Yesterday we attended the NERCOMP Identity Management Workshop at the College of the Holy Cross.
Steve Carmody of Brown University explained an ideal infrastructure including a reminder for me to review “Identifiers, Authentication, and Directories: Best Practices for Higher Education” by Internet2. Carmody had a lot of great things to say, giving a solid overall update of how Internet2 and MACE are coming along with Shibboleth, Grouper, Signet, and various other initiatives. He also pointed me at Sun’s XACML Implementation which is very interesting.
Christopher Misra of UMass Amherst and Robert Banz of UMBC both presented on their current IdM initiatives. They both seem to have established IdM infratructures which need one enhancement or another.
In the final time slot was a general group discussion. I took this opportunity to ask how schools are establishing and maintaining credentials remotely. No one had an answer that was ideal, I suggested our current proposal and no one seemed to have any criticisms. One person suggested that maybe we don’t need to have as secure a system as we’re proposing to merely secure someone’s email. My reply to this was in a federated world with connections to the federal PKI bridge, InCommon services, and more, we are securing far more than email. It is our responsibility to have as high a level of assurance as possible.