"This new service provides tangible value to the U.S. research and education community and extends a pathway for innovation on campus," said John Krienke, chief operating officer of InCommon. "By offering unlimited SSL certificates, we're providing the potential for campuses to significantly reduce their certificate-related expenses. But at least as important, later this year we will include unlimited personal certificates, setting the stage for campuses to more easily adopt important services like signed email and second-factor authentication. Economics are no longer a limitation for certificate possibilities."
InCommon is offering this service through a partnership with Comodo CA Ltd., a major certification authority and Internet2 industry member. Through the agreement, U.S. institutions of higher education can purchase unlimited numbers of certificates for SSL, personal signing, encryption, and code signing. InCommon partnered with Comodo, in part, because of the successful implementation of a similar program the company developed with TERENA (the Trans-European Research and Education Networking Association). The program launched last year has enabled its NREN members in over 30 European countries and international public sector organizations to offer certificates powered by Comodo to all education institutions throughout Europe.
"We are excited about the opportunity to join InCommon in helping millions of students in colleges and universities across the US to secure their online experience and communications," said Melih Abdulhayoglu, chief executive officer of Comodo. "Enabling students and faculty members with the personal secure certificate and second factor authentication, whether for email encryption or for secure access to the university's internal network, will prevent security breaches and leak of digital information."
Any higher education institution with its primary location in the U.S., and qualifying for an "edu" domain name, is eligible for the program. Internet2 member institutions will receive a 25 percent discount on the Certificate Service. Institutions must also participate in or join InCommon to take advantage of the Certificate Service. The service fee schedule is based on an institution's classification under the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and requires an initial three-year commitment. The annual fees for the InCommon Certificate Service range from $2,000 for small or specialized institutions up to $20,000 for large research universities.
The InCommon Certificate Service is accepting applications and will test the program with a small number of institutions during June 2010. The University of California Berkeley, an InCommon member, is the first university to announce that it will take advantage of this new community-sponsored service. A full rollout is expected in late summer of 2010. Institutions with expiring certificate agreements will receive priority, allowing them to avoid service interruptions. The roots of InCommon's SSL and personal Certificate Authorities are in all of the major Internet web browsers and devices.
More information is available at www.incommon.org/cert.
InCommon facilitates collaboration through the sharing of protected network-accessible resources by means of an agreed-upon community trust fabric. The InCommon Federation, operated by Internet2, provides a privacy-preserving, secure method for higher education institutions and their partners to offer single sign-on convenience and standards-based security to their faculty, researchers, students and staff. Through InCommon, individuals no longer need to maintain multiple passwords and usernames and online service providers no longer need to maintain user accounts. The educational institution manages the level of privacy and security for its constituents. For more information, see www.incommon.org
Internet2 is an advanced networking consortium led by the research and education community. An exceptional partnership spanning U.S. and international institutions who are leaders in the worlds of research, academia, industry and government, Internet2 is developing breakthrough cyberinfrastructure technologies that support the most exacting applications of today—and spark the most essential innovations of tomorrow. Led by its members and focused on their current and future networking needs since 1996, Internet2 blends its human, IP and optical networks to develop and deploy revolutionary Internet technologies. For more information see www.internet2.edu.
Comodo is a leading brand in Internet security. Headquartered in the US and with offices in UK, China, India, Ukraine, and Romania, Comodo provides businesses and consumers worldwide with security and trust services, including digital certificates, PCI scanning, desktop security, and remote PC support. Securing online transactions for over 200,000 businesses, and with more than 25 million desktop security software installations, including an award-winning firewall and antivirus software, Comodo is Creating Trust Online'. To learn more, visit Comodo's website.