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21 August 2009
S-CURE continues to provide the Trusted Introducer service to CSIRTs under new agreement
TERENA's Karel Vietsch and S-CURE's Don Stikvoort sign new contract at TERENA's office in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

A contract between TERENA (Trans-European Research and Education Networking Association) and S-CURE BV of the Netherlands was signed recently, marking the 9th consecutive year of this relationship. Under the agreement, S-CURE will continue to provide the Trusted Introducer service, under contract to TERENA, which collects the fees from the accredited teams.

TERENA’s Trusted Introducer service is an accreditation scheme that helps build a web of trust between Computer Security Incident Response Teams (CSIRTs). Many research and education networking organisations, commercial Internet service providers, telecommunications operators and governments have established CSIRTs to deal with network security incidents. Collaboration between these teams is very important because in many cases incidents originate from outside the network that is affected. Such collaboration needs to be based on strong trust between the teams.

Karel Vietsch, TERENA’s Secretary General, explained the reasons for the new, revised contract: "Since the inception of the Trusted Introducer as a pilot in September 2000, the number of CSIRTs participating in the service has grown from eight to almost 70. The Trusted Introducer service elements have developed over the years, and there have been clear shifts in emphasis. Moreover, we found it useful to be more precise in specifying the anticipated levels of service, making the contract with S-CURE more of a service level agreement."

The Trusted Introducer collects detailed information about CSIRTs and if a team meets certain criteria it can be accredited by the Trusted Introducer. Information about accredited teams as well as information about teams that have applied for accreditation and other known teams (“listed” teams) is published on the Trusted Introducer website. The information is checked on a regular basis to ensure that it is still up-to-date and that accredited CSIRTs still fulfil the criteria for accreditation.

Accredited CSIRTs can participate in closed meetings that are organised back-to-back with TF-CSIRT meetings. Representatives hear sensitive and confidential information about recent large-scale incidents and security threats. Other benefits the Trusted Introducer provides to accredited CSIRTs include a restricted website with confidential information about security teams, a re-encrypting secure mail gateway and out-of-band alerting.

The contract between TERENA and S-CURE was signed on 6 August 2009 and covers the period from September 2009 until August 2010. The Trusted Introducer review board will conduct an intermediate review of the service delivery performance in January 2010.

Further information

S-CURE is an independent company specialising in advanced Internet community services like the Trusted Introducer.

More about the Trusted Introducer service.

More about TERENA's Task Force on Computer Security Incident Response Teams, TF-CSIRT.