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Secure Web Transactions - InCommon SSL Certificates

Certificate Services

The secure socket layer (SSL) protocol provides assurance that web servers are legitimate and that the conversation is encrypted to prevent network eavesdropping. In order to run a secure web server, system administrators must obtain a digital certificate which is signed by an external third party (a certificate authority). This process is similar in concept to obtaining a notarized document. InCommon is one firm offering digital certificates.

The University has purchased the certificate service through InCommon (which uses Comodo as it's certificate authority).  The arrangement we have is for unlimited certificates being available for the University community.  This is intended to improve security at the University by allowing for certificates to be more widely utilized including within test environments. 


InCommon's Self Service Enrollment

Click here to request an InCommon certificate. 

This will require NetID authentication to proceed.  Certificates are available for faculty and staff use only. 

 Note: If you need to revoke a certificate, please contact the University IT Help Desk at 275-2000. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between getting a certificate through the University’s InCommon contract, compared to buying directly from InCommon (or any other certificate vendor)?

In order to obtain or renew a certificate directly from a commercial Certificate Authority, you must follow these steps, which can cause a significant delay in turn around:

  • Visit a vendor web page to provide your personal identification and server information to their automated system.
  • Issue a Purchase Order to the vendor.
  • Wait for the vendor to call HR to verify your identity, employment, etc.
  • Then go through the technical steps of generating a certificate signing request, downloading the signed certificate, etc.

By taking advantage of the University's InCommon Service, the University provides the approval for InCommon to generate your certificate. The process can go much more quickly, as most of the paper handoffs and manual interventions are gone.

Compared to a direct vendor purchase, the cost to you is FREE.

Where can I learn more about this program?

See the InCommon Certificate Service page.  Note also the Support link on that page.

How long are certificates valid?

There is the choice of one, two, or three-year certificates.   Please do not let your certificate expire.  Renew your certificates early!  We suggest renewing your certificate at least a month early, since there is no departmental cost associated with the certificates, to prevent them for expiring and impacting your environment.

What is the cost of the certificates?

The certificate service has been purchased by the University of Rochester.  The certificates are being provided to departments at no cost. 

How long does it take to receive a certificate?

Generally, you should have your certificate within 24 hours if you request it Monday - Thursday between the hours of 8:00am - 5:00pm.  You need to request your certificate before noon on Fridays to have it approved prior to Monday.

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