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Federation & Identity Assurance Essentials at InCommon BaseCAMP 2024



Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

By Jean Chorazyczewski – InCommon Academy Director

Organizations and institutions are increasingly needing to collaborate across geographical and organizational boundaries. But enabling distributed teams to share data and resources easily and securely across these lines is no simple task—unless you understand the power of identity federation frameworks.

Two experts in the identity and access management (IAM) field will dive into the fundamental principles of federated communities during InCommon BaseCAMP 2024, which is coming up in just a few weeks.

Brett Bieber, the assistant vice president of Client Services for Information Technology Services at the University of Nebraska, and Kyle Lewis, the vice president of Cybersecurity Strategy at Research Data & Communications Technologies, are slated to present an insightful session that breaks down the essentials of federation and identity assurance in simple and friendly terms.

Join your IAM peers at InCommon BaseCAMP 2024, held online June 3-7.

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Brett Bieber posing for a profile photo.
Brett Bieber, assistant vice president of Client Services for Information Technology Services at the University of Nebraska
Kyle Lewis posing for a profile photo.
Kyle Lewis, vice president of Cybersecurity Strategy at Research Data & Communications Technologies

Ahead of InCommon BaseCAMP, InCommon’s annual virtual event for IAM professionals, we sat down with Lewis to preview this informative session.

Q: What do you hope people learn from your session?

A: This session describes the overall concept of a federated community. At its core, federation is about establishing trusted relationships between Identity Providers (IdPs) that vouch for user identities and Service Providers (SPs) that control access to protected resources. 

We’ll talk about how InCommon supports and fosters this trust through its Baseline Expectations for InCommon participants, which cover principles like robust identity verification processes and meeting certain assurance levels. We’ll also discuss community frameworks that promote trusted incident response and information sharing when security events impact multiple organizations in the federation.

Q: Why is this an important topic?

A: We want people to understand that the institutions that publish IdPs and SPs to the federation are part of a trusted community, and with that comes a certain level of risk—especially for the SPs who are sharing their services or data with users coming in from externally federated IdPs.

Q: How is this subject applicable across institutions?

A: It is applicable to all SPs and IdPs—organizations of all sizes are part of this federated trust ecosystem.

Q: What are the biggest benefits for BaseCAMP attendees?

A: There is a lot for newcomers to this field, everything from technical concepts and specific tools to policy and risk considerations inherent in being in a trust federation. We hope our session helps pull together a strategic view of what it means to be in [the InCommon Federation] from a trust and assurance perspective.

Promotional graphic illustration for Basecamp 2024.


Whether you are already using federated login via InCommon or you are just getting started with cross-organizational identity management, this session is a can’t-miss opportunity to develop core knowledge and best practices.

Join us at BaseCAMP, held virtually June 3-7, to crack the code on harnessing federations and identity assurance for collaboration. Other sessions at BaseCAMP will cover related topics such as IAM program strategies, identity registry, and identity authentication.

What You Will Learn at This Session

  • Federation core principles and its role in facilitating cross-institutional access
  • How federations operate on a foundation of mutual trust
  • The importance of identity assurance via the Baseline Expectations
  • The functionalities of IdPs and SPs
  • REFEDS Sirtfi for enhanced security incident response