White House Releases National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace

On Friday, the White House released the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC). In a ceremony at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke and Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard Schmidt unveiled the new Strategy, which will advance our nation’s efforts in cyber security for all Americans. For the ISE, the NSTIC outlines key principles and guidance for the ISE’s interoperability initiatives.

What is NSTIC?
picture of a laptop computer and a red padlock
The NSTIC was created in response to President Obama’s Cyberspace Policy Review. According to the White House Press Release, the NSTIC seeks to “better protect consumers from fraud and identity theft, enhance individuals’ privacy, and foster economic growth by enabling industry both to move more services online and to create innovative new services. The NSTIC aims to make online transactions more trustworthy, thereby giving businesses and consumers more confidence in conducting business online. . . The goal is to create an 'Identity Ecosystem' in which there will be interoperable, secure, and reliable credentials available to consumers who want them.”

NSTIC and the ISE
The PM-ISE has supported the development of the NSTIC since its inception. The NSTIC is based in part on the Federal Identity Credential and Access Management (FICAM) Roadmap and Implementation Guide, which was released in November 2009. Together, NSTIC and the FICAM Roadmap will serve as the foundational framework for the ISE initiatives focused on sharing information securely between networks operated by different organizations, including among different levels of government (federal, state, local and tribal). For example, NSTIC will form the basis for a simplified sign-on solution – a key part of the Sensitive But Unclassified (SBU) Interoperability Initiative.

In short, NSTIC is a key building block on the way to a whole-of-government, customer-centric approach to secure information sharing and improved privacy protections.

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