Thursday, February 27, 2020

PEARC20: Trusted CI Call For Proposals at the 4th Workshop on Trustworthy Scientific Cyberinfrastructure

Trusted CI has opened a call for proposals for its fourth Workshop on Trustworthy Scientific Cyberinfrastructure at PEARC20.

The workshop provides an opportunity for sharing experiences, recommendations, and solutions for addressing cybersecurity challenges in research computing. The full-day (6 hour) workshop provides a forum for information sharing and discussion among a broad range of attendees, including cyberinfrastructure operators, developers, and users.

The workshop is organized according to the following goals:
  • Increase awareness of activities and resources that support the research computing community's cybersecurity needs.
  • Share information about cybersecurity challenges, opportunities, and solutions among a broad range of participants in the research computing community.
  • Identify shared cybersecurity approaches and priorities among workshop participants through interactive discussions.
Implementing cybersecurity for open science across the diversity of scientific research projects presents a significant challenge. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to cybersecurity for open science that the research community can adopt. Even NSF Major Facilities, the largest of the NSF projects, struggle to develop effective cybersecurity programs. To address this challenge, practical approaches are needed to manage risks while providing both flexibility for project-specific adaptations and access to the necessary knowledge and human resources for implementation. This workshop brings community members together to further develop a cybersecurity ecosystem, formed of people, practical knowledge, processes, and cyberinfrastructure, that enables research projects to both manage cybersecurity risks and produce trustworthy science.


Program content for the workshop is driven by the community. We invite submissions of proposals for a series of 30-minute workshop presentations (a 20 minute presentation followed by 10 minutes of discussion for each topic) in the form of one-page abstracts submitted by email to Submissions should include name, affiliation, and email for the presenter(s) along with the title and short description of the topic to be presented.

Presentations will be selected by the program committee based on technical quality, novelty, and relevance to PEARC20 attendees. Presentation materials will be published at for dissemination beyond the workshop attendees. Permission will be requested from all presenters to allow redistribution of slides and allow sharing of photos from the event.

Presentations may be submitted to both this workshop and the NSF Cybersecurity Summit ( for broader information sharing to attendees of both events.

Topics of interest for the workshop include but are not limited to:
  • cybersecurity program development for NSF projects and facilities
  • risk assessment results from NSF projects and facilities
  • identity and access management solutions for NSF projects and facilities
  • security challenges/experiences/solutions for science gateways
  • transition to practice of cybersecurity research
  • secure software development practices/experiences for research computing
  • developing compliance programs for research on campus
  • incident response lessons learned in the research computing community
  • new or emerging cybersecurity technologies applicable to research computing
  • cybersecurity outreach, education, and training
  • cybersecurity workforce development

Important Dates

Submission Deadline: June 1, 2020
Notification of Acceptance: June 15, 2020

Program Committee

Jim Basney (NCSA)
Kathy Benninger (PSC)
Dana Brunson (Internet2)
Barton Miller (UW-Madison)
Sean Peisert (LBNL)
Von Welch (Indiana University)

About the Workshop Series

This is the fourth workshop in the series. The workshop has been held previously at PEARC17, PEARC18, and PEARC19. There were 48 attendees at the workshop last year. Please visit for materials from prior workshops.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Trusted CI Engagement Application Period is Open

       Trusted CI Engagement Application Period is Open
                      Applications Due April 3, 2020

Apply for a one-in-one engagement with Trusted CI for Late 2020.
 Applications due April 3, 2020

Trusted CI is accepting applications for one-on-one engagements to be executed in July- Dec 2020. Applications are due April 3, 2020 (Slots are limited and in demand, so this is a hard deadline!)

To learn more about the process and criteria, and to complete the application form, visit our site:

During Trusted CI’s first 5 years, we’ve conducted
 more than 24 one-on-one engagements with NSF-funded projects, Large Facilities, and major science service providers representing the full range of NSF science missions.  We support a variety of engagement types including: assistance in developing, improving, or evaluating an information security program; software assurance-focused efforts; identity management; technology or architectural evaluation; training for staff; and more.  

As the NSF Cybersecurity Center of Excellence, Trusted CI’s mission is to provide the NSF community a coherent understanding of cybersecurity’s role in producing trustworthy science and the information and know-how required to achieve and maintain effective cybersecurity programs.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Mingling at the Dance (2020 Update): Cybersecurity and Science Cultures

The following is a blog from Von Welch, the full post can be read at EDUCAUSE Security Matters

The National Science Foundation's Cybersecurity Center of Excellence, led by Indiana University, continues to offer educational workshops and provide actionable guidance to help information security professionals have productive discussions about risk and data protection and successfully partner with scientists and researchers.

What has changed in the higher education cybersecurity landscape since my 2016 EDUCAUSE Review Security Matters blog post, and what has stayed largely the same?

Read Von’s EDUCAUSE Security Matters blog post >>

Trusted CI Begins Engagement with UC Berkeley

The Secure Research Data and Compute (SRDC) Platform at UC Berkeley is
funded by executive leadership as a condo-style research computing service. This
institutionally supported foundation for restricted data research will be professionally
managed and supported by Research IT staff from UC Berkeley and Lawrence
Berkeley National Lab, and researchers will contribute computation and storage
hardware to the platform using their research funds.

The SRDC Platform will bring together HPC nodes, virtual machines, and big
data storage for researchers working with highly sensitive data (e.g., PHI and PII)
across a range of domains, many of which are NSF-funded, including biology,
engineering, computer science, and a broad spectrum of social sciences and
professional schools such as business, public health, and law.

