Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Best Practices for Privileged User PIV Authentication



Hildegard Ferraiolo, David A. 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
Created April 21, 2016, Updated June 9, 2020