Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Trusted CI begins engagement with the United States Academic Research Fleet

The United States Academic Research Fleet (ARF, funded by multiple NSF awards) consists of eighteen oceanographic research vessels organized by the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS) that vary in size and capability from large Global Class vessels to Coastal Class vessels. As a large facility, the ARF is unique because its primary assets (research vessels) are owned by several different agencies and independently operated by fourteen different oceanographic research institutions. The ARF supports seagoing research for scientific disciplines which require access to the sea. It is vital to programs as small as single-PI nearshore projects and as large as global multi-PI expeditions. The ARF provides multi-institutional and multi-disciplinary shared research infrastructure to serve these research projects. This infrastructure helps to advance research and education across a wide variety of disciplines for a diverse community.

The US ARF faces unique cybersecurity challenges due to the remote nature of the platforms and the increasing use of operational technology on research vessels. The fact that the platforms are operated by different institutions with distinct standards and policies further compounds these issues. As the platforms serve the same customers, a unified CI solution that works across institutional requirements would provide a more consistent environment to all personnel coming aboard US ARF ships. The engagement between Trusted CI and ARF will work to establish a unified cyber infrastructure security plan that will both serve the evolving security needs of its community and prepare the ARF for operational cybersecurity requirements due to be enforced by the International Maritime Organization in 2021.  

This engagement began in July 2019 and is scheduled to conclude by the end of December 2019.