RESTON, Va., May 19, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today marks the official introduction of SAFE Identity, an industry consortium and certification body supporting the advancement of digital identity and cryptography in healthcare by enabling trust of digital credentials.
SAFE Identity is the culmination of an 11-month overhaul of the SAFE-BioPharma Trust Framework, an entity that has been in operation for 15 years. As an identity-focused industry consortium, SAFE Identity has re-envisioned the cryptographically secure identity infrastructure originally established for government compliance to make it broadly useable across the commercial health sector.
This re-envisioning makes trust and interoperability achievable for healthcare providers, biopharmaceuticals, labs, device manufacturers, subcontractors, technology providers and more. The ultimate goal of the Trust Framework is to connect human, organization and device identities across healthcare so that an identity can be issued once and repeatedly used between healthcare participants.
As the digital transformation of healthcare advances further with telehealth and virtual clinical trials, the need for digital identification will continue to grow. By relying on the SAFE Trust Framework and associated services, healthcare organizations can ensure that the digital identities on which they rely are secure, authentic and interoperable. The Trust Framework, aligned with NIST SP 800-63-3 and federal regulations, serves as a cryptographic ecosystem that connects multiple credential providers together and positions SAFE to help healthcare organizations meet regulatory compliance and adhere to best practices in identity.
With an average of 15-20 network connected medical devices per hospital bed, medical device identities are a monumental challenge for hospital networks. The SAFE Ecosystem has been extended to federate trust and enable interoperability among device identity providers. This delivers many advantages including detection of counterfeit products, security of medical devices in the home and a reduced burden of device identity management for healthcare providers.
“Federating trust between identity providers is essential to achieving a ubiquitous digital identity that can be extended beyond organizational boundaries. Achieving federated trust requires cooperation within the industry; SAFE Identity is where this starts,” said Kyle Neuman, the new managing director of SAFE Identity. “The infrastructure necessary for establishing digital trust across healthcare already exists at SAFE. Our next objective is establishing consensus among identity providers and those that will rely on digital identities to foster interoperability among all participants.”
Healthcare Leaders Drive SAFE Identity
One of the most significant changes made by SAFE Identity is the development of a new consensus-driven governance body known as the Policy Management Authority (PMA). The PMA empowers a select group of healthcare stakeholders to identify and solve the roadblocks to cross-organizational trust and define the common identity policies that control the security and interoperability of the SAFE Identity Trust Framework.
The PMA creates new opportunities for leadership and governance of the SAFE Trust Framework. SAFE welcomes new members to participate and is currently coordinating partnerships to help expand and evolve the ecosystem.
Working Groups Designed to Build A Better Future
Under the auspices of the PMA, SAFE’s working groups address critical identity-related problems in healthcare. The solutions proposed by these groups will guide the industry towards results that make data exchange easier and more secure between individuals and organizations. The current focus includes providing input and recommendations around technical matters associated with the SAFE Identity Bridge policies; establishing procurement guidance and language for relying on SAFE Certified Credentials; and defining desired behavior for document management systems that will be incorporated into the test cases necessary to achieve a SAFE product certification. SAFE is also exploring the concept of using PKI and other identity schemes together, such as blockchain, which will make up some of the future topics of the SAFE Identity working groups.
For more information on joining the PMA and supporting the SAFE working groups, visit the SAFE website.
New SAFE Identity Services for the Healthcare Industry
SAFE Identity services help to reduce risk and assure the authenticity of identities and integrity of data. These services include:
- The Trust Framework. The Trust Framework defines the identity policies necessary to create secure and interoperable digital credentials. SAFE Certified Credential Providers are compliant with these identity policies. Each certified credential provider is connected to the SAFE Identity Bridge Certification Authority, ensuring the same security and interoperability across the ecosystem.
- The SAFE Qualified Products List. The SAFE QPL is a public list of applications and products that have undergone lab testing at SAFE to confirm that they process identity credentials correctly. Healthcare organizations can use this list to find applications and products that meet their standard of security. The SAFE QPL will be launched later this year.
- SAFE Global Encryption Directory (SGED). SGED offers a central repository of all SAFE Certified certificates and provides a seamless Outlook integration allowing senders to always choose the most current and valid recipient certificate when sending encrypted emails, inside and outside their enterprise. SGED was built to support strong identity-based encryption within supply chains and is currently available to pilot for interested organizations. For more information please see the SGED video.
More information about SAFE Identity is available at makeidentitysafe.com.
About SAFE Identity
SAFE Identity is an industry consortium and certification body that provides an ecosystem for identity assurance in the healthcare sector to enable trust, security and user convenience. It reduces risk and assures the integrity of identities and data in virtual clinical trials, medical devices and trusted data exchange in healthcare supply chains.
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