GÉANT's Trusted Certificate Service (TCS) enables members of the academic and scientific community to obtain recognised security certificates in Portugal through the RCTS Certificates service. GÉANT has started the preparation of its fourth cycle, searching the market for better conditions.
The initiative, at European level, involves all the national education and research networks included in the TCS. The ultimate goal will be, GÉANT points out on its website, to achieve "one procurement for all NRENs (National Academic and Research Networks) that offers an unlimited number of certificates at a fixed price".
The TCS service has been in existence since 2005 in five-year cycles and has been framed by three certification authorities to date (Global Sign, Comodo and DigiCert). The contract with DigiCert will expire in May 2020, and GÉANT has now started preparations for the fourth procurement cycle.
The preparation included three public "infoshare" sessions with the GÉANT community. A total of 22 NRENs participated in these meetings. This work is largely focused on the necessary updates from the point of view of technical requirements and community members' needs.
The National Scientific Computing Unit is one of the entities that belongs to this structure, and is responsible for managing the issue of certificates for members of the national academic and scientific network at no additional cost.
According to GÉANT, the vast majority of TCS service members are European NRENs. The latest data shows a sustained increase in the number of certificate downloads. From around 30,000 in 2015, the number has risen to over 90,000 - a growth of over 300%.