LITS Resource Center
Last updated: June 10, 2019
INCOMMON FEDERATION: PARTICIPANT
Participation in the InCommon Federation ("Federation") enables a federation participating organization ("Participant") to use Shibboleth identity attribute sharing technologies to manage access to on-line resources that can be made available to the InCommon community. One goal of the Federation is to develop, over time, community standards for such cooperating organizations to ensure that sharedattribute assertions are sufficiently robust and trustworthy to manage access to important protected resources. As the community of trust evolves, the Federation expects that participants eventually should be able to trust each other's identity management systems and resource access management systems as they trust their own.
A fundamental expectation of Participants is that they provide authoritative and accurate attribute assertions to other Participants, and that Participants receiving an attribute assertion protect it and respect privacy constraints placed on it by the Federation or the source of that information. In furtherance of this goal, InCommon requires that each Participant make available to other Participants certain basic information about any identity management system, including the identity attributes that are supported, or resource access management system registered for use within the Federation.
Two criteria for trustworthy attribute assertions by Identity Providers are: (1) that the identity management system fall under the purview of the organization's executive or business management, and (2) the system for issuing end-user credentials (e.g., PKI certificates, userids/passwords, Kerberos principals, etc.) specifically have in place appropriate risk management measures (e.g., authentication andauthorization standards, security practices, risk assessment, change management controls, audit trails, etc.).
InCommon expects that Service Providers, who receive attribute assertions from another Participant, respect the other Participant's policies, rules, and standards regarding the protection and use of that data. Furthermore, such information should be used only for the purposes for which it was provided. InCommon strongly discourages the sharing of that data with third parties, or aggregation of it for marketing purposes without the explicit permission of the identity information providing Participant.
InCommon requires Participants to make available to all other Participants answers to the questions below. Additional information to help answer each question is available in the next section of this document. There is also a glossary at the end of this document that defines terms shown in italics.
1. Federation Participant Information
1.1 The InCommon Participant Operational Practices information below is for:
InCommon Participant organization name: Hamilton College
The information below is accurate as of this date: 1/1/19
1.2 Identity Management and/or Privacy information
1.3 Contact information
The following person or office can answer questions about the Participant's identity management system or resource access management policy or practice.
Name: David Swartz
Title or role: Network Administrator
Email address: email@example.com
2. Identity Provider Information
The most critical responsibility that an IdentityProvider Participant has to the Federation is to provide trustworthy and accurate identity assertions. It is important for a Service Provider to know how your electronic identity credentials are issued and how reliable the information associated with a given credential (or person) is.
2.1 If you are an Identity Provider, how do you define the set of people who are eligible to receive an electronic identity? If exceptions to this definition are allowed, who must approve such an exception?
Eligibility requirements are enunciated in Hamilton College Policies - Access to Information Technology Resources. Hamilton College issues Network Logon ID’s to faculty, staff, and student members of the Hamilton College community. Upon request, the Vice President for Information Technology (or their designees) may grant access to individuals who contribute to the operation of the College.
2.2 "Member of Community" is an assertion that might be offered to enable access to resources made available to individuals who participate in the primary mission of the university or organization. For example, this assertion might apply to anyone whose affiliation is "current student, faculty, or staff."
What subset of persons registered in your identity management system would you identify as a "Member of Community" in Shibboleth identity assertions to other InCommon Participants?
Current students, faculty, and staff.
Electronic Identity Credentials
2.3 Please describe in general terms the administrative process used to establish an electronic identity that results in a record for that person being created in your electronic identity database? Please identify the office(s) of record for this purpose. For example, "Registrar's Office for students; HR for faculty and staff."
For faculty and staff, the Human Resources office determines eligibility and maintains record of current status. The Registrar’s office determines student eligibility and maintains record of current status. These two offices communicate status updates to the Information Technology Services (ITS) Help Desk, who maintains the account management database from which Network Logon ID requests and changes are issued.
2.4 What technologies are used for your electronic identity credentials (e.g., Kerberos, userID/password, PKI, ...) that are relevant to Federation activities? If more than one type of electronic credential is issued, how is it determined who receives which type? If multiple credentials are linked, how is this managed (e.g., anyone with a Kerberos credential also can acquire a PKI credential) and recorded?
Kerberos with userID (Network Logon ID) and password.
2.5 If your electronic identity credentials require the use of a secret password or PIN, and there are circumstances in which that secret would be transmitted across a network without being protected by encryption (i.e., "clear text passwords" are used when accessing campus services), please identify who in your organization can discuss with any other Participant concerns that this might raise for them:
All College resources which require the Network Logon ID password are secured using SSL/TLS.
2.6 If you support a "single sign-on" (SSO) or similar campus-wide system to allow a single user authentication action to serve multiple applications, and you will make use of this to authenticate people for InCommon Service Providers, please describe the key security aspects of your SSO system including whether session timeouts are enforced by the system, whether user-initiated session termination is supported, and how use with "public access sites" is protected.
We do not currently have any systems on campus which support SSO. When community members attempt to authenticate to InCommon Service Providers a central Shibboleth server is used to prompt users for their Network Logon ID and password over an SSL connection. Credentials are valid while the user is actively using the Service Provider and expire on logout of after 30 idle minutes.
2.7 Are your primary electronic identifiers for people, such as "net ID," eduPersonPrincipalName, or eduPersonTargetedID considered to be unique for all time to the individual to whom they are assigned? If not, what is your policy for re-assignment and is there a hiatus between such reuse?
The Network Logon ID is unique for all time to the individual and never reassigned.
Electronic Identity Database
2.8 How is information in your electronic identity database acquired and updated? Are specific offices designated by your administration to perform this function? Are individuals allowed to update their own information on-line?
Human Resources maintains identity information for faculty and staff. The Registrar’s office maintains identity information for current students. Updates are controlled by the above offices are done through automated uploads to/from various systems.
2.9 What information in this database is considered "public information" and would be provided to any interested party?
Name, title, department, campus address, campus phone number, and email address.
Uses of Your Electronic Identity Credential System
2.10 Please identify typical classes of applications for which your electronic identity credentials are used within your own organization.
Most centrally managed applications use the Network Logon ID for access - these include email, wireless, library resources, academic applications, course registration system. Access to business applications require an additional logon outside of the Network Logon ID.
Attributes are the information data elements in an attribute assertion you might make to another Federation participant concerning the identity of a person in your identity management system.
2.11 Would you consider your attribute assertions to be reliable enough to:
[X] control access to on-line information databases licensed to your organization?
[X] be used to purchase goods or services for your organization?
[X] enable access to personal information such as student loan status?
Federation Participants must respect the legal and organizational privacy constraints on attribute information provided by other Participants and use it only for its intended purposes.
2.12 What restrictions do you place on the use of attribute information that you might provide to other Federation participants?
Attribute information provided by Hamilton College identity systems must only be used for the purpose for which it has been provided. Attribute information must not be aggregated or provided to any third party. Any other uses are prohibited.
2.13 What policies govern the use of attribute information that you might release to other Federation participants? For example, is some information subject to FERPA or HIPAA restrictions?
Please see the following:
We may also be able to soon reference the Hamilton College Information Security Plan
3. Other Information
3.1 Technical Standards, Versions and Interoperability
Identify the version of Internet2 Shibboleth code release that you are using or, if not using the standard Shibboleth code, what version(s) of the SAML and SOAP and any other relevant standards you have implemented for this purpose.
Shibboleth IdP version 3.4.4
3.2 Other Considerations
Are there any other considerations or information that you wish to make known to other Federation participants with whom you might interoperate? For example, are there concerns about the use of clear text passwords or responsibilities in case of a security breach involving identity information you may have provided?