Making derived mobile credentials work

The National Institute of Standards and Technology recently issued a practice guide showing two ways federal employees using mobile devices could be authenticated to access secure information systems and applications.

Derived personal identity verification (PIV) credentials could get wider use if the latest National Institute of Standards and Technology guidelines get traction.   NIST is currently considering comments on a second draft of Special Publication 1800-12 practice guide that includes two sample implementations showing how federal employees using mobile devices could be authenticated to access secure information systems and applications.  

Seeing the applications laid out in the SP 1800-12 is a huge boon to derived PIV credentials (DPC), which are intended for use by federal agencies that need to authenticate the identity of workers and contractors who must access to information systems at varying levels of security, said Chris Edwards, CTO at Intercede, a cybersecurity firm specializing in digital identities. The company was one of five industry consultants on the second draft, which builds on the concepts laid out in last year’s original draft.

“The theory’s great,” Edwards said. But “what does it actually take to put this lot together? What are my components? How do I assemble a solution that does this?”

That's what the practice guide provides.  

“The Derived PIV Credentials guide aims to help agencies understand the options, capabilities, and limitations of the solutions available in the market today and to deploy the solutions that fit organizational needs,” Bill Newhouse, security engineer at NCCoE and lead author of the draft, said via email.

The security architecture examples illustrate how DPC can be issued to mobile devices using commercial products that use the PIV standard for remote authentication to IT systems. The National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence built an enterprise network environment using common components such as identity repositories, supporting certificate authorities and web servers. NCCoE then selected products and capabilities that demonstrated life cycle guidelines in NIST SP 800-157, Guidelines for DPC.

One implementation uses a software-only solution with cloud services managing the life cycle of PIV and DPC. It also introduces enterprise mobility management into the workflow, Newhouse said, because that’s “useful in applying SP 800-157 life cycle guidelines by integrating an organization’s mobile device issuance process with DPC issuance. EMMs can also assist with terminating the DPC by remotely destroying the EMM’s software container.”

The other implementation uses an enterprise credential management system to issue credentials to a software container and taps Intel Authenticate to store the DPC.

Both examples use cloud where possible through a software-as-a-service component, and they’re mapped to the NIST Cybersecurity Framework and the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education Cybersecurity Workforce Framework.

In translating these implementations to a given agency, IT managers may be able to pick and choose among the examples’ capabilities.

“We demonstrated a standards-based reference design that provides agencies with the information they need to replicate the DPC example implementations,” Newhouse said. “Nevertheless, the reference designs are modular. They can be deployed in whole or in part, or an agency can use the guide as a starting point for tailoring and implementing parts of the DPC example solutions.”

In weighing how best to adopt DPC, Intercede’s Edwards said IT managers should consider what hardware they might need, such as the type of mobile device and registration kiosks.

Agencies must consider whether they need a completely new system or if they can enhance and upgrade their current system. They also must decide how much control they want over it, Edwards said, because those kinds of questions will help determine whether an agency needs to make an expensive replacement of the entire system or "being able to say, ‘I just need to drop this derived credential component on and I can do that with a relatively light touch at a relatively low cost.’”

Although the draft is not intended to endorse a product or company, the input from vendors was crucial, Newhouse wrote.

“NCCoE cannot develop relevant cybersecurity solutions in isolation and without input from government and industry -- collaboration and feedback from all interested stakeholders is critical to our success,” he said.

Edwards said Intercede is starting to have projects come through for delivering derived credentials.

“The logjam has been cleared,” he said,  “and I think that this NIST report has played some part in that in giving agencies the confidence to say, ‘Yes, this is now a solution that can be deployed.’”

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.