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Notes: InCommon Assurance Monthly Implementers call for 5-Nov-2014

Slides used for this Assurance Call are here


Ann West, Internet2
David Walker, Internet2
Steve Devoti, UW-Madison/AAC Chair
Mark Jones, UT Houston
Eric Goodman, UCOP
Benn Oshrin, Spherical Cow Consulting
Randy Miotke, Colorado State University
Susn Neitsch, Texas A&M University
Tom Golson, Texas A&M University
Jeff Capehardt, University of Florida


The October 2014 Assurance Call was an IAM Online featuring University of Nebraska and UMBC presenting on their experience with InCommon Bronze certification and security. The archives are linked from here

Today's call will focus on InCommon Assurance and US Government Discussions


  • Update on the FICAM Program
  • Implications on the InCommon Assurance Program
  • Next Steps for the Assurance Advisory Committee (AAC)


FICAM was based on NIST 800-63
Currently there are 3 FICAM Approved Trust Framework Providers:

FICAM 1.0 spec and related documents focused on identity provider and credential practices.
Since the approval of FICAM 2.0, there are changes. FICAM 2.0 also encompasses:

  • federation requirements outside identity assurance
  • Citizen2Government target
  • Componentized Identity Assurance approach

Token Manager + Identity Services Manager = Credential Service Manager

FICAM 2.x includes federation requirements

  • Change Management
  • Contacts
  • Entity Info
  • Memorandum of Agreement
  • Attributes for ID Matching

Question arose: Can't InCommon handle this for the InCommon IDPs?

Much progress in the discussions with FICAM. See slide 6 for details.

componentized services

An important topic is componentized services (see slide 7 and 8 for details )

Discussions with NIH and NSF

See slide 9

InCommon's discussions with NIH and NSF resulted in FICAM accepting our standardized attribute bundle (R&S) rather than the attributes FICAM had been requiring (which has included legal name and DOB)

GSA (home agency for FICAM) has joined InCommon, Looks like GSA will be the focal point for other agencies.

Community Profiles

See Slide 10

  • In addition to the FICAM-based Bronze and Silver profiles, there are community needs, such as for an MFA profile.
  • Ability to assert Multi Factorness to a provider like Workday, would be triggered based on a need to access a financial record.
  • Also need to replace the POP approach of "Post your Practices" and have baseline practices

Steve Devoti reported

  • The AAC is working to revise its charter to do more than manage the assurance process for certification.
  • The AAC is looking at what needs to be modified to increase trust within the federation.
  • This does not expand a lot the AACs charge. But it is broader than managing a process.
  • We have received lots of feedback (from our SP partners) on the lack of usefulness of the POP and the lack of Compliance. Some InCommon participants are not updating their POPs.
  • We have talked about decomposing the assurance profiles into trust marks to drive incremental progress within the federation.
  • The goal is to get people on the road to higher trust and higher assurance.
  • There is work at GA Tech on Trust Marks

Can address what we have heard from community about the POP and about MFA.

Would give more flexibiltiy.

ERIC Goodman asks, there is Vectors of Trust group. Here at UC, he is taking similar approach in standards within UC. For incremental progress short of silver.

Is there a sense of what the scope of these trustmarks might be? Eric wants to do things that would map to trustmarks. Looking for , are there specific targets that would be more useful for us to use?

SteveD: this work is not super far along

The GA Tech people have done a lot of work

Have broken 863 into trustmarks.

SteveD has thrown things onto paper.

It is drafty

There should be a good mapping...

We have not taken our assurance profiles and deomposed them into trust marks yet.

Eric: the trustmarks will decompose the IAP and the POP? so those would merge?

SteveD: I think so

Eric Goodman is a good working group member!

Any interest in asserting MFA in a profile?

Eric G: yes from other campuses

Do you have a definition for what that would mean?

We are running into what TomScavo ran into. There are apps that want MFA and some campuses have MFA tokens and some don't

we need to figure out under what circumstances would the SP application trust that MFA had been done by the campus. Versus invoking its own. Don't want campus MFA plus application MFA

That's the danger you have if the SP requires MFA before the IDP supports it

David: from the Multi Context Broker point of view..

What is MFA? Define it as lights as possible, just some other factor is used.

Paul Caskey said DUO lets your remeber for 30 days you had done your MFA

I want to be able to disallow that

So he needs 2 different MFA profiles

TWOFER honors the forced reauthentication. DUO will not? You must define 2 different sub modules

Session length of 30 days?

Eric: to take it to the trustmarks, what the trustmark would be asserting is something about your MFA practice.

David: yes it would say you do MFA. the other says you are doing MFA and forcing reauthentication in the current time.

Eric: But that is interactive.....

David: You define what you mean by MFA and there is some certification process that says an IDP has that trustmark. Then assertions it sends out would be honored. There is the IAP and IAQ on the trustmark

DUO might need to take an action to be compenstated for in Shib softeawre

But once you say you are doing MFA it is not that simple

we will need to stick a stake in the sand

Ann: would you want to leverage your use case to do a set of MFA community practices?

Erci: this might be in 6 monts. There is not focus on this yet.

But Eric will raise this at meetings.

David: we could get interest from Paul

Jeff Capehart asks about TIER

Ann: that is to accellearate IDM acrtoss HE

Sustaining Shib and Grouper long term is one issue

We are good at business to business

But we have researchers outside the campus that need to access serivces that are shared by a VO so they act as an individual member of this group. Also need to accellerate abiliy for schools taht dont ahve an effective IDM system and need one to access federated services

From an advanced Institution, your participation may be for a component or two. You might want to leverage just parts . But there will be practices, part of the federation is , the campuses and SPs that are members. A big issues is normalizing practices. Assurance is part of that. all of that is important. it's about organization and infrastructure

JeffC: is there a commitment to do things in a certain way? Like the POP, like MFA, like certificates? Do you get to pick and choose?

Ann: yes you can pick and choose , but the practices will be a requirement. Persistant identifiers are very important. That is a key one.

Can you be in TIER and not do Assurance?

Ann: we are in an early stage. requirements not yet set by the community. supporting practices and re usability. The practices must be focused on a business need.

they all must come together to service a business need.

Info on TIER:

Next Assurance Implementers Call: Jan. 2015 (no call in Dec. 2014)


Emily Eisbruch, Technology Transfer Analyst
office: +1-734-352-4996 | mobile +1-734-730-5749

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