California’s community colleges can now create an unlimited number of web security certificates as part of their membership in the InCommon Federation, affording significant cost savings for districts that own multiple web domains.
InCommon membership is available at no cost to every college in the system as part of an initiative by the California Community Colleges (CCC) Chancellor’s Office to standardize the way technology services are accessed and shared across its networks. Membership in the InCommon Federation must be applied for individually, but is centrally paid for by the Chancellor’s Office.
Security For All Servers
The InCommon relationship with the colleges is primarily for an identity management fabric that enables individual users to have a single login that gives them access to any application behind the firewall. As a related service, InCommon is also providing unlimited SSL certificates to the CCC, which will allow potentially every web server in the college system to support secure connections.
“You will no longer need to decide which web servers are important enough to install official SSL certificates on,” explained Jeff Holden, Chief Information Security Officer for the CCC Technology Center, which facilitates systemwide technology developments on behalf of the Chancellor’s Office. “You can — and should — install SSL certificates on all servers that have logins.”
The certificates are issued by Commodo, a leading SSL certificate provider, and they work with all internet browsers and web servers. Certificates are also available for code signing, which is a good solution for colleges that build custom applications or wish to implement user certificates to sign and encrypt files and emails, Holden explained.
How To Get Certificates
If your college or district is already a member of InCommon:
- Fill out the web form using the link on the SSL Certificates page of the CCC Information Security Center website.
- An account will then be created in the InCommon console to allow you to generate certificates for the domains you need to secure.
- Submit a separate web form for each person that will need administrator access to the console.
Crista Souza is the TechEDge News Editor