Key Mgt. Device Wins DHS Grant

Tuesday, July 25, 2017 @ 04:07 PM gHale


Salt Lake City-based startup Evernym earned a $749,000 Small Business Innovation Program (SBIR) award to develop an easy-to-use, decentralized mechanism for managing public and private keys needed for the secure and scalable deployment of blockchain technologies.

Evernym will design and implement a decentralized key management system (DKMS) for blockchain technologies based on National Institute of Standards and Technology Special Publication 800-130, entitled “A Framework for Designing Key Management Systems.”

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“A better, more secure method is needed to safeguard the identity and privacy of web-users,” said Acting Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Under Secretary for Science and Technology (S&T) William N. Bryan. “Research in blockchain holds significant potential to provide a solution that will make it considerably more difficult to hack an online user’s identity.”

Through a project titled “Applicability of Blockchain Technology to Privacy Respecting Identity Management,” Evernym is developing a DKMS — a cryptographic key management approach used with blockchain and other distributed-ledger technologies — to boost online authentication and verification. Within a DKMS, the initial “root-of-trust” for all participants is a distributed ledger that supports a decentralized identifier — a new form of root identity record.

“Managing public and private cryptographic keys in existing public key infrastructure as well as permissioned and permission-less blockchains continues to be a difficult challenge,” said S&T Identity Management Program Manager Anil John. “Through this project, Evernym will push the limits of the emerging decentralized key management system technology to deliver a high level of comfort to the public and American businesses as they integrate blockchain technologies into their technology portfolio.”

Initiated in 2004, the DHS S&T SBIR program is a competitive contract awards program that increases the participation of innovative and creative U.S. small businesses in federal research-and-development (R&D) initiatives and facilitates private-sector commercialization of SBIR-funded solutions.



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