Security

Research and education networks join forces to tackle global IT security risk

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With the escalation of major global cyber security incidents showing no signs of slowing down, information security is firmly in the spotlight for leaders of research and education networks (NRENs).

Managing information security is also a high priority for many of the campuses, scientific instruments and supercomputing resources connected to these networks. EDUCAUSE reports, for example, that for the second year in a row Information Security is number one issue in the EDUCAUSE annual Top 10 IT Issues list for higher education institutions.

NRENs around the world are stepping up their collaborative efforts to help not only each other but also the broader research and education community to secure information and recognise and respond to threats.

Over the past couple of years, NREN leaders have recruited specialist staff to manage security and regional and global task forces and special interest groups are evolving to address security challenges.

AARNet staff tasked with managing security exchange knowledge with their peers worldwide and participate in global NREN security initiatives.

 Global NREN Security Group

The Global NREN Security Group is an international forum for senior NREN security professionals, sponsored by the Global NREN CEO Forum. Established in 2017, it aims to coordinate security resources globally, including people and knowledge, and promote collaboration around addressing security requirements and challenges across our Research and Science communities.

Members of the group will work together to help NRENs manage security risk in several ways, including promoting confidentiality, availability and integrity of information to meet operational, legal and evidential requirements; aiding with identifying and managing information needs, risks and responsibilities; assisting with reviews of IT security policies and procedures and making recommendations to strengthen information controls; and coordinating the sharing of security resources and research between NRENs around the globe.

The Security Group is currently working on four initiatives to support NRENs, including establishing a security baseline for NRENs, developing advanced tools for Filtering and DDOS scrubbing; developing an automated threat information system, and developing and rehearsing global cyber crisis exercises.

Participation is open to all NRENs and currently includes representation from AARNet (Australia), CANARIE (Canada), CERNET (China), DFN (Germany), ESnet (USA), GEANT (Europe), Internet2 (USA), JISC (UK), NORDUnet (Nordics), REANNZ (New Zealand), RNP (Brazil), SANREN (South Africa) and SURFnet (The Netherlands).

If you’d like to know more about or join this group, please contact the chairs Louise Schuster (Director of Cyber Security, AARNet) Louise.Schuster@aarnet.edu.au and Renier Van Heerden (Science and Engagement Officer, SANREN) renier@sanren.ac.za.

The WISE Community

WISE is a forum with a focus on security management for e-infrastructures supporting data-intensive science. The forum was established in 2015 as a joint venture between members of pan-European research network GÉANT’s Special Interest Group on Information Security Management and SCI, Security for Collaboration among Infrastructures – a group of staff from several large-scale distributed computing infrastructures.

Participating e-infrastructures include EGI, EUDAT, GÉANT (and NRENs), PRACE, XSEDE and organizations such as CERN, Human Brain Project, LIGO and OSG among others.

WISE is currently working on facilitating e-infrastructure security assessments based on the SCI framework, security awareness and training, risk assessment and security in big and open data.

For sharing knowledge and ideas more widely with the scientific community, WISE also runs workshops and sessions adjacent to conferences globally, and as stand alone events.

Find out more about WISE


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