CommEX24: IT Service Governance for International Collaboration

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By Iain Oldman - Copywriter - Content Marketing, Internet2

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

2024 Internet2 Community Exchange logo

Following recent challenges to trust and identity (T&I) enterprises across European networks, a significant question has emerged: is it really possible to build global services in the current geopolitical climate?

To answer the question, national research and education network (NRENs) leaders from across Europe are convening on March 6 to discuss the future of the continent’s T&I efforts.

Listen to their conversation during the “Trust, Identity, and Access for Learning and Research Across Borders” session at the 2024 Internet2 Community Exchange. This Community Exchange panel features speakers from several European NRENs, including the Swedish University Computer Network (SUNET), SURF, and GÉANT.

“Gathering and prioritizing requirements across a very large and diverse population is quite challenging. I marvel when I watch our colleagues at GÉANT and members of GÉANT deal with all of these issues while having to navigate the differences when a national boundary is crossed,” said Kevin Morooney, vice president of Trust and Identity and NET+ at Internet2. Morooney leads the panel discussion at the session.

In Europe, obstacles to federation and identity governance have materialized across the continent. These present significant hurdles that European NRENs have to address in order to implement continental projects like eduroam and eduGAIN.

For example, when Russia invaded Ukraine in early 2022, sanctions from the European Union forced GÉANT to cease serving Russia and Belarus. As a result, eduroam and eduGAIN services across the world were interrupted.

“eduroam and eduGAIN are for everybody; I believe we all agree on that vision,” said Klaas Wierenga, the chief information and technology officer at GÉANT. “It turns out, however, that building a truly global service is a lot harder than it seems — though not so much from a technological point of view. The real difficulty lies in the governance. I look forward to discussing with the Internet2 community how to turn our common vision into a reality.”

Difficulties (and Gains) in T&I Across Europe

At their Community Exchange panel discussion, the European NREN leaders will discuss the problems that must be addressed to establish security baselines among network members.

Europe is running into roadblocks as it attempts to establish its own security baselines globally because of mitigating factors, according to Wierenga. Some of the largest hurdles federations and identity governance face are the autonomy of national identity federations and institutions not releasing their attributes.

There are signs of success within the T&I field, however, both across Europe and globally. 

In January, GÉANT announced that eduroam hit an annual record 7.5 billion worldwide authentications in 2023 — up from 6.4 billion the year prior. GÉANT further has initiatives already in place to help address T&I issues of the future, including an incubator mentorship progam.

What is to be learned from the success of these campaigns, and how can this knowledge be applied in North America? Stop in to find out from the panelists at this Community Exchange session.

There are several opportunities to hear from NREN professionals from Europe — and other corners of the world — at the 2024 Internet2 Community Exchange, held March 4-7 in Chicago, Il. Learn more about the unique challenges and opportunities faced internationally by attending this event and others like it in the Identity and Access Management Track.

Interested in attending the Trust, Identity, and Access for Learning and Research Across Borders session or the many other informative educational sessions at CommEX? Please visit the registration page to get details.

Check out some of the other sessions in the IAM track.

Session Name / Abstract Date Time Speaker(s)
T&I Steering/NET+ PAG Working Group Meeting Tues. Mar 5 7:00 – 8:15 a.m. TBD
From Authentication to Analytics Tues. Mar 5 10:15 – 11:15 a.m Heidi Thompson, Grinnell College
Kaitlin Wilcox, Grinnell College
Introducing MetrANOVA: A neutral, trusted, and open consortium for Advancing Network Observation and Analysis Tues. Mar 5 11:20 – 12:00 p.m. Ed Balas, ESnet
eduroam Special Interest Group Tues. Mar 5 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. eduroam Special Interest Group
Whither Wallets? Tues. Mar 5 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Nicole Roy, Internet2
Dmitri Zagidulin, MIT
Leif Johansson, SUNET
IdPaaS Program: Federation Made Easy Tues. Mar 5 2:40 – 3:40 p.m. Albert Wu, Internet2
Deploying eduroam at a Statewide Level Tues. Mar 5 4:10 – 5:10 p.m. Sara Jeanes, Internet2
InCommon Futures 2 Wed. Mar 6 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. Kevin Morooney, Internet2
Marc Wallman, North Dakota State University
Trust, Identity, and Access for Learning and Research Across Borders Wed. Mar 6 11:10 – 12:00 p.m. Klaas Wierenga, GEANT
CACTI Working Meeting Wed. Mar 6 12:00 – 1:30 p.m. TBD
Microsoft Multilateral Federation Future Wed. Mar 6 1:30 – 2:30 p.m Corey Lee, Microsoft
Identity: Open Source Hosted & Managed Wed. Mar 6 2:40 – 3:40 p.m. Charise Arrowood, Unicon, Inc.
Natalie Alarcon, California State University, Dominguez Hills
Future-Proofing IAM Infrastructures Wed. Mar 6 4:10 – 5:10 p.m. Christopher Misra, University of Massachusetts
Lois Brooks, University of Wisconsin
Mairéad Martin, University of Illinois
Christopher Sedore, Tufts University
Trust, Collaboration, & Community Thu. Mar 7 8:30 – 9:30 a.m. David Bantz