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Next Steps in Building the Trusted Identity Ecosystem

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There were several presentations on the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC) at the recent Smart Card Alliance 2011 Annual Conference.

Trojan HorseOne I found particularly interesting was yet another survey proving NSTIC is clearly focused on an issue of great concern to Americans. Patricia Titus, global chief information security officer for Unisys, told us their just released Security Index survey showed that while Americans are significantly more concerned about nearly all aspects of their security compared to six months ago, the largest rise in concern centered on Internet security. The survey showed Internet security concerns jumped 35 percent higher in just six months, with approximately half of Americans seriously concerned about viruses, spam and the safety of online shopping.

With massive data breaches against blue-chip companies like Sony making the headlines every week, and the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) reporting that 25% of all PCs are infected with some type of financial malware or downloader, it’s no wonder that people are frightened of their online security.

NSTIC will make a difference, and now is the time for government and the private sector to get to work and create the trusted identity ecosystem foundation. The next step is to set up governance for NSTIC direction with two subgroups:

  1. A policy group to define terms of participation for all stakeholders and establish privacy guidelines to get things started
  2. A technology group is required to define specifications and certification processes to ensure we create an ecosystem that is truly trustworthy especially for the higher levels of identity, and to ensure interoperability

I applaud the President and his team for having the foresight to take action on this issue of national importance. I personally look forward to working with representatives of government and my peers in the security technology industry to restore trust and safety in cyberspace for both individuals and businesses.

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