Security has become all the more important at the user level. Verifying the validity of an individual’s access to a network is vital to preventing cybermarauders from getting into a system to purloin or sabotage important information. Biometrics can play a key role in identity management, particularly in cross-enterprise implementations.
Approaches to identity management are maturing in both government and the private sector globally. Whether for physical or logical access, public key infrastructure (PKI) and biometrics are surfacing as common denominators to add strength and flexibility to the authentication processes. The difficulty remains a lack of consensus on processes, application of standards, and management of attributes across enterprise boundaries. For example, in the United States, federal standards are clear but often applied differently among federal agencies—and certainly at the state, local and tribal levels and within the private sector. Similarly, in Europe, the European Union (EU)/European Council have adopted standards, but implementation varies from country to country, even within the EU or NATO frameworks.
Federated approaches to identity verification and attribute identification are helping to bridge enterprises. Agreements on the acceptance of PKI certifying authorities, biometrics as a strong element of authentication, and acceptance—in a federated environment—of credentials from multiple approved sources all are facilitating the establishment of trust relationships across enterprises.