The University of Texas at Austin

UT System Picks InCommon Service for Digital Certificates

June 25, 2010

UT System, with input from the campuses, has decided to move all system institutions to Comodos InCommon service for digital certificates and end the contract with VeriSign. InCommon will provide UT System campuses with a cost-effective means of deploying and operating an unlimited number of server (SSL) and personal (mPKI) certificates. Digital certificates safeguard electronic communications by allowing users to sign and encrypt e-mail messages and electronically sign digital documents with the click of a button.

The current VeriSign contract with UT System ends on June 30, 2010, but a 6-month extension has been negotiated for personal certificates only. This allows ample time for all campuses to migrate to the Comodo mPKI environment and manage VeriSign user certificate recoveries. Information Technology Services (ITS) expects to have access to server certificate provisioning in early July 2010 and will provide more information for certificate users at that time.

In addition to offering an unlimited number of mPKI and SSL certificates, the move to Comodo will result in a 72% savings to the university. InCommon has already worked out federation partnerships with the National Institute of Heath (NIH), the National Science Foundation (NSF), TeraGrid, and many others in the higher education community. Being part of such a federation is extremely important when it comes to streamlined grant submissions and cross campus collaboration.

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