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Baseline Expectations Webinar - Metadata Health Checks - Feb. 21, 2018

The Federation Doctor will See You Now: Metadata Health Checks Are Here!

Webinar - Wednesday, February 21, 2018
2 pm ET | 1 pm CT | Noon MT | 11 am PT

How healthy is your metadata? Is it up to snuff with the new InCommon Baseline Expectations for Trust in Federation? What are these “health checks” that InCommon Site Administrators have started to receive?

The InCommon Baseline Expectations for Trust in Federation requires that every system  in the InCommon trust registry (or metadata) include certain items, such as security contacts, a privacy policy, and several other elements. Join us for this webinar to learn about the health checks that InCommon Operations will send periodically, what you should do with this information, and what to do if you encounter problems.

Brett Bieber, University of Nebraska, Chair, Community Trust & Assurance Board
Nick Roy, Director of Technology and Strategy, InCommon

Slide sharing and audio via Adobe Connect:

Back-up phone bridge:

(734) 615-7474, or 
(866) 411-0013 (toll free US/Canada)

Access code: 0134531

Baseline Expectations

Under the guidance of the InCommon Assurance Advisory Committee, the InCommon community has adopted a set of Baseline Expectations for Trust in Federation. The intent is to:

  • improve interoperability among InCommon Participants
  • ensure that the Federation has a common level of trust by establishing expectations that all Participants agree to meet.

In addition to the expectations themselves, the community has adopted processes by which InCommon Participants and the InCommon Federation operator keep metadata up to date and keep one-another accountable, including:

  • Automated checks of metadata by InCommon to give feedback to each Participant about their entities
  • A process for reaching community consensus on practices that meet the expectations
  • A process for Participants to raise Baseline Expectations-related and other concerns and get them resolved

The core Baseline Expectations document establishes three short lists of expectations expressed at a high level, one for each of three types of Federation actor: an Identity Provider, a Service Provider, and a Federation Operator.

Baseline Expectations of Identity Providers

  1. The IdP is operated with organizational-level authority
  2. The IdP is trusted enough to be used to access the organization’s own systems
  3. Generally-accepted security practices are applied to the IdP
  4. Federation metadata is accurate, complete, and includes:
    1. contacts in metadata (technical, administrative and security)
    2. MDUI information
    3. privacy policy URL
    4. a federated error handling URL
    5. an HTTPS link to a logo for the IdP

Baseline Expectations of Service Providers

  1. Controls are in place to reasonably secure information and maintain user privacy
  2. Information received from IdPs is not shared with third parties without permission and is stored only when necessary for SP’s purpose
  3. Generally-accepted security practices are applied to the SP
  4. Federation metadata is accurate, complete, and includes:
    1. contacts in metadata (technical, administrative and security)
    2. MDUI information
    3. privacy policy URL
    4. an HTTPS link to a logo for the SP
  5. Unless governed by an applicable contract, attributes required to obtain service are appropriate and made known publicly

Baseline Expectations of Federation Operators

  1. Focus on trustworthiness of their Federation as a primary objective and be transparent about such efforts
  2. Generally-accepted security practices are applied to the Federation’s operational systems
  3. Good practices are followed to ensure accuracy and authenticity of metadata to enable secure and trustworthy federated transactions
  4. Frameworks that improve trustworthy use of Federation, such as entity categories, are implemented and adoption by Members is promoted
  5. Work with relevant Federation Operators to promote realization of baseline expectations


Baseline Processes 1 Roadmap

Baseline Expectations Foundational Document

Baseline Implementation Processes (document in final approval stages)

Implementing Baseline Expectations in InCommon Metadata (this document translates Baseline Expectations into an initial set of requirements for InCommon metadata)

Jan. 2018 Webinar: Baseline Expectations for IdPs and SPs

Download the slides (PDF)
 (Adobe Connect)

Webinar explaining the expectations (Oct. 5, 2016)

Download the slides
Webinar recording
(Adobe Connect)

Webinar explaining implementation (July 19, 2017)

Download the slides (PDF)
View the recorded webinar (Adobe Connect)

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