Authentication, Authorisation and Accounting Infrastructure and Services

Submitted by bob_day on Mon, 07/22/2019 - 11:59
The set of AAAI (Authentication, Authorisation and Accounting Infrastructure) services operated by Jisc provides a national framework for the management of access to RII resources across the UK. This framework includes authentication of an individual user of a RII; authorisation of that user to access RII resources; and, where appropriate, accounting for that use for charging or for auditing purposes (for instance where there are compliance implications such as those around access to sensitive data). The framework can be applied to a wide range of RII resources, from scholarly collections accessed via web portals through to access to computing resources and to experimental facilities. These services also improve the end-user experience, by reducing the number of different credentials a researcher needs to manage and safeguard; and by providing a more consistent user experience across a range of RII access. They are essential to effective and appropriate use of the UK’s publicly-funded RII. They are equally applicable to privately-financed RII. They are essential to providing properly managed access to any modern RII. The services at present consist of a series of federated systems for control of web-based resources (the UK Access Management Federation); a similar system for control of non-web-based resources (Jisc Assent and eduroam); and managed identity-provider services (Liberate). The latter assist an organisation in the management of the identities of its staff and other individuals for which it is responsible, so that those individuals can subsequently be authenticated prior to access to an RII’s resources. Jisc also provides web-server certificates to allow the safe use of web portals providing access to RII resources. There is also in development the ability to link these systems to systems that allow the creation and management of virtual organisation structures for collaborative research. These frameworks and services are applicable globally as well as nationally. They are linked via the inter-federation of UK federations with those of other countries. Current examples are edugain (which includes the UK Access Management Federation and provides UK users with access to resources globally and vice versa) and eduroam (which provides UK users with access to wifi network connectivity when working abroad).


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