In just the first year of a unique partnership, InCommon (incommon.org) and Comodo (Comodo.com) have issued tens of thousands of certificates to more than 120 colleges and universities across the United States.
InCommon, operated by Internet2, provides the U.S. research and higher education with a framework of trust for the safe sharing of online resources. Comodo is a leading certificate authority and Internet security organization, providing businesses and consumers with a variety of security and trust services.
The partnership between InCommon and Comodo CA Ltd. offers U.S. higher education institutions with unlimited certificates for one annual fee, providing substantial cost and overhead savings. Subscribers may issue unlimited Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificates, including extended validation (EV), client (personal) certificates, and code signing certificates for all of the domains they own or control such as .edu, .org, .net, .com and others.
“By offering unlimited SSL certificates, we’ve provided the potential for campuses to significantly reduce their certificate-related expenses,” said John Krienke, chief operating officer of InCommon. “Now that we have rolled out client (personal) certificates, we’ve set the stage for campuses to more easily adopt important services like signed email and second-factor authentication. Economics are no longer a limitation for certificate possibilities.”
One large state university system and current subscriber anticipates an annual savings of about $325,000. Additionally, many large, individual campuses report savings of $75,000-$90,000 per year.
“We are in the $15,000 bracket for large Internet2 members, so our cost savings is roughly in the $65,000-75,000 range annually compared to our previous certificate provider,” said one subscriber. “That ends up being a four-to-five-times return on investment.”
“We are proud of our partnership with InCommon and ability to deliver trust and savings to colleges and universities throughout the country,” said Melih Abdulhayoglu, CEO and chief security architect of Comodo. “These security measures will enable students and faculty members to perform secure communication and transactions online by fortifying the IT networks of higher education systems against security breaches and the leakage of digital information.”
Because institutions can issue an unlimited number of certificates, many now use valid certificates in their test environments. Some campuses have also done away with chargeback systems that were common when certificate purchases were distributed and done one at a time.
One subscriber commented: “The program paid for itself within one central department that used to purchase just 200 certs a year for $28,000. This department now picks up the $15,000 annual cost for the entire campus. A win-win-win all the way around.”
The InCommon Certificate Service is a non-profit, transparently operated service. Internet2 members receive a 25 percent discount. For more information, including a fee schedule and subscriber agreement, see incommon.org/cert.
InCommon provides the U.S. research and higher education with a framework of trust for the safe sharing of online resources. Through InCommon, research organizations and higher education institutions take advantage of a privacy-preserving, secure method to offer single sign-on convenience and standards-based security to their faculty, researchers, students and staff. Individuals no longer need to maintain multiple passwords and usernames, and online service providers no longer need to maintain user accounts. The educational institution or research organization manages the level of privacy and security for its constituents. The InCommon Certificate Service offers unlimited certificates to the U.S. higher education community for one fixed annual fee. For more information, see incommon.org.
Internet2 is an advanced networking consortium led by the research and education community. An exceptional partnership spanning U.S. and international institutions who are leaders in the worlds of research, academia, industry and government, Internet2 is developing breakthrough cyberinfrastructure technologies that support the most exacting applications of today—and spark the most essential innovations of tomorrow. Led by its members and focused on their current and future networking needs since 1996, Internet2 blends its human, IP and optical networks to develop and deploy revolutionary Internet technologies. For more information, see internet2.edu.