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GCN : May 2014
verifying an applicant's identity at a high level of assurance. 2. FEDERATED IDENTITY IN PENNSYLVANIA Pennsylvania's Department of Public Wel- fare already has a mature identity man- agement program in place, said the state's CISO Erik Avakian. The department has one of the largest identity databases in the state, with millions of names, and will be a key player in the program to enable the expanded use of digital credentials for citizens. "What NIST is asking us to do is pretty complex if you don't have some things al- ready in place," Avakian said. "Right now it's kind of kludgy," with each agency us- ing its own database and its own applica- tion for issuing credentials. The pilot will extend the Welfare Department's digital Keystone ID for use by other departments. Currently, creation of a Keystone ID ac- count requires no real validation. Identity proofing is done when a citizen using the online ID applies for benefits. Under the pilot, an identity proofing service would verify identity at the time the Keystone ID account is created, much like in Michi- gan's Bridges pilot. However, Pennsyl- vania will add a layer of federation, that will allow other departments to accept and trust the Keystone ID credentials for online services. The federated bridge between departments will be created by Deloitte. The decision whether a department will trust a given Keystone ID credential will depend on the level of validation that was done when it was created. Getting a fishing license, for example, does not re- quire the same level of trust as registering for cash benefits, so a credential created to get a fishing license probably would require additional validation before it would be accepted by the Welfare Depart- ment. But once validated at a higher level of trust, it could be accepted by any de- partment for uses at or below that level. Accepting credentials issued by other departments could not only streamline delivery of online services for both citi- zens and agencies, but also could reduce the amount of personal information each department has to maintain, improving security and privacy. The pilot is expected to begin this spring and run through September, Ava- kian said. "But that's a moving target. NIST is interested in seeing successful pilots." NIST has awarded grants for NSTIC pilot programs to 10 other organizations in addition to Michigan and Pennsylvania in the 2012 and 2013 rounds of funding, and the application period for a third round of funding closed in March. Suc- cessful applicants are expected to be an- nounced in August. • SUBSCRIBE TODAY Choose a GCN Newsletter... [IT T'S S FREE! ] SIGN UP NOW: GCN.com/subscribe 26 GCN MAY 2014 • GCN.COM CASE STUDY AUTHENTICATION TACTICS