Risk
10/15/2013
12:16 PM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Verizon Enhances Cloud-Based Identity Platform

Universal Identity Services 2.0 comes with an updated mobile app, QR code-enabled access, and a simplified end-user interface.

Top 10 Government IT Innovators Of 2013
Top 10 Government IT Innovators Of 2013
(click image for larger view)
Verizon has added new capabilities to its cloud-based identity platform, offering government users a more secure system that goes beyond a username and password.

The platform, Universal Identity Services, combines a person's username and password with a one-time password or biometric scan, such as fingerprint recognition. Authenticated users can get access to online content and corporate resources -- and depending on the level of assurance, electronic medical records -- on computers, smartphones or tablets. Universal Identity Services runs in three secure data centers, and meets standards through the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

When it comes to government users, the benefits of cloud-based identity and access management are twofold, Tracy Hulver, senior identity strategist of Verizon Enterprise Solutions, said in a phone interview. "First, agencies want to make it easier and less expensive to validate employees and contractors. We can provide that two-factor authentication," said Hulver. "Second, what the government is really wrestling with is how to authenticate citizens. How can the government cut down on the number of credentials that citizens have, while keeping the costs down? The Affordable Care Act (ACA) online portal, for instance, is having problems getting people on and signed up with a username and password."

[ Want more on government security efforts? Read Energy Dept. Invests $30 Million In Utility Security. ]

One solution, Hulver said, is providing citizens with a single identity that they can use government-wide. Last December, Verizon teamed with Criterion Systems to develop a more secure online identity system. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) awarded $9 million to five pilot programs lead by teams of online-identity and technology providers in support of the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC). Verizon is one of two providers of high-assurance identity credentials on a pilot program.

NSTIC, a public-private initiative launched by the White House in 2011, aims to create cost-effective and easy-to-use "trust elevation," or validation efforts, for online credentials. With trust elevation, individuals would be able to use one set of credentials to access any site, including online banking and medical records. The system would use additional information to electronically validate a user, such as a fingerprint or a mobile phone number.

According to Hulver, Verizon, as a third-party identity provider, can scale to tens of thousands of users for a considerably smaller price point. The new features included in Verizon's Universal Identity Services are appealing to federal agencies looking for added security, he said. One such feature is Quick Response (QR) code-enabled access. Users can access a website using a unique QR code generated on a login screen, or scan a QR code as second-factor authentication on a smartphone.

The enhanced Universal Identity Services platform also includes an updated mobile app for the iOS, Android, Windows, and Blackberry operating systems; legally binding digital signature capabilities required for electronic prescriptions, online tax filing and license renewals; and a simplified end-user interface that provides administrators with an enhanced dashboard and operations reporting.

In addition to the new capabilities, Verizon has expanded the platform -- which was previously only offered in the U.S. -- to Europe.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Flash Poll
Current Issue
Cartoon
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2012-4988
Published: 2014-07-09
Heap-based buffer overflow in the xjpegls.dll (aka JLS, JPEG-LS, or JPEG lossless) format plugin in XnView 1.99 and 1.99.1 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via a crafted JLS image file.

CVE-2014-0207
Published: 2014-07-09
The cdf_read_short_sector function in cdf.c in file before 5.19, as used in the Fileinfo component in PHP before 5.4.30 and 5.5.x before 5.5.14, allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (assertion failure and application exit) via a crafted CDF file.

CVE-2014-0537
Published: 2014-07-09
Adobe Flash Player before 13.0.0.231 and 14.x before 14.0.0.145 on Windows and OS X and before 11.2.202.394 on Linux, Adobe AIR before 14.0.0.137 on Android, Adobe AIR SDK before 14.0.0.137, and Adobe AIR SDK & Compiler before 14.0.0.137 allow attackers to bypass intended access restrictions via uns...

CVE-2014-0539
Published: 2014-07-09
Adobe Flash Player before 13.0.0.231 and 14.x before 14.0.0.145 on Windows and OS X and before 11.2.202.394 on Linux, Adobe AIR before 14.0.0.137 on Android, Adobe AIR SDK before 14.0.0.137, and Adobe AIR SDK & Compiler before 14.0.0.137 allow attackers to bypass intended access restrictions via uns...

CVE-2014-3309
Published: 2014-07-09
The NTP implementation in Cisco IOS and IOS XE does not properly support use of the access-group command for a "deny all" configuration, which allows remote attackers to bypass intended restrictions on time synchronization via a standard query, aka Bug ID CSCuj66318.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Marilyn Cohodas and her guests look at the evolving nature of the relationship between CIO and CSO.