Identity control online increasingly important

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Spyware captures usernames and passwords. Credit card skimmers capture the supposedly secure contents of payment cards. And law-abiding people are impersonated online.

So, as we move toward this future of uncertain identities, teams of researchers are trying to stay ahead of the electronic crooks and keep villains away from information, both in the real world, and over electronic networks.

Security online

Dan Bogdanov is a research project leader for the Estonia-based technology firm, Cybernetica, a partner in the European Commission Seventh Framework Programme’s  VirtualLife project, designed to create a secure virtual-world platform. Cybernetica also created the Estonian electronic voting system and a range of e-Government solutions.

In pursuit of verifying a secure identity, Bogdanov says one reliable solution is in using peer-to-peer communication. “When two users want to communicate with each other, they establish a direct network connection, negotiate a secure channel and prove their identities to each other with standard public key cryptography,” Bogdanov says. “That's one of the best solutions there is.”

The challenges inherent in online identification also apply in the bricks-and-mortar world. Irvine, California-based HID Global believes it has developed a technological platform to tackle the problem of establishing and controlling identities, even as those physical spaces become less defined and more spread out.

The Trusted Identity Platform, or TIP, is a framework designed by HID Global to transfer credentials and establish identifications over unsecured networks while maintaining a level of control akin to a system confined to a traditional secured building.

Traditionally, access systems were managed and kept secure through physical building security, says Daniel Bailin, director, program management of strategic innovation for HID Global. 

“Now maybe we want to put the credential on a phone. And maybe we want the reader on a laptop, and so the old method doesn’t scale into this new world,” he says. The TIP technology allows such out-of-the-box credentialing to be possible.

Read the full story about online identity control on ASSA ABLOY Future Lab.