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White House releases plan to boost online security with trusted identities

The report builds on the Cyberspace Policy Review, commissioned by President Barack Obama, which analyzed the government's ICT infrastructure defensive capabilities.

The strategy proposes a system for identity management that would allow people to use various authentication methods to verify their identity before carrying out transactions online.

Transactions include buying goods online as well as accessing sensitive information such as health or banking records.

But, Howard Schmidt, White House cybersecurity co-ordinator, said making such a system effective will require creating an identity ecosystem, according to reports.

The strategy cannot exist in isolation and the identity ecosystem will have to be backed by extensive public/private co-operation, he said.

The strategy proposes that the government establish a set of standards to enable multiple suppliers to offer authentication services, according to the Financial Times.

These standards will also enable web users to visit multiple sites without re-submitting information once their identities have been verified.

The government hopes to succeed in establishing a multi-purpose identification system in the face of growing online fraud and intellectual property theft estimated at $1 000bn a year.

Stakeholders now have three weeks to comment on the newly-published National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace.

This article was first published by Computer Weekly

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