Industry consortium the Liberty Alliance Project has set up an expert group to produce open standards to ensure that “strong authentication” systems to verify people’s identity are interoperable.
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Strong authentication requires at least two forms of ID verification for accessing a network or online application.
The need for strong authentication to replace less-secure password-only systems is increasingly being recognised. Analyst Gartner has predicted that by 2007, 80% of organisations will reach “password breaking point” and will need to strengthen user authentication with other security methods.
The Strong Authentication Expert Group (SAEG), set up by the Liberty Alliance, aims to build an open framework for strong authentication solutions – including hardware and software tokens, smartcards, SMS-based systems and biometrics – that will be interoperable across organisations, networks and vertical market segments.
The expert group includes American Express, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Oracle, RSA Security, Vodafone, VeriSign and the US Department of Defense.
Timo Skytta, vice president of the Liberty Alliance, said: “With increasing industry demand for better protection against online fraud and identity theft, there can be no question that the time for universal strong authentication has come."
The group expects to release the first version of its specifications framework, dubbed ID-SAFE, next year.