduce unauthorized access to privileged accounts by attackers impersonating system, network, security, and database administrators, as well as other information technology (IT) personnel with administrative privileges. This white paper further explains the need for multi-factor PIV-based user authentication to take the place of password-based single-factor authentication for privileged users. It also provides best practices for agencies implementing PIV authentication for privileged users.


authentication, Cybersecurity Strategy and Implementation Plan (CSIP), Derived PIV Credential, identification, multi-factor authentication, Personal Identity Verification (PIV), PIV Card, privileged access, privileged user


Ferraiolo, H. , Cooper, D. , Regenscheid, A. , Scarfone, K. and Souppaya, M. (2016), Best Practices for Privileged User PIV Authentication, Other, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed July 20, 2024)


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Created April 20, 2016, Updated May 4, 2021