Trusted CI will engage with UC Berkeley to guide the design and implementation
of the SRDC Platform and a procedural framework that maintains a healthy balance
between usability and security.  To achieve this, Trusted CI and UC Berkeley will
first inventory the proposed architecture, workflows, and current policies and
procedures. Trusted CI will then analyze them, assess them against other
implementations, and provide recommendations.

The engagement began January 2020 and is scheduled to run to the end of June 2020.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Trusted CI delivers final engagement report to US Academic Research Fleet

ARF comprises 18 vessels and the supporting infrastructure equipped to serve the needs of the oceanographic research community.  In the second half of 2019, Trusted CI and the US Academic Research Fleet (ARF) collaborated in an engagement to address the cybersecurity needs of ARF’s research vessels.

The engagement began by determining how the engagement should be scoped. ARF identified the most crucial security related issues they would like to address, including establishing  a unified cyberinfrastructure 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 2021 cybersecurity regulations.

The first month was spent gathering information from ARF and policies and information from all ships in the fleet.  The Trusted CI engagement team visited four research vessels after the initial data gathering and presented an introduction to cybersecurity to the ARF personnel at the RVTEC meeting.
Trusted CI and ARF on the R/V Robert Gordon Sproul
The engagement culminated with Trusted CI delivering a 40-page final report to the ARF containing collected observations, a set of recommendations ordered by impact, and additional materials that could be used to enhance the budding cybersecurity efforts of the fleet. ARF plans to share this report with stakeholders within their community in order to help improve cybersecurity controls and practices.

During this engagement, Trusted CI staff worked with ARF to review policies and procedures, toured 4 different classes of research vessels, interviewed crew members of ships, and met with research vessel technology specialists at the research vessel technology (RVTEC) meeting in Alaska.

The Academic Research Fleet is funded by multiple NSF grants managed by the division of Ocean Sciences (Award # 1823600, 1824571, 1827383, 1827415, 1827444, 1822574, 1822670, 1824508, 1829214, 1830845, 1823566, 1822532, 1823567, 1823042, 1822954, 1827437, 1822905, 1827654, 1834650) and is a collaboration of multiple institutions.  Trusted CI would like to thank the following institutions and organizations for their collaboration in the engagement: Academic Research Fleet, Columbia University, Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, Oregon State University, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, University of Alaska Fairbanks, University of HawaiĘ»i, University of Miami, University of Minnesota, University of Rhode Island, University of Washington, University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Report on the 2019 NSF Cybersecurity Summit is now available

The Report of the 2019 NSF Cybersecurity Summit for Cyberinfrastructure and Large Facilities, is now available at The report summarizes the annual Summit that was held October 15-17, 2019, in San Diego, CA. The Summit provides a valuable opportunity for cybersecurity training and information exchange among members of the cybersecurity, cyberinfrastructure, and research communities who support NSF science projects. This sharing of challenges and experiences raises the level of cybersecurity awareness and gives Trusted CI important insights into current and evolving issues within the constituent communities.

This year’s Summit workshops, plenary sessions, and table talks reiterated some observations from previous years such as:
  • The high value of community member interaction and knowledge share
  • The threat of social engineering to cybersecurity
Emerging areas of importance to the community were also highlighted. These included
  • Inherent vulnerabilities in AI/ML
  • Maintaining data integrity

Day 1 of the Summit was dedicated to half-day and full-day training workshops. Days 2 and 3 comprised plenary presentations, panels, and keynotes that focused on the security of cyberinfrastructure projects and NSF Large Facilities. This year’s attendance totaled 143 (up from 117 in 2018), representing 84 NSF projects, including 12 of the 20 NSF Large Facilities. Almost half (46%) of the attendees actively participated in the Summit through planning, presenting, responding to the CFP, leading a workshop, and/or leading a lunch table talk. Evaluation and feedback of the 2019 Summit was very positive and constructive. We look forward to the upcoming 2020 NSF Summit that will be held September 22-24, 2020, at the Monroe Convention Center in Bloomington, Indiana.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Trusted CI Webinar Feb 24th at 11am ET: FABRIC with Anita Nikolich

Illinois Tech's Anita Nikolich is presenting a talk on FABRIC, the Adaptive programmaBle networked Research Infrastructure for Computer science, on February 24
th at 11am (Eastern).

Please register here. Be sure to check spam/junk folder for registration confirmation email.
Testbeds can be great for trying out new ideas and not taking down a production network, or they can be useless and impossible to figure out. FABRIC took the best of past testbeds and is creating a new, useful national research infrastructure to enable cutting-edge, exploratory research at-scale in computer networking, security, machine learning, distributed computing and applications.

It will be a nation-wide high-speed (100-1000 Gbps) network interconnecting major research centers and computing facilities that will allow researchers, operators and engineers to develop and experiment with new distributed application, compute and network architectures not possible today. FABRIC nodes can store and process information "in the network" in ways not possible in the current Internet, which will lead to completely new networking protocols, architectures and applications that address pressing problems with performance, security and adaptability in the Internet. Reaching deep into university campuses, FABRIC will connect university researchers and their local compute clusters and scientific instruments to the larger FABRIC infrastructure. The infrastructure will also provide access to public clouds, such as Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure. This experimental facility will allow multiple experiments to be conducted simultaneously, and is capable of incorporating real traffic and real users into experiments. For more information about FABRIC visit
Anita Nikolich is a Research Professor in Computer Science at Illinois Tech, Fellow at the Cyber Policy Initiative at the Harris School of Public Policy at The University of Chicago, co-organizer of the DEFCON AI Village, and ARIN Advisory Council member. She is Co-Director of FABRIC.

Join Trusted CI's announcements mailing list for information about upcoming events. To submit topics or requests to present, see our call for presentations. Archived presentations are available on our site under "Past Events."