On-demand access to public safety data is critical to ensuring that public safety and first responder (PSFR) personnel can deliver the proper care and support during an emergency. This necessitates heavy reliance on mobile platforms while in the field, which may be used to access sensitive 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 (PSCR) Division 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 (MFA) and mobile single sign-on (MSSO) 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 guide discusses major architecture design considerations, explains security characteristics achieved by the reference design, and maps the security characteristics to applicable standards and security control families. For parties interested in adopting all or part of the reference architecture, this guide includes a detailed description of the installation, configuration, and integration of all components.