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Meet Baseline Expectations 2 Now

InCommon Participants established the InCommon Baseline Expectations for Trust in Federation in 2018 as a means to increase trust and interoperability among InCommon federation participants and to define what they expect of each other, and of InCommon Operations.

The second iteration of Baseline Expectations (Baseline Expectations 2, or BE2) was ratified by the InCommon Steering Committee in late 2020. BE2 officially went into effect on July 19, 2021.

BE2 is entering its closing phase. In November 2022, CTAB will formally recommend dispute resolution actions against entities not meeting BE2 requirements in. The outcome may result in the entity being removed from the InCommon metadata. 

Does my organization meet Baseline Expectations?

Visit the .be2-adherence-by-org v2.6 page to see if your organization meets the requirements of Baseline Expectations 2.

Baseline Expectations 2 Progress

The BE2 Progress is updated weekly. The line graph and table below are updated every Monday using the published metadata from the prior Friday.


As of September 23, 2022:


Count * 

Percent of Total

BE2-adhering Organizations

722

92%

BE2-adhering IdPs

558

97%

BE2-adhering SPs

5457

97%

IdP with Error URL

566

98%

SIRTFI-compliant IdPs

560

97%

SIRTFI-compliant SPs

5676

97%

* Starting July 22, the calculation counts entities with encryption score of C and below as "not meeting expectations".

How are we doing on endpoint encryptions?

The following graphs illustrate the participants' progress toward strengthening connection endpoints. The graphs compare the data collected across five testing cycles between April 2021 and September 2022. 

The encryption test data is updated approximately monthly.

Endpoint Encryption Test Results among InCommon IdPs


Apr 15 2021

Jul 22 2021

Oct 30 2021Jan 14 2022May 13 2022July 22 2022Aug 12 2022Sept 14
2022

A

186

323

398414420430432728

B

344

221

157145136132132129

C

10

6

212222

F

2

5

104100

n/a

39

32

251715131418


Endpoint Encryption Test Results among InCommon SPs


Apr 15 2021

Jul 22 2021

Oct 30 2021Jan 14 2022May 13 2022July 22 2022Aug 12 2022Sept 14
2022

A

3263

3574

3893

40464065438844834481

B

1473

1205

982907821700618615

C

45

44

322624242222

F

23

17

3423145131010

n/a

800

554

525412420414437491



About Baseline Expectations 2

The second set of Baseline Expectations (BE2) adds three technical requirements aimed at improving security and the user experience. Implementation of BE2 is now under way. The InCommon Federation is expected to officially transition to BE2 on July 19, 2021.

The three BE2 elements are:

  1. Each Identity Provider and Service Provider must secure its connection endpoints with current and trusted encryption (TLS).
  2. All Identity Providers and Service Providers must comply with the SIRTFI international security response framework.
  3. All Identity Providers must include an error URL in metadata.

STATEMENT: All Identity Providers (IdP) and Service Providers (SP) service endpoints must be secured with current and community-trusted transport layer encryption. 

When registering an entity (IdP or SP) in InCommon, all connection endpoints of that entity must be an https URL. The applied transport layer security protocol and associated cipher must be current and trusted by the community. 

Popular security testing software such as the Qualys SSL Lab Server test offers a convenient way to test your server against these criteria and identify weaknesses. If using the Qualys SSL Lab Server test, an overall rating of A or better is considered meeting the requirements of the InCommon Baseline Expectations.

MORE: Clarification - Encrypt Entity Service Endpoints

STATEMENT: All entities (IdP and SP) meet the requirements of the SIRTFI v1.0 trust framework when handling security incidents involving federation participants

The SIRTFI trust framework v1.0 enables standardized and timely security incident response coordination among federation participants. When signaling and responding to security incidents within the federation, entity operators shall adhere to the process defined in the Sirtfi framework.

MORE: Clarification - Entity Complies with SIRTFI v1.0

STATEMENT: All IdP metadata must include an errorURL; if the condition is appropriate, SPs should use the IdP-supplied errorURL to direct the user to proper support.

IdP entity metadata must include a valid errorURL in its IDPSSODescriptor element.

An errorURL specifies a location to direct a user for problem resolution and additional support in the event a user encounters problems accessing a service. In SAML metadata for an IdP, errorURL is an XML attribute applied to the IDPSSODescriptor element. 

When a service provider is unable to process an authentication assertion from an IdP, it may display within its error message a link to this URL to direct the user back to the IdP for additional assistance.  

MORE: Clarification - IDP Metadata Must Have an Error URL