Yubico received a $2.27 million grant today to develop and deploy a pilot program to enable US citizens to securely access state and local government services. The grant comes through the US Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as part of the White House initiative National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC). It is one of six pilots that were awarded today.
The pilot program will focus on providing secure online identities for citizens in Wisconsin and Colorado. In both states, Yubico will deploy FIDO Alliance Universal 2nd Second Factor (U2F)-based YubiKeys and use the OpenID Connect protocol to develop an “identity toolkit” – with the goal of making the solution simple to deploy and use.
FIDO U2F is an open authentication standard, enabling public key cryptography to secure transactions and prevent phishing attacks that hackers use to steal a user’s credentials. OpenID Connect, also an open standard, allows all types of clients, including browser-based and native mobile apps to support sign-in flows and receive verifiable claims about the identity of signed-in users.
The NSTIC National Program Office, run by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), has awarded cooperative agreements as part of their pilot program since 2012. The program office works to improve online identity for individuals and organizations. Their vision is to enable individuals and organizations to utilize secure, efficient, easy-to-use, and interoperable identity solutions to access online services in a manner that promotes confidence, privacy, choice, and innovation.