Public Safety/First Responder: Mobile Application Single Sign-On

In the United States over 10,000 jurisdictions, from townships and cities to counties and states, employ public safety personnel to respond to emergency situations. The National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE)'s Public Safety and First Responder (PSFR) program works with the first responder community to implement standards-based solutions to protect public safety systems against attack and to ensure immediate, secure access to critical assets during incident response. 

Helping public safety and first responder personnel efficiently get the right data to the right people at the right time with the right protections

In collaboration with NIST’S Public Safety Communications Research lab and industry stakeholders, the NCCoE demonstrates how PSFR personnel can efficiently and securely gain access to mission data via mobile devices and applications.
Status: Finalized Practice Guide

The NCCoE released the final NIST Cybersecurity Practice Guide SP 1800-13, Mobile Application Single Sign-On: Improving Authentication for Public Safety First Responders. For ease of use, the final guide is available to download or read in volumes.

Project Abstract

On-demand access to public safety data is critical to ensuring that PSFR personnel can deliver the proper care and support during an emergency. This requirement necessitates heavy reliance on mobile platforms that may be used by PSFR personnel to access sensitive information, such as personally identifiable information, law enforcement sensitive information, and protected health information. However, complex authentication requirements can hinder the process of providing emergency services, and any delay, even seconds, can become a matter of life or death. 

In collaboration with NIST’S Public Safety Communications Research lab and industry stakeholders, the NCCoE aims to help PSFR personnel efficiently and securely gain access to mission data via mobile devices and applications. This practice guide describes a reference design for multifactor authentication and mobile single sign-on for native and web applications while improving interoperability among mobile platforms, applications, and identity providers regardless of the application development platform used in their construction.  

This NCCoE practice guide details a collaborative effort between the NCCoE and technology providers to demonstrate a standards-based approach that uses commercially available and opensource products. 

On-demand access to public safety data is critical to ensuring that public safety and first responders (PSFRs) can protect life and property during an emergency.

Watch our RSA Conference 2018 project presentation and demonstration on mobile SSO for the public safety sector

Collaborating Vendors

Organizations participating in this project submitted their capabilities in response to an open call in the Federal Register for all sources of relevant security capabilities from academia and industry (vendors and integrators). The following respondents with relevant capabilities or product components (identified as “Technology Partners/Collaborators” herein) signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement to collaborate with NIST in a consortium to build this example solution.