The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a $5 million grant to bolster the security of scientific research.
More specifically, the grant establishes the existing Center for Trustworthy Scientific Cyberinfrastructure (CTSC) as the NSF Cybersecurity Center for Excellence, an entity that will address the security needs of NSF’s scientific community.
The CTSC, originally created and funded by NSF three years ago, is a collaboration between Indiana University, the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC), the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA).
In its role as NSF’s Cybersecurity Center of Excellence, CTSC will coordinate efforts on improving cybersecurity. It will include education and training to increase security expertise throughout the nation’s scientific community, a recent PSC press release said.
“NSF-funded cyberinfrastructure presents unique challenges for operational security personnel…[it] impacts other important areas of research affecting society, including ocean sciences, natural hazards, engineering, biology and physics,” said Anita Nikolich, cybersecurity program director within NSF’s advanced cyberinfrastructure division.
“Organizations that host cyberinfrastructure must find the right balance of security, privacy and usability while maintaining an environment in which data are openly shared,” she added. “Many research organizations lack expertise in technical and policy security and could benefit from an independent, shared security resource pool.”
The CTSC will collaborate with NSF-funded research organizations to address their security challenges and provide forums for the organizations to collaborate on security efforts, the release said. That includes the use of identity and access management.
“Many of these threats are those faced by other organizations on the Internet, but others are unique to the science community with its collaborative nature and use of high-end information technology and cyberinfrastructure,” said Von Welch, CTSC’s principal investigator and director of Indiana University’s Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research.
The CTSC’s annual NSF Cybersecurity Summit will allow the NSF community to discuss security challenges, share lessons learned and take training courses, the release said.
“The annual Summit provides a key opportunity to share experiences, lessons learned and advances with other NSF projects,” said PSC Chief Information Security Officer James A. Marsteller. “The forum provides an opportunity to discuss serious issues around implementing cybersecurity not only of a technical nature, but also cultural, managerial and budgetary.”