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[I2-NEWS] Virginia Tech First To Reach Certified Online Trust Standards

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  • From: Todd Sedmak <>
  • To:
  • Subject: [I2-NEWS] Virginia Tech First To Reach Certified Online Trust Standards
  • Date: Tue, 16 Oct 2012 09:19:18 -0400 (EDT)

Virginia Tech First To Reach Certified Online Trust Standards
University qualifies for Internet2’s bronze and silver InCommon assurance

Blacksburg, Va. and Ann Arbor, Mich.—Oct. 16, 2012—Virginia Tech is the first
university in the country to become a certified provider of greater assurance
to online resource providers — federal agencies, universities, nonprofit
organizations, and private companies alike — of the identity of those seeking
access to financial and other sensitive information.

The university has qualified for Internet2’s InCommon Bronze and Silver
Identity Assurance program. Internet2, a nonprofit higher education
consortium, administers the certification program as part of its mission to
provide secure and privacy-preserving trust services for its participants.
Internet2 operates the InCommon identity federation, which allows individuals
to use one user ID and password (also called credentials) to access protected
online resources — both internal and external to their home institution.

Internet2’s InCommon Assurance Program allows campuses to certify that, for
those using more-sensitive services, there is a stronger process for issuing
credentials and granting access. There are two levels of this process —
called Bronze and Silver. Bronze, comparable to the National Institute of
Standards and Technology Assurance 1 level, has security that slightly
exceeds the confidence associated with a common Internet identity. Silver,
comparable to NIST’s level of Assurance 2, has security appropriate for
financial transactions. Resources likely to become among the first to require
Silver include those providing online grant administration or financial aid

“Meeting the standards of the InCommon Identity Assurance program enhances
security by helping to ensure that access to a resource is granted to, and
only to, the intended individual,” said Mary Dunker, director of Secure
Information Technology Initiatives at Virginia Tech. “In addition to enabling
authorized Virginia Tech users to access applications that require InCommon
Silver credentials, achieving this certification further strengthened the
university’s identity management processes and technology infrastructure. Now
we have a greater trust in the identities of those individuals who use
InCommon Silver and Bronze credentials for internal university applications.”

“I applaud Virginia Tech for their pioneering effort,” said Jack Suess, chair
of the InCommon Steering Committee and vice president and chief information
officer at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. “They have not only
become the first to meet these more-stringent standards, but have also helped
us to refine the certification process. Given that some federal agencies plan
to require InCommon Silver for certain applications, this will become more
and more important for research universities and organizations.”

About Internet2 and InCommon

Internet2 is a member-owned advanced technology community founded by the
nation's leading higher education institutions in 1996. Internet2 provides a
collaborative environment for U.S. research and education organizations to
solve common technology challenges, and to develop innovative solutions in
support of their educational, research, and community service missions. For
more information, visit

InCommon, operated by Internet2, serves the U.S. education and research
communities, supporting a common framework of trust services, including the
U.S. identity management trust federation for research and education, a
community-driven Certificate Service, and a multifactor authentication
program. The InCommon Federation enables scalable, trusted collaborations
among its community of participants. The Certificate Service offers unlimited
certificates to the U.S. higher education community for one fixed annual fee.
InCommon has more than 450 participants serving 6 million faculty, students,
and staff at higher education institutions and research organizations, as
well as their sponsored partners. For more information, see

For media assistance, contact

or 734-352-7007.


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  • [I2-NEWS] Virginia Tech First To Reach Certified Online Trust Standards, Todd Sedmak, 10/16/2012

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