CTSC, in collaboration with the NEON team, performed a cybersecurity risk assessment on the NEON network of sensors and data servers. The results of this assessment will be used to develop a cybersecurity plan for the NEON project. The engagement commenced in March 2015 and was completed in August 2015. CTSC personnel conducted this review using CTSC assessment methodologies designed to fit the scope and objectives of the review. CTSC personnel interacted closely with NEON personnel to perform this engagement.
The goals for the collaboration with NEON were to:
- generate a list of threats, vulnerabilities, estimates for likelihood, and impacts;
- review and prioritize these lists into risks; and
- generate a high level cybersecurity plan for NEON's Airborne Observation Platform (AOP) and CyberInfrastruture (CI).
The formal Risk Assessment of NEON identified issues which are being addressed through NEON policies and implementation of formal operational processes and procedures. Other issues can be addressed by utilizing software solutions such as monitoring and vulnerability scanning software.
Working closely with the NEON team, CTSC concluded the risk assessment, transferred the skill of performing future iterations of the risk assessment, and assisted the NEON team in documenting recommended cybersecurity controls that, when implemented, will mitigate the current level of risks for NEON. Considering that full operation of the NEON network is planned by 2017, an effective security strategy is critical to protecting and isolating data from external and internal threats.