Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Trusted CI Begins Engagement with SCiMMA

The Scalable Cyberinfrastructure Institute for Multi-Messenger Astrophysics (SCiMMA), funded under NSF grant #1934752, is a planned collaboration between data scientists, computer scientists, astronomers, astro-particle physicists, and gravitational wave physicists.  Leveraging NSF investments in astronomical and multi-messenger facilities and in advanced cyberinfrastructure, SCiMMA intends to prototype a publish-subscribe system based on Apache Kafka to distribute alerts from gravitational wave, neutrino and electromagnetic observatories to authorized subscribers (initially, public alerts so that all subscribers are authorized, but eventually proprietary alerts).  The system will additionally rely on supporting infrastructure, including: machine learning algorithms to analyze and classify alerts; an AARC2-style federated identity and access management suite; and event databases for richer data mining. The pub/sub prototype will be hosted on cloud resources, including a commercial cloud. Upon award completion, SCiMMA will pursue funding for a sustained distributed institute that will expand the scope and depth of the prototyped system.

To this end, SCiMMA is seeking help on and-or with various components of their prototype cyberinfrastructure. Primarily, they seek to develop a sound IT security program. Through a kick-off meeting and post-discussion, Trusted CI and SCiMMA have defined and prioritized their needs using a subset of tasks, outlining the goals of the engagement, specifically:

  1. Perform a security review of SCiMMA’s cyberinfrastructure using the Trusted CI Security Program Evaluation worksheet in order to assess the target level of cybersecurity needed;

  2. Using information documented in step 1, develop the start of a security program leveraging a master information security policies and procedures document; 

  3. Develop an asset inventory to be used by the security program in step 2, and;

  4. Perform a nascent risk assessment using identified assets with a corresponding residual risk registry.

Upon completion of the engagement, Trusted CI will produce a final, publishable report describing the work performed, potential impact to the open-science community, and areas SCiMMA may find appropriate for future engagements.