Community News

What Have the Task Forces Ever Done for Us?

Banner from the recent TF-CSIRT meeting in Valencia, held jointly with FIRST.

Community groups

The GÉANT Task Forces and Special Interest Groups (SIGs) have long been a core part of the GÉANT community. They provide an environment for people working in specialist areas across our NRENs and the broader community to come together and share ideas, discuss, showcase and plan. The groups have been responsible for incubating some of our well established services and produce a wide range of deliverables and outputs. However, if you are not involved directly in a group it can be difficult to track their progress. The portfolio of Task Forces and SIGs has also changed significantly since the beginning of the recent GN project funding, overseen by the GÉANT Community Committee.

This brief report gives an overview of the outputs and deliverables from our Task Forces and SIGs over the past six months – we hope you find it useful. If you would like to talk to someone about the current activities of the Task Forces and SIGs, or propose new areas for work, please get in contact with Nicole Harris.

Attendance and meetings

From May 2016 to December, ten Task Force and SIG meetings have taken place with a total of 508 participants. The largest meetings continue to be those of TF-CSIRT, which regularly attract 150+ participants with a large amount of participation from government, military and commercial Computer Security Incident Response Teams (CSIRTs) alongside NREN partners. This wide-scale representation is essential for effective incident response as attackers have no notion of sector or jurisdiction.  TF-CSIRT is now part of a wider security initiative within the GÉANT Community Programme, including SIG-ISM, WISE and DDoS Mitigation work. This growing focus on security is in direct response to the requirements of the community.

GÉANT is also looking at attendance across its Task Forces and SIGs to spot trends and see where our work is having the most impact. The graphs below, for example, show the highest-attending organisations at TF-Storage and TF-MSP.

Comparison attendance at Task Force Meetings

Achievements and deliverables

The following outputs, achievements and deliverables have been made available by the Task Forces and SIGs since May 2016:

  • SIG-ISM published White Papers on Risk Management and Security Management.
  • Standards support: TF-WebRTC supported the WebRTC work and standardisation within the IETF, TF-Storage supported the formalisation of the Open Cloud Mesh protocol and TF-CSIRT supported the development of a new TLP protocol with FIRST.
  • SIG-NOC Business Case was created for the NOC training development and provisioning.
  • SIG-Marcomms trialed blogging training and proposed rolling out to wider community, which was provided as a training package for the AARC project meeting.
  • SIG-PMV carried out a survey on performance monitoring.
  • TF-WebRTC provided support and guidance for the GÉANT / Nordunet joint Vconf tender.
  • SIG-NOC delivered materials and business case development for NOC training.
  • SIG-Greenhouse provided an overview of NREN approaches to software sustainability.
  • SIG-Greenhouse provided an overview of open source software dependencies in NRENs.

Service developments

As well as providing forums for discussion, many of the Task Forces and SIGs are directly involved in supporting services run by GÉANT or in partnership with other organisations. Recent developments for services include:

  • A tender for the Trusted Introducer service was completed following a comprehensive community review. A supplier will be chosen in February 2017.
  • The Commons Conservancy formally registered as a company in the Netherlands and Filesender became the first project to move through the Commons Conservancy approach, based on recommendations from SIG-Greenhouse. An MoU between GÉANT, NLnet and Commons Conservancy was signed.
  • TF-CSIRT and its Trusted Introducer service implemented response testing for all teams listed, accredited and certified by Trusted Introducer. This tests the responsiveness of teams to a test incident, allowing problems with secure response to be identified and fixed on an on-going cycle.
  • TF-Storage continued to support the GÉANT ownCloud agreement, with over 400,000 end-user licences reached in this period.


The following communication activities have been supported by the Task Forces and SIGs:

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