Standards and Policies

State of Colorado

Policy on the Issuance of Colorado Personal Identity Verification - Interoperable (PIV-I) Cards (issued 2010)

Federal and National

FIPS 201

In response to HSPD 12, the NIST Computer Security Division initiated a new program for improving the identification and authentication of Federal employees and contractors for access to Federal facilities and information systems. Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 201, entitled Personal Identity Verification of Federal Employees and Contractors, was developed to satisfy the requirements of HSPD 12, approved by the Secretary of Commerce, and issued on February 25, 2005.

FIPS 201 incorporates three technical publications specifying several aspects of the required administrative procedures and technical specifications that may change as the standard is implemented and used. NIST Special Publication 800-73, "Interfaces for Personal Identity Verification" specifies the interface and data elements of the PIV card; NIST Special Publication 800-76, Biometric Data Specification for Personal Identity Verification" specifies the technical acquisition and formatting requirements for biometric data of the PIV system; and NIST Special Publication 800-78, "Cryptographic Algorithms and Key Sizes for Personal Identity Verification" specifies the acceptable cryptographic algorithms and key sizes to be implemented and used for the PIV system.

In addition, a number of guidelines, reference implementations, and conformance tests have been identified as being needed to: implement and use the PIV system; protect the personal privacy of all subscribers of the PIV system; authenticate identity source documents to obtain the correct legal name of the person applying for a PIV "card"; electronically obtain and store required biometric data (e.g., fingerprints, facial images) from the PIV system subscriber; create a PIV "card" that is "personalized" with data needed by the PIV system to later grant access to the subscriber to Federal facilities and information systems; assure appropriate levels of security for all applicable Federal applications; and provide interoperability among Federal organizations using the standards. These activities will be pursued as resources permit.


SAML 2.0

SAML, developed by the Security Services Technical Committee of OASIS, is an XML-based framework for communicating user authentication, entitlement, and attribute information. As its name suggests, SAML allows business entities to make assertions regarding the identity, attributes, and entitlements of a subject (an entity that is often a human user) to other entities, such as a partner company or another enterprise application.

Liberty Identity Assurance Framework

In today's information economy, trust is the necessary foundation for secure interoperability, and central to the successful realization of what's possible on the Web. From the user perspective as well as that of the deploying organization, it's an issue of who is trusted with what -- and that requires policy, business and technology understanding and infrastructure. Thus the Liberty Alliance emerged: a first-of-its-kind standards organization with a global membership that provides a holistic approach to identity.

Liberty Alliance formed the Identity Assurance Expert Group (IAEG) to foster adoption of identity trust services. Utilizing initial contributions from the e-Authentication Partnership (EAP) and the US E-Authentication Federation, the IAEG's objective is to create a framework of baseline policies, business rules, and commercial terms against which identity trust services can be assessed and evaluated. The goal is to facilitate trusted identity federation to promote uniformity and interoperability amongst identity service providers. The primary deliverable of IAEG is the Liberty Identity Assurance Framework (LIAF).

The LIAF leverages the EAP Trust Framework [EAPTrustFramework] and the US E-Authentication Federation Credential Assessment Framework ([CAF]) as a baseline in forming the criteria for a harmonized, best-of-breed industry identity assurance standard. The LIAF is a framework supporting mutual acceptance, validation, and life cycle maintenance across identity federations. The main components of the LIAF are detailed discussions of Assurance Level criteria, Service and Credential Assessment Criteria, an Accreditation and Certification Model, and the associated business rules.

Assurance Levels (ALs) are the levels of trust associated with a credential as measured by the associated technology, processes, and policy and practice statements. The LIAF defers to the guidance provided by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication 800-63 version 1.0.1 [NIST800-63] which outlines four (4) levels of assurance, ranging in confidence level from low to very high. Use of ALs is determined by the level of confidence or trust necessary to mitigate risk in the transaction.

The Service and Credential Assessment Criteria section in the LIAF will establish baseline criteria for general organizational conformity, identity proofing services, credential strength, and credential management services against which all CSPs will be evaluated. The LIAF will also establish Credential Assessment Profiles (CAPs) for each level of assurance that will be published and updated as needed to account for technological advances and preferred practice and policy updates.

The LIAF will employ a phased approach to establishing criteria for certification and accreditation, first focusing on the certification of credential service providers (CSPs) and the accreditation of those who will assess and evaluate them. The goal of this phased approach is to initially provide federations and Federation Operators with the means to certify their members for the benefit of inter-federation and streamlining the certification process for the industry. Follow-on phases will target the development of criteria for certification of federations, themselves, and a Best Practice guide for relying parties. Finally, the LIAF will include a discussion of the business rules associated with IAEG participation, certification, and accreditation